Music Education: The Center of the Wheel

It is July. We have reached the final month of summer break and our attention is turning to the school year ahead. Decisions are to be made regarding what music will be performed and which events to attend. Every music education program is unique and faces its own challenges. Most have multiple seasons and ensembles to plan. It is easy to set goals for a marching band season or a choral festival, but how is that enhancing your entire program? What is the center of your music education wheel?

Photo Credit Sandy King

Concert Band. Marching Band. Jazz ensemble. Chamber groups. Indoor Percussion. All of these are part of a music education program. Some programs focus heavily on marching band over all others. Some put concert ensembles as their priority. In reality, each program should work towards a common goal.

What is the yearly goal for your music education program? Do you have one?

Every part of our program – every rehearsal, every piece of music, anything you do – must drive your group closer to the yearly goal. Each part of the program should have its own specific goal, but these ideas need to address your yearly goal.

What can your yearly goal be for your music education program? Anything. Maybe it is having students perform all 12 majors scales in quarter-notes at a tempo of 100 beats per minute. How can you use your marching band rehearsal to meet that goal? Or, your goal can be to perform a large ensemble composition with choir and winds. Find ways to work on pitch and tone stability at softer dynamics. There are hundreds of options. These goals can be piece-related, focused on student success, or just fun. The idea is to build a program with a yearly focus. This will help bring continuity and enjoyment to all parts of music education.

Creating a more efficient marching band rehearsal Corey's Commentary

As band directors, we are constantly on the go and working behind the scenes. Sometimes, we do not plan appropriately for the next rehearsal. This often leads to a more chaotic practice and frustration. Having a regular rehearsal routine helps set the standard and expectations every day, allowing students to feel comfortable and ready. In this episode, I present a few things that helped me manage rehearsal expectation and build to a successful day and season.
  1. Creating a more efficient marching band rehearsal
  2. Center of your music education wheel
  3. Considerations when writing for color guard
  4. Emotional Pacing of your Marching Band Show
  5. Should I join marching band in college?

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