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night rehearsal

August 23, 2007

Junior High bands are not conducive to enlightening or broadening musical experiences, except that they set my hair on fire and stretch my patience to the very brink. This is unfortunate, as I spend most of my day at a Junior High.

That said, University bands, regardless of experience level of the ensemble, are gratuitously better. Tonight I watched a certain hometown Uni take the field, warm up, and I think I had a few chills. I was indubitably impressed. This band was not this good when I auditioned for the same school. In fact, I don’t remember them sounding this good last fall when my Uni played against them.

And did I mention my school and this one are bitter rivals? Yes. Yes, they very much are. I show up at the night rehearsal, and the Director of Bands introduces me, in jest, as being from “that other place.” Not too much hissing, and most of them were pretty nice to me. I met some very nice people tonight, in fact. *blush*  It was a refreshing experience.

Good thing I had happened to be driving around at the time, or I might not have been there tonight. Or tomorrow night for that matter. You should never miss an opportunity to learn or love.

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One comment

  1. ‘Bugs, you mentioned that you wanted some ideas on “how to be easy going in a classroom.”

    Sadly, this isn’t something that I can teach, I think. A LOT of it has to do with personality and how much you’re willing to relinquish perceived control (because being “easygoing,” to student minds, generally equates to relinquishing control).

    Here’s what *I* do – I’m not making any claims about the efficacy of this, I’m just sayin’ it’s my modus operandi: I come into class on the first day (or, even, the first week or so) with my Bitch on. I take her out, power her up, and let her rip. We go over, in excruciating detail, the expectations of the class -we review the syllabus, we discuss the policies, and I make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that EVERYONE understands those policies. I will even say that, if there are questions, they’d better be asked now because I WILL NOT accept “I didn’t understand what you meant” as an excuse when a policy is broken later on. They’re a little afraid of me at first, but this works to my advantage.

    Once I get the impression that they know I mean business, I put Bitch back in her cage and start interacting with the students on a more personal level. It’s a delicate balance, though, being friendly with the students and keeping them on the path I have mandated, but it’s worth the effort: I find that students respect me a lot more when they know for sure that I’m in control but that I’m also willing to interact with them in ways that make them feel understood and valued.

    Does that make ANY sense at all? Email me (mrschili@comcast.net) if you want to talk some more – or if you need me to explain what the frick I just said up there….



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