Saxophone Forum


by saxskillzyamaha
(52 posts)
8 years ago

My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

Ok. So my band teacher is just a mean person. He doesnt have any feeling for other people. I love music but he keeps turning me away from liking band. He also pretends to know a lot about the saxophone, which he doesn't. How do I make band enjoyable?

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by swingstreet
    (315 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

    The problem with so many school band directors is that some of them were miserable failures as musicians themselves, and frankly, they were lucky to get the gig in a school. They end up taking out their frustration and lack of success out on the students. I can't begin to tell you how many of these people caused so many promising young people to quit forever. My advice is similar to many here. Ignore him. If you really love music, you'll play on your own, maybe find a good private teacher, and get together with friends who play and have some fun making music. Don't let a frustrated old fart ruin it for you.

    Reply To Post


  2. by straightj23
    (103 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

    Don't let him get to you! Keep practicing. Try finding a private lesson teacher that can help you get better. Any teacher like your band teacher should be fired immediately. I hope I don't end up like that when I start teaching. I plan on going into music education myself. And not all music teachers are musical failures. My band teacher is a drummer, and he does a lot of outside gigs such as playing for bands, playing drum set for some musicals at a local college, and being a clinician as well. And some, like myself, would prefer to go straight into teaching. Good luck to you!

    Reply To Post Yahoo!


  3. by Scrythe
    (22 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

    Ha..you should meet my band director. What i do...ignore him. If he talks to you. just reply "yes sir" and he won't get on your case.

    Reply To Post


  4. by axiom
    (1 post)

    8 years ago

    Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

    Heya saxskillz! Lets face it, there are some music educators out there teacher today who, quite frankly, shouldn't be. In your case, it is up to you to make your experience likable. Do you study privately? I would suggest it strongly. With private study, you get someone who really knows the horn, and will help you discover how amazing this art called music can be. That is...if you find a good teacher...lol! There are many very good teachers out there, so ask around. As for your band teacher, I would suggest just playing his game to some extent. There is no use fighting it...that will just make it worse for you. If you have any questions, concerns, or you just want to talk about it, I would be glad to talk to you some more. Good luck. I hope it gets better for you!!

    Reply To Post


    1. by Sax Mom
      (964 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

      The longer you live, the more you realize sometimes you just have to put up with people being people... Bosses can be good, or horrible. Coworkers, classmates, neighbors, group-members, there are always going to be some who turn you off and threaten to turn you away. My suggestion is to find something about band you do like, and refocus on that when the director is driving you nuts. Another option is to try to befriend the director, ask his opinion, even if you don't agree with his answers, it will give you another perspective and make you a more rounded person and player. Then, of course, you could do both...

      Reply To Post


      1. by saxskillzyamaha
        (52 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

        I have a prviate teacher, and he is great. I'm not someone who is deciding whether to like music or not. I am nearly certain I want some form of music as a profession. The thing is that I know band can be fun, but it isn't know. And for those of you who say try his advice, even if you don't agree: His advice is wrong. He advises people in jazz band with only chords written in a solo part to "just play the note it says there (root) and it'll sound really hip."

        Reply To Post


        1. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

          Just in case you misinterpreted my post, I said to ask his advice, not necessarily to follow it. In some instances, you may need to, but music is fluid. Does your private teacher have any kind of relationship with your band director? If so, maybe your private teacher could make some suggestions to the director. If there is not yet a relationship, the private teacher could approach the director, introduce himself as a sax instructor, and say, "I'd like to work with saxkillz... on some more complex improvisation..." It could be that those who have the solo parts are not trained in improvisation... in that case, the root is better than nothing, and maybe after playing it that way for a while, getting the rest of the piece in the ear, improvisation could develop. You could also try to find a recording of the piece in question, and play it for the band, or just the soloists, so that they can hear what others have done. Some people are terribly inept at improvisation--your director may be one of them. For them, it might be better to find (or write) a transcribed (simple) solo for the piece in question. That way, the soloist can be confident that what is played doesn't sound "dorky" or off-key. Your private teacher might also be able to approach the director with something like, "Saxkillz... says you're working on 'Autumn Leaves' in Jazz band. I've got a cool solo for the alto part. Could you have them try it so I can hear it?" Good luck! PS: I myself am one of those with very little confidence at improvisation. I understand the discomfort of not having the "notes and rhythms" in front of me... but give me a transcription, and I'll do okay.

          Reply To Post


        2. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

          Saxmom I'm sure your a good player, no reason not to be confident=) Btw Autumn Leaves is a cool song 8D

          Reply To Post AIM


      2. by The Insomniac Saxman
        (141 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

        Sax Mom makes a lot of valid points. Find something positive about band on which to focus. You may find that others in the band are experiencing the same things that you are with the director, and may actually bond with them as a result of commiserating (this I know from professional experience, as the members of a casual and corporate band I once worked with used to commiserate about the bandleader and ultimately became fast friends and socialized quite a bit outside of professional activities, i.e. golf, dinner, etc.). As far as your band director falsely claiming to have a lot of saxophone knowledge, well, this is something that I encountered a lot in the days that I was doing quite a bit of private teaching (elementary and high school students) . . . in a number of cases, I found that the band director was actually undermining fundamentals which I was working on with private students, such as breathing, tonguing, etc. Your private teacher will understand your playing far better than your band director will. One final anecdote: my first saxophone teacher in college (who will remain nameless) was an excellent musician, but really should not have been teaching. Near the end of my first year in school, he discouraged me away from a career in music, and I ended up changing my major to economics (with a music minor). When I finished my BA, I realized that I never should have left music, and decided to go back to school for music, began to study with one of the best saxophone teachers in Southern California, and earned an MM in Saxophone Performance. Today, I am a busy professional player as well as a college music professor, but I would not have been had I let one person turn me away from music. You will encounter many negative people in your life, but you should not allow them to undermine your passions. In any negative situation, try to find something positive, no matter how small, and focus on that to get you through. Best of luck to you on your journey.

        Reply To Post


      3. by bleeding gums
        (18 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

        My band director was so disrespectful that I quit my senior year. Now I'm studying at the graduate level in NYC and have accomplished tons of other stuff on sax. I've played shows, become a succesful teacher, lots of fun stuff. It's all about finding a good private instructor, and believing in your abilities. Don't let that negative stuff in, find musicians who are in it for the right reasons. interesting side note...my high school band director was so bad and screwed up that he managed to steal my horn (which happens to be a VI) for the whole year, giving it back to me the day before graduation. If someone isn't going to further your career, it's not worse kissing his/her ass

        Reply To Post


        1. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

          The sad thing about high school music is that people who are responsible for hiring the staff often do not understand music (or musicians) themselves. Music instructors can be very bad, and the administration does not realize it. People quit the program and the adminstration writes it off to lack of interest, rather than a bad director. It's still seen as "extra-curricular" by many adminstrators and school boards, just like sports... People who do know music may try to have some influence in removing bad people from these positions, but the high school student often does not have that kind of influence, even if he/she does have the perspective to see the whole picture. Sometimes it will take going back after high school, to right the wrongs that happened back there, to help to prevent them from happening to others. Kissing up (which is as close as I get to the language of the previous poster), or at least tolerating the bad director's misbehavior, is sometimes the only way to survive as a musician, as opportunities in some musical communities dry up if a person is not active in the band during the senior year. Some communities are low on opportunities for experience, and high school band is a necessary part to move forward.

          Reply To Post


          1. by bleeding gums
            (18 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

            I agree that quiting band drastically reduces the opportunities you have to perform and be a part of a musical community. However, there are other options. Many schools put on musicals with student pit orchestras, this is a great way to get some playing in and be a part of a tight musical community. Also, depending on your private instructor, there may be an opportunity to play in a recital with the rest of his/her studio. You can try out for allstate and allcounty stuff. You'll have to have a little initiative to do this because your band director won't just be handing out the information, you'll have to seek it out yourself. You could also try to form a band of your own. It's fun to play with other musicians your age and learn to gig around your town. There is almost always an alternative to what our society says is "the way" to progress academically in music. (and hasn't a huge part of music history been about questioning and bending societal standards?)

            Reply To Post


            1. by saxjunkie89
              (393 posts)

              8 years ago

              Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

              Our band director, and many other directors in my county, have been with their respective programs for 30+ years, so we might have a new wave of directors in the area in 5-10 years. Hopefully these new ones won't be as bad as your mentioned nightmares, or else the whole county goes downhill. You're right about your last statement, bleeding gums. Jazz is the only genuinely American thing to come out of America (as in without any influences from other cultures), because intrepids were daring enough to change standards that were set for centuries. i.e.: Improvisation (God forbid we can play what's not written down, a problem with my school's lead tenor in jazz band), swing eighths, the saxophone in classical orchestra scores (thank you Ravel), and a bunch of other stuff. Fortunately, my school gives a lot of opportunities to play in a large group. Throughout my area, we have concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands, pep bands, pit orchestras, county band, district band, county symphony, a proposed sax choir (hopefully), and community bands. If only the rest of the world were like my area. People don't appreciate good, quality music anymore, and the decadence of the popular music industry is becoming the downfall of our society. Not to impune anyone that jazz and classical are the only ways to go, but without those, western society would have no music industry. Classical led up to jazz, and eventually jazz ensembles turned into good old oldies bands and singers like Little Richard and Elvis Presley. These groups, through the invention of the sax's (what I think is) worst enemy instrument, the electric guitar, turned into the crappy bands of today, although I'm somewhat indifferent to a select few. This decadence of the music of today, as i mentioned before, slowly lowers the morals of people. The lyrics can sometimes be over the top when it comes to its ability to be played on the radio or at dances (namely, "My Hump"). I'm not anti-music, just anti-crappy music that have no morals behind them whatsoever. Don't even get me started on music videos. I apologize for the lengthy reply and the violent change of topic. Saxjunkie89

              Reply To Post


            2. by selmer 4evr
              (309 posts)

              7 years ago

              Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

              Would it not be funny if your teacher is writing in another forum My Sax student is A Nightmare !!! Live with it ,,you could probably learn something from him

              Reply To Post


            3. by Linky
              (26 posts)

              7 years ago

              Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

              Saxjunkie what are you on about? 'jazz is the only genuine American thing to come out of America (as in without any influences from other cultures)' That is complete rubbish. Jazz evolved from other music just like every other genre. Jazz rhythms and improvisation was brought in via the slave trade just as blues music got it's blue notes. Jazz music is heavily heavily rooted in African music and what I would call American folk music such as Ragtime, which in turn isn't born and bred from America. Sorry to be a pain but the music industry is booming. More music is being published and sold than ever. Just because you don't find the quality of music pleasing doesn't mean the industry is declining. It's precisely that a business which is now so big and power hungry that most musicians in minority genres can't get the record deals etc. any more and have to resort to live gigs in local areas. Though even the power hungry music industry is getting better at accommodating with music for musicians.

              Reply To Post


            4. by rachel92491
              (28 posts)

              7 years ago

              Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

              saxjunkie do your research on jazz, you would be suprised. america is lucky enough to recongnize good things and use them, but not creative enough to create most. with out africa the sax may have not been as popular as it is

              Reply To Post


            5. by saxjunkie89
              (393 posts)

              7 years ago

              Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

              i'm just saying that the quality of the mainstream music itself is declining, not the music business. I know the business is booming, but most of the music today that is popularized is total crap. This is just a matter of opinion, coming from a person who would rather listen to MODEST Mussorgsky or Tchaikowsky than say, Fergie?

              Reply To Post


            6. by rachel92491
              (28 posts)

              7 years ago

              Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

              fergie sucks. it isnt real music, its just stupid sexual comments. its sad that fergie represents our music industry so much and in so many ways its sad. i do likea nice john coltrane sometimes or charlie parker

              Reply To Post


            7. by saxjunkie89
              (393 posts)

              7 years ago

              Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

              YES!!! SOMEONE WHO SAYS OUR MODERN POPULAR MUSIC STINKS!!! THANK YOU!!! I agree, those Coltrane and Parker are good to listen to.

              Reply To Post


            8. by saxjunkie89
              (393 posts)

              7 years ago

              Re: My Teacher Is A Nightmare!

              Yikes.. grammar...I meant I agree, Coltrane and Parker are good to listen to.

              Reply To Post