Saxophone Forum


by jenntheflutist
(11 posts)
9 years ago

Advice on student leadership within the band

Hey all, I could really use some advice. My schools band is, well, slowly dying. People don't practice and don't care. We have a lot of people who are also very negativetowards the group, and we are very divided within ourselves. One person who is very mean towards the conductor has said in rehearsal, "We suck, so what's the point?" Our director is trying to start chamber groups, but many groups don't work when left to their owbn devices, and I find it very frustrating. I want to see the band improve and grow, and my teacher has told me he needs me to be a leader, but I don't know what to do! I asked him, and he just said 'you're smart enough to figure it out.' I doubt he just means being solid on my part, but I don't know how else to help. Please help me! jenntheflutist (and saxophonist)

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  1. by straightj23
    (103 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

    I know what you mean. In our band, we have a lot of jerks that just don't care. We had a freshman, in fact, two freshman, who kept stealing money and belongings from everybody. We also had a sophomore who had a bad attitude. But fortunately, our band has survived and is still thriving in our area. What is good about our band is that even though were small (between 60 and 50), we get rid of the scum and keep the positive. That's why we're so good. I'm going to be section leader of the sax section next year and can't wait. All I can say is this: -Meet with your section to practice as much as you can and report any repeated unexcused absentees to the director. -Don't meet just to practice. Hang out and have a good time. -Make sure your section knows their music (and marching moves) and are not slacking off. -Keep a positive attitude. -etc. I plan to make the sax section t-shirts like the tubas did last year. We are going to meet as often as we can to work on music or just to plain hang out. Do your best. You'll find a way to get through this.

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  2. by Sax_Shark
    (134 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

    I understand the problem you're having. If you can find a few "ring leaders" of the group that doesn't care then concentrate on getting others to look away from them. A few years ago we had a few of those in the drumline. They whined and cried and always tried to make things difficult. But they graduated last year and our band was awesome this year. Now this won't help with your freshman problems, but maybe some of your other problems can be solved. Lead by example. When the jerks do something stupid then look the other way and disapprove. Soon others will disapprove with you and you will have others on your side.

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  3. by GzsKerqt
    (77 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

    My school band was/is like yours. -but ever since we changed director in july it has been improving. Firstly, i suggest u bond the sax section. Dont bother what the other sections do. Leave them be. Play scales together or test them individually. Clap for them or something if need be. At least one a month or so i would ask my juniors if they love (not like) their sax. If they dont i'll ask y and try rationalising with them. Encourage them to practice harder and not give up so easily. Most importantly YOU muz set an example. i hate seniors who ask me to improve when their sound is like crap. They're some who think they're big shots but ive got a way (not sure if it'll work for u too). Look at them in the eye (choose which eye cause if u havnt realise when u look into a persons eyes, u're only staring at one of them=p). Dont look at the colour of the eye but the black spot. Harden ur tone. Some may become scared but slowly they'll learnt to respect. And dont do it too often, it lose its effectivenes=p In my band there are also those gits who hate the band goes around sch telling others how lousy band is but u cant solve it on ur own. Get the committee(if the band has one) to hold a meeting and discuss. Anyway, hope my experience helps. When ur section starts to improve, others will too.

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    1. by GzsKerqt
      (77 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

      My last sentence sounded like something u'll see on tv.=p

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  4. by Sax Mom
    (964 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

    Some comments like, "Come on, guys. There's no reason we can't get this." "This music is easy, why can't we play it better?" "Hey, let's see if we can get together after school tomorrow and go through this music, then let's go for pizza!"

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    1. by YanagisawA-901
      (312 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

      im just starting to get a grasp on this whole leader business... sax mom knows my trials and tribulations lol.. lets see what i can whip up here......... A leader is comprised of many different characteristics within a confident person of a band. He/She doesnt just practice and know his/her parts. There is a lot more to be said about a leader in a band. A leader does in fact know thier parts inside and out, and a lot of times, even has them memorized. But there are a lot of fundamental traits of a leader, that have nothing to do with the music directly. Such as confidence, charisma, temperance, and wether or not hte person gets along well with others. All of these things will tie in to how you connect with the band. However, you can be prepared 1100000% of the time, and have the drive to do well, but if the band doesnt, your only going to be as good as they want to be. Being a leader just allows you to show the band " i care, do you? " and you hope they catch on along with you. wow.. thats like a school paper..

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  5. by barisax999
    (400 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

    ah leadership, the toughest part of music. heres the key to leadership, do the work nobody else wants to do. you have get there early and stay late. the first part of leadership is making sure that all the parts of the ensemble that dont relate to music directly get done.( well they relate... but heres some examples.) if your in marching band, stay there after practice and make sure the entire pit is back inside and set back up before you leave. if copies need to be made, make them. if there is mess left behind clean it. another big part is leqading by example. make sure you know youe parts perfectly, and then make them better. another part that correlates to that is rehearsal ediquate. never talk during rehearsal, and never miss a downbeat. another key point is how teach people. remember PCP- praise comment praise. you need to point out what is good, then make an adjustment and end on a high note. another big part is that leaders arent perfect. you have to admit your mistakes, and if need be, take the fall for others. people will respect you if you give them a hand in a sticky situation. this is a lot, i know, ive taken classes on this stuff for 3 years now and im starting to barely understand it. i reccomend going to leadership training courses with Dr. Tim Loutzenhieser. hes an amzing teacher and leader. he travels the country doing workshops. i think he works through a company known as Vivace productions, and they have a website, i dont know what it is though. hope i helped

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    1. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

      Lead by example. Maintain a positive attitude. Encourage and inspire the other members of the band to do their best. Understand that not everybody is at the same level, musically. Take those who are struggling and work with them. Give them the extra attention they need and encouragment to practice and do better. Always think positive! Set realistic goals. Remember, you have to learn to walk before you can run. Don't expect improvements overnight, but with time, practice, and effort. Most importantly, have fun! Best of luck! Jim

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  6. by rednecksax
    (24 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

    It doesn't matter how good you are, what you tell everyone to do, or what you do if you are not first and foremost a friend to everyone. Once you establish that you are reliable and people put trust in you, then you've got to start motivating those who hold the greatest influence in the band. Find someone who everyone wishes they could play like and show them how much power they have over everyone else. If they start acting like they care, others will follow. There is no quick fix, but a few years of changing the attitudes will bring your band to a level previously unfathomable. Remember to always be a good person before a good leader and you will gain the respect and trust of everyone. Hope everything will improve.

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  7. by jenntheflutist
    (11 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Advice on student leadership within the band

    Thanks so much for your advice everyone! I appreciate them and will try to start putting them into action, jenntheflutist

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