Well I'm in a 2C middle school in South Texas. Athletics has practice EVERY DAY! So there is no way to rehearse around them because they practice 4-6pm on Monday-Thursday. I do work very well with coaches but I'm concerned because kids will choose athletics over band any day, even my better kids. I'm trying my best to keep them engaged and excited about band but I do put my foot down sometimes and get strict when cleaning or learning music. I can't be a softy just because kids can't tolerate pressure nowadays. Instead, they want to quit. I don't understand that! Thanks for the tips!
The easy answer is that athletics give physical punishment for missing. Bottom line. So, if you are scheduling practices at the same time, you will lose. Even if they say it's fine to go to band practice, the students will still be punished by losing playing time.
I recently did some thinking about band kids practicing outside of the school day. With athletics, the only time that the kids practice is when coaches tell them to be there and their entire team is practicing. They don't do any work on their own away from the school. At smaller schools, having band practice everyday after school would erase our bands.
You HAVE to build a good relationship with you athletic program if you want your program to grow. That's just fact. It will help you a ton!
As far as region, it's difficult. With the overwhelming amount of apathy with today's youth, they will decide not to do something that they have to work extremely hard to achieve. I give the music to students to work on, but don't push them to audition. Once they get into the music, they can decide. If they practice that music 5 times, then they are better than they were before that. Also, success breeds success. Once you have some kids making the region bands and having a good time with it, that will start to spread among other students.
Athletics is great for a number of reasons, but it's not hard by any means. It takes no talent to give physical effort. Yea you may not be the fastest or make the big play, but every kid can run. So, understanding that has gone a long way for me. What we do is not always difficult, but it is also not ever easy. Plant the seeds for culture and watch it grow!
I am having an issue with some of my students being more interested in attending athletics practice rather than mine. How is it that athletics gets kids so engaged and band not so much??
I would appreciate ideas as to what you do to keep your numbers up and program going with students being engaged and loving band.If I'm too relaxed and back off, I'm afraid things won't get done.
I push kids to be better in band but I get a lot of resistance. Region is hated by most kids despite me giving incentives and grading throughout on scales and sections. In general, what do you do in your band program??? Suggestions appreciated.