Re: No beginner band testing...options?
Posted by Small Town on 1/28/2021, 8:22 am, in reply to "No beginner band testing...options?"
I'm assuming they mean you can't test kids *now* .. but those restrictions may be lifted by the time you get kids into the classes in the fall. |
I've done plenty of years where we couldn't test for beginners. You've got two options - three if you're lucky.
1. Make the kids in the classes fit what you want for the classes, or
2. Have across-the-board heterogeneous classes.
The third "lucky" option is to do your testing at the start of the year and hope your counselors will make dozens of schedule changes for you.
If you're in a traditional "small groups" setup for beginners, I'd just do Option 1. Have two woodwind classes, two brass classes, and one Percussion class. Have the kids sign up for one or the other, and then test them at the start of the year with proper sanitization protocols. Yes, this means you'll burn through about sixty clarinet reeds, but just buy the cheap ones instead of wasting your V12s.
You may have eight clarinets, two saxes, and fourteen flutes in one woodwind class, and six saxes, three clarinets and one flute in the other class (I wouldn't start double reeds unless you are 100% sure the kid will be successful - switch to them at semester) but that's much easier to make work than having a bit of everything in the same class.
Not 100% related to your post:
The fact of the matter is, if you're willing to work at it, *any kid should be allowed to play any instrument* if you're being equitable. They signed up for band. Teach them to play. That's our job.
Yes, it's more difficult to teach a flute player with janky teeth and a teardrop embouchorue. Yes, it's more difficult to teach a trumpet player with an underbite. But TEACH. Find ways to help them be successful. If they ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT make a sound, work with them to shift to an instrument on which they CAN. Are you seriously going to turn away a kid who wants to be in your program because they don't "get it" right away?
You'll only have a few hardcase students (and usually parents) who demand that their darling baby play the drums/saxophone/trumpet. Most will be willing to let you be the expert in the room and steer the kid in the right direction.