In our recent survey, we asked Band Directors Talk Shop readers, “What is a small (or even silly) thing that drives you crazy about being a band director?” With hundreds of responses to the survey, we came up with this categorized list of your answers of why you LOVE your job of being a band director! Thanks so much to all of our readers who took time to fill out the survey. Keep an eye out for more Readers’ Collaborative Posts in the future!
- “I left my instrument in my classroom, can I go get it?”
- “Do we have to get our instruments out today?”
- “Are we playing today?”
- “Can you play all of the instruments?”
- “Can I use the restroom?”
- Questions that are covered in handouts and emails.
- Answering the same question over and over.
- People who ask if I have ever taught a class!
- “How do you listen to that all day?”
Struggles in the Classroom
- F vs. F# in beginner sax players B vs Bb in beginner trumpets.
- Students who play when I am talking
- Lost music.
- Cell phone addiction.
- Forgetting the mouthpiece puller in my office when I KNOW I’m gonna need it.
- Repeating instructions.
- Picking up stands
- Kids not bringing a pencil or their books/music.
- Music left on the stand or floor at the end of class.
- Kids spending more energy making excuses than making music.
- Managing three different classrooms in three different buildings and all the STUFF in them and what building it’s in at any given time.
- Not being able to get a sub who can teach my class.
- Over-blowing! I call them Saxophone and Clarinet bombs! Why must we play the loudest possible sound?
- High school students still playing on cheap 2.5 reeds.
- Kids who try to play with shredded reeds.
- Broken instruments at the most inopportune time.
- Flipping sticks.
- Pencils and percussion equipment everywhere!!
- Stuck mouthpieces, especially when I just told you to stop popping it into your trumpet.
- Keeping up instrument repair on the school instruments.
- Students who don’t put a name tag on their instrument.
Parents & Administration
- Other teachers’ perception of what I do.
- Parents who think they know what’s best for my band.
- Administration not understanding that interrupting your class stops every single student from learning.
- Dealing with unreasonable parents or sometimes unreasonable administrators.
- Hall duty between class. I can see what’s going on the hall, but not my band hall.
- Parents surprised about band events and performances even after papers have been sent home with the students, an online schedule is available, and periodic parent meetings.
- How many administrators don’t know about music education.
- Lack of parent engagement with their children.
- Parents who tell their children that band is for nerds.
- Navigating the politics of public schools.
- Being constantly looked at as an inferior subject by grade level teachers.
- Professional development that is not compatible with a performing ensemble class but insisting that we use and conform to whatever format/thing they’ve decided on.
- Spending 80 hours a week at school.
- Loss of rehearsal time for testing.
- Early morning classes outside the timetable every day of the school year
- Filing music at the end of the year
- Paperwork, i.e. facility requests, bus requests, fundraising preparation.
- Grease and oil stains on my clothes after a repair.
- Honestly, marching band.
- Kids getting picked up LATE
- Instrument Inventory and Marching Band uniforms. Enough said.
- When people pronounce the z’s in Mozart and mezzo like English z’s. I make a big deal out of pronouncing them like “pizza” with my students!
- Trying to figure out the balance with sports programs.
- Organization of my library!
- The time away from my family outside of school hours.
I Love Being a Band Director Because…
The Most Important Thing I Learned as a Music Education Student (from 70+ Band Directors)
Tips for Recruitment and Retention in Band
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