All "Important" Word in Banding

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by nook1938, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. nook1938

    nook1938 Supporting Member

    Looking through the Threads: Disagreements Aired in Public leading on to MD/Conductor"Employed" and another Do we Undervalue our Hobby the word that crops up is Commitment, adverts for players consist's of the word somewhere.

    Why do we need it? Why can we have a Advert that reads something like" Player required --- nice warm friendley band, own bandroom, central heating etc, but to add Committed player required, to me it is a Order, it is a stipulation that you will obey.

    I must be from the old school because I do not remember the word mentioned, you turned up no matter what for Practice and Band jobs because you loved to "play" music and there was no PRESSURE you all enjoyed one anothers company, you where all a team. Another word that to me has brought Commited to the fore is: CONTEST / CONTESTING without one you would not have the other.

    Where I was born there was Five "village bands" who used to have massed band performances etc and then one band went to a Contest, Which brought them a Conductor who took them into the Second Section, that conductor left and took all the players with him, the band started to poach from the other bands in the area and now Two bands still do jobs, one band is a ten piece, the last time I talked to someone and two bands have gone to the wall. The bottom line to me is if the players wanted to contest they should gone to other bands in the area who did, I might add that not all the players at the time wanted to Contest. If it happened at my Town then it must have taken place elswere.

    Not all players want to Contest but they want to play, and the band is a local one so they stop, maybe because of the cost of travel etc, but it comes to point where they leave and move on because of the pressue of having to Commit to a routine that they can not keep for whatever reason.

    And there is the ode of two words COMMIT and Contest which rules the Banding World. "and someone will tell me I am wrong, but I do not care they are my views.


  2. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    And that's why the word commitment is used these days, because unfortunately, the 'old days' seem to have gone. You didn't need to use the word commitment at all, it was just part of banding and expected. Everyone understood this without having to be reminded!

    There are so many players out there who either can not or do not want to commit. So when advertising for players, unless you are happy to accept less commitment, bands need to make it clear what their expectations are of any potential players. This saves time and possible confrontations by having to turn away players who want to 'pop in' and play when it suits them. If bands want to succeed then commitment is a must. Bands who are happy to accept players who cannot give commitment, then that's fine. It all depends on what bands are looking for. The fact that more and more bands advertise with the words 'committed players only' tells a story in itself.

    Solution? No idea, but anyone who finds it, let me know! ;)
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I would agree that the word "commitment" was not raised so often in the past simply because it was taken for granted. Thoughout my playing career, in whatever group I've been involved with, it was expected that all players would be present unless there was a very good reason, and then apologies would be given.

    I would disagree with the assertion that "contesting" and "commitment"are necessarily linked. There are plenty of groups that want to improve their standards, and work hard to achieve that, without ever entering contests. Equally, going right back to my days with Coventry Festival band, the same level of attendance etc was expected whether or not a contest was in the offing.

    It is certainly true that there are far more distractions around today, and work and leisure patterns have changed drastically. Also, families tend to be more dispersed, with a corresponding effect on child-care arrangements. There also seems to be more leeway given to those in education, due the perceived pressures, although I don't recall missing any practices during exam periods in my youth. With the shortage of players in some areas you also find players jiggling their priorities between a number of groups, which can bring its own problems.

    Yes, "commitment" is an important word, but one which many of us take for granted, without the need for it to be underlined every few minutes!
  4. 1st Position

    1st Position Member

    It's not just in the banding world that the ugly word 'committment' has suddenly become fashionable. What about amateur sports, I know that I could get a game of cricket most evenings and weekends, just to make up the numbers due to regular player absence. It's the whole world that has changed, and unfotunately, this time the banding world has kept pace with it.
  5. nook1938

    nook1938 Supporting Member

    I take the points mentioned re: underlined / take for granted and that is my point, why mention it at all?

    You might have gathered I have a thing about the word, but you join a band because you want to be part of a music making organisation not for some member of the commitee to remind everyone we want more commitment and more bums on seats because of maybe poor practice nights, we know that to get on in the Banding world you need bums on seats and full practice nights, whether it is one or two practices a week you need the players at practice, when I join I do not miss but it is the regulars who get reminded not the people who miss for whatever reason.

    I am in a Wind Band who I might say are lax in their approach to practice nights and the personel numbers about 40 but for a couple babysitting or shifts everyone turns up and a good night is had by all, and not a word about commitment is mentioned.

  6. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    It seems that we all take commitment as a swear word, something not to be banded about willy nilly just in case someone over hears us saying it. I know that I am getting on a bit now, but my fathers words still ring in my ear. "If you are going to do this lad then do it properly if you can't give it all it deserves don't give it anything".

    I think that we have lost this inspiration and we don't allow for people to dedicate their time to a specific role, be it in banding or sport or anything else we want to do. Half a job is always good enough and that is why those who do the training and educating need to get back to instilling commitment into today's thinking.

    The whole of society needs commitment to enable some form of stability in life, it is not just in banding where the lack of commitment is an issuue. There are just too many distractions and I am afraid that it is society's fault that we suffer this.

    How then does the Brass Band get over this, we can start by insisting that membership carries a minimum commitment level below which will not tolerated. We make rehearsals and performances as interesting as possible, giving as much variety as we possibly can and we put this into action from the very outset of a players carreer, making music fun and ensuring that from the very beginning a player needs to attend consistantly.
  7. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    I disagree.... I believe the most important word in banding is "socialisation" since banding as the term itself suggests involves playing together, partying together, therefore socialising together.

    Concerts....socialising before, during and after.
    Contests....much the same.
    Rehearsal...socialising between players before, during and after. And indeed when playing too by verbal and non-verbal communication methods.

    Commitment is a factor that effects the socialisation of players and therefore gets noticed and discussed more as a term.
  8. nook1938

    nook1938 Supporting Member

    Thats just what My Dad told me, but is words where " if your are going to do something,do it right", but in broader yorkshire than that. I agree that the Banding World seems to follow the everyday pattern but the majority of players turn up no matter what, it is the others who seem to have a attitude of "I am not going tonight and there is nothing they can do about it". Can you impose a minimun of commitment on any player after all it is supposed to voluntary, is it not?

  9. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I think another reason both for the lack of commitment and the fixation of bands with commitment is the lack of players (certainly in our area).

    A player misses a few rehearsals and there are mutterings about a lack of commitment but no-one dares say anything to the player involved in case they get upset and leave, another empty seat to fill !
  10. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Good point, how many people sit in a band rehearsal with players missing and someone gets up and kicks off about the poor attendance? When all they are doing is airing a view to the wrong people i.e. those that actually attend.

    What happens at the next rehearsal when previously missing players turn up? Not a word said.
  11. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    when all local bands are short of players, there is no incentive to be committed - by playing a bit with each band, you get all the musical and social plus points with none of the commitment and expectation negative points.

    complaining about commitment is not the answer - creating a musically and socially stimulating environment with a 'buzz' to it draws in the right type of players and makes them want to be there.
  12. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    The old adage of preaching to the converted, but as a conductor you can only preach to those who are attending. I always try to place the remark to the right people I.E. the commitee, after all it is the commitee which forms the management of the band and it is for them to chase up the errant players. Having said all that if the attitude is in place before any new member joins and they join on the understanding that their membership is dependant on their attendance they would not be able to quibble.

    As to there being not enough players to go around, we have to create our own. I started a thread on junior bands and training bands to see what was happening. Some bands seem to have grasped the idea and others do not. The Chaos in instrumental teaching in our schools leaves a big gap in the supply of youngsters to our movement and so it is up to us to fill this gap.
  13. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    Thinking about commitment, my situation is slightly different but I think it's worth noting that sometimes commitment can't be measured purely on how many rehearsals you attend. I have been commuting 200 miles on a weekly basis since December so therefore cannot make Band rehearsals. However, I don't wan to leave my band and will arrange my trips home for a concert accordingly. I have recently taken time off work to go to an important rehearsal etc and plan to take leave in the week leading up to the finals.

    My band have never mentioned the idea of replacing me, although I would understand if they wanted to. Perhaps I could say the band itself have demonstrated a commitment to me!! - Another angle yet to be explored?

    Thinking about "Old Days", maybe the world is a much smaller place these days. Not everyone works in the village they live in and plays in the local band. Times change! and we need to be aware of that.
  14. IYOUNG

    IYOUNG Member

    Well said that man and the sooner folks realise this the better

    Leave the old fashioned running of a band behind and deal with the real current issues.
  15. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Which are?

    I really would be interested to know what 'old fashioned running of a band' means, in your view. And what are the 'real current issues'???? :confused:

    Lack of players, lack of commitment, lack of money, etc, etc. Those are the current issues in my mind. Which brings me back to the original post on 'Commitment'. Is that not a current issue?
  16. nook1938

    nook1938 Supporting Member

    Well said Susan, but starting this thread about commitment as at present taken peoples mind of the issue of MD'S Employed or Self - Employed,which I thought was getting serious, but I never realised how many issues that could be brought up about the noble art of music making, which I might add, I enjoy.

  17. IYOUNG

    IYOUNG Member

    They are the current issues I agree and dealing with them is paramount.

    In terms of commitment:

    I raised the point on one of the other threads of whether band committees actually take time to talk to their players and ascertain what the individual requirements are and then how they fit in with the commitment levels required.
    Or do they take the ''old fashioned'' approach'' and decide for them?

    Taking the first option iv'e no doubt IMHO will lead to a better response than the second

    In terms of lack of players:-

    Again I agree can be an issue but ask why some bands don't have a problem and yet some do?

    In terms of lack of money:-

    Consider the type of engagement carried out, do they generate enough income, if not work hard at finding an alternative.

    Times change and bands have to move with them in order to keep up
    But above hard work of the still totally committed few will pay dividends in the end.
  18. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    That's what is so good about TMP. It is there for people to express their views on a subject we hold dear to us. It allows us a chance to hear like minded people who have the same interest at heart. It is very refreshing that so much thought goes into our movement, it can only stand us in good stead to air our views and to hear the views of others.
  19. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    all the statements you've ever read of the form
    "back in the good old days..."
    "my dad always told me..."
    "we always used to..."
    neatly sum up the old fashioned view. the committee and conductor between them subscribe a strict framework within which the players are expected to reap some enjoyment for themselves.
  20. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    In my band this issue of commitment is now made simple. You are told what to expect before you join and you also get a starter/introduction package which outlines the behaviour and actions that a player should employ. Those not fulfilling these will not stay in the band very long!

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