Banding and shift work

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Catherine81, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Catherine81

    Catherine81 Member


    I am about to qualify as a nurse and am concerned that I may have to cut back or even give up banding altogether due to the unsociable hours that the nursing profession have to work.

    Are there any other nurses, or shift workers, that manage to balance banding and working shifts and how to do manage it?

  2. ngar

    ngar New Member

    We have a nurse at my my band and to be honest, it depends on the band, the conductor, the manager, the section, how much effort goes into playing when you are there (and not) - how many major contests are missed etc. There are many variables.
  3. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    I worked shifts for many years, and was very fortunate that the bands I played for were all very accomodating. When doing the off-duty list I always put in a request to work the opposite shift to my band nights/concerts/contests etc. Occasionally it meant competing after a night shift, but putting in to do the less popular shifts (Friday night/Sat or Sun morning) meant they were more than happy to let me have a few pickings at the shifts. There aren't enough players around for bands to moan, and as long as you're up front about your work commitments and give plenty notice of when you know you'll be missing, it would be a daft band who objects and chances losing a player completely.

  4. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    We have 5 players at Dalewool who sometimes need to miss rehearsals, concerts and contests because of shift work/travel in jobs where negotiation is not an option.

    It's a pain in the bum sometimes, but they're great people and we'd rather have them most of the time than not at all. They're all sensible about where they sit (Smurf, on rep, would be one of the best cornet players in NZ) and their commitment when work is disregarded is 100% so everyone is happy to make it work.

    My advice is be upfront and as organised as possible, accept that you may have to move down a seat sometimes and keep enjoying making music.
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Having also worked shifts in the past, I would endorse what has already been said. I've found people are usually quite accommodating, but communication is essential, so that everyone is au fait with the situation.

    I've also experienced it from the other side, when my colleague on solo horn was working shifts, leaving me to step up on the occasions when he was missing. It's just one of those things, and you soon adjust to it.
  6. bbg

    bbg Member

    As I've mentioned on other threads, I am a "newbie" shift worker - after many false dawns, this is now my first week on shifts (in a job that I sarted last September) and as such this coming Sunday will be my first missed rehearsal due to being on nightshift. We have at least another two shiftworkers in the band, with others who work irregular hours, plus an overhead linesman with the electricity board who is regularly on standby. As Nethers says above though, all these folks are there at all possible times and commitment to the band is not in doubt. However, their employers pay our wages, not the band.
    In many areas, shiftworking is a major occurrence - I grew up in an SA corps which, when I was a youngster, was still very much influenced by coal mining, and even as an adult another SA band was heavily populated by shiftworkers from the petrochemical industry. Throw a bus driver, fire officer and a merchant seaman into that particular mix as well and planning rehearsals / engagements was a logistical challenge to say the least.
    Enjoy your career, Catherine - with undestanding "management" at both work and band, I trust that you'll be able to continue your music making.
  7. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    I have been a shift worker for 4 years now and can just about make my attendance at band worthwhile! I work 7 12hr day shifts and 7 12hr night shifts over a 4 week period. What this means in reality is I only need to miss 2 rehearsals in 4 weeks when they clash with my night shifts. It is difficult though going straight to practice from work and then getting up for a day shift again (leaving the house at 6am, returning at nearly 11pm and getting up at 5am the next day). Doing this though allows me to rehearse 6 out of 8 times which just about works. The main problem for me is forward planning for contests and concerts and often having to take leave to attend.
  8. lise

    lise New Member

    I am a nurse and have worked shifts for the past 25 years, my band has 1 rehearsal a week which I request off, and usually get, If we have a concert then I request that off instead.For important contests I use a weeks annual leave prior to the contest. Have a word with the ward sister (most although stressed are quite human) , work life balance is important and has to be taken into account when doing an off duty.

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