Music Teachers

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by aimee_euph, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    Why is it that music teachers both peripatetic and school/college think their work is more important than anyone elses?!

    My friend had a music lesson before and her teacher told her she couldn't have a job, play in two bands, do Gr.5 theory, and an NYBB audition plus colege work. fair enough it's a lot, but she's coping and her teacher had a go saying all she wants to do is go out clubbing all the time....

    Anyone else had this experience or share the same view as her teacher?
  2. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    I must admit, some conductors in my experience are unreasonable about commitment, or rather have double standards. Is it ok, that when you say you can't make a rehearsal because you're at uni, or working until about 5 minutes before rehearsal, that they do it, therefore trying to blackmail you?
  3. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I am not sure what to say here really. I mean, I think any teacher who says their job prevents them from doing anything is either very successful or lying.

    As for the conductor thing, I've seen both sides. in my old band, the conductor worked us hard, and demanded 100% attendance, but iof he knew in advance there'd be a gap, he'd move players around. I never used to call myself an A grade trombonist, but I played 2nd and bass trom, 1st and 2nd euph, 1st and secon baritone, Eb and Bb Bass, and 1st horn in 4 years of uni. I remember thinking this sucks.....

    ...then I became conductor in my home town. The "Senior" band is made up of a lot of seconday school students, who, as we all know, are working hard to get into uni. Therefore, I am never completely surprised when I have low attendances at band...but God it ****** me off. Although I want to desperately sya somehting about it, I keep thinking of Dennis (my old conductor) and just bite myt tongue.

    Edited: (RT)
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Without knowing the exact context in which the issue of over-commitment was raised, I don't know that one should be too quick to criticise the teacher in this instance. The fact is that younger players are often put under a lot of pressure when they are involved in lots of activities. I know in my youth I wanted to be involved in everything, and was playing in the brass band, a jazz band and the school orchestra, not to mention singing in the church choir and playing in the Music Centre concert band, and trying to fit A-level studies around it all.

    I am convinced that one of the reasons that youg players leave the ranks of SA banding is that, in their teens, they are put under too much pressure: already playing in the YP band, they are invited along to senior band as well, not to mention the invitation to join any divisional band that may be in operation - all this just when their studies are mounting and they want to develop a more active social life.

    I think it is vital that all those involved in leadership take these issues on board and think about what is best for the young person in a wider context - better to be involved in less activities, but to be able to offer the comitment needed.
  5. horn1

    horn1 Member

    I remember having very similar discussions with my teachers (particularly Instrumental) when I was at college.

    Now I'm on the other side of the argument as a music/brass teacher. (don't throw things please!!!!!!!!) I can really see where your friends teacher is coming from. It is incredably (sp?) frustrating when you are working very hard to get your students the best possible grade and you have doubts over their commitment. An awful lot of work goes into preparing music lessons behind the scenes, it can be very disheartening if you feel like this is being wasted. Maybe even more frustrating is when you can see potential being wasted! I think the thing is, if you have all these commitments fair enough, BUT, don't say to your teacher...... well I haven't done this because I was at band A, at band B, working, out with my friends, studying for something else etc. etc. Just because you have a lot of commitments doesn't mean you have an excuse not to do something, you might have a reason but not an exsuse.

    I'm not having a go and I'm certainly not saying I'm perfect, 'cos I was probably the biggest culprit at school BUT I am saying think of it from your teachers point of view, they put a lot of hard work in to!
  6. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    Fair enough, but would you go as far to make her cry?
  7. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Sensitive friend/ psyco teacher. YOU decide.

    Being a teacher I want everyone to do well in my subject but I know what it's like when you spread yourself too thinly. Nothing gets done properly. At the end of the day if the teacher made your mate cry then perhaps he/ she went about issue the wrong way, but I'm not about to get caught up in a professional issues debate.
  8. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    the teacher will always see the pupil as un committed, the pupil will always see the teacher as unfair...
  9. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    Too true.

    I am a harsh critic of people who miss band rehearsal. Perhaps I am too committed, (if there is such a thing), but I will strive to attend every rehearsal, concert and contest at the expense of almost everything else. The main exception is work i.e. earning my living.

    When I was younger I was in 4 bands at one point and I managed to makeall of them. However, if I had to miss I had a pecking order and it always worked well.

    However, if it got to a stage where I continually missed one band more than the others I would have resigned. You have to know your limits.

    However, more than that it is about respect for the people you play in the ensemble with. The main reason I despise people missing rehearsal is that playing in a band is a team event. If parts are missing, everybody else's enjoyment is affected. You wouldn't see a football team putting up with the goalkeeper constantly missing because he has to work late. They simply replace him.

    There may be perfectly plausable reasons why a player is not present on any given rehearsal but the fact is that that seat is empty.

    It is common for 1 or 2 seats to be empty now and then but people become complacent with these situations. After a while, 3 or 4 seats are empty then one rehearsal only half a band turns up. The players who turn up for every rehearsal end up getting frustrated and get upset with each other which is so stupid. After all, the people who have turned up aren't the ones to blame!

    My Dad always said to me "If you cant give 100% and be committed, dont bother". I think what he was saying was exactly what Peter has said.

    Cheesy it may be but I think it is very true.

    One of the reasons I am not a teacher is because I tend to be a bit blunt but I cannot be bothered placating somebody who I know doesn't really care about the other people they are letting down in the meantime. Harsh? Maybe, but it is fair on the others.

  10. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Heh, maybe so, I seem to be involved in just about everything, and I'm just managing to keep committed to them all. Fortunately, I can blag some rehearsals at Emley because of uni work ... heh heh, a swift one at the pub instead ... :)

    ... Oh wait, Garry reads this forum? *hides*

  11. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

  12. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

  13. Di B

    Di B Member

    Sounds like you have a lot of frustration there that you need to let out.

    All people are different. Some conductors expect 100% commitment as do some teachers. My conductor as a teenager was one of these people and I went to every band rehearsal through my GCSE's. I thought it was normal! :lol:

    Nowadays I do teach. If someone does give the time commitment and effort generally then if they go through a bad patch, miss a rehearsal or two etc then I am very understanding and try and help them get back on track. Have to admit, if that person has an attitude on them (which work/uni can do on a bad day) or doesn't usually bother to have any enthusiasm for the music I don't get angry but do think 'why do I bother'?

    If you love your music but outside influences are affecting your commitments, look at streamlining your diary - maybe soemthing has to give in order for you to do the things most important to you?

    If it is a blip (ie exam time) then explain to your teacher beforehand your concerns about falling behind during this difficult time and ask for their understanding, patience and support. Doing this in advance lets you inform your teacher with a clear, unemotional head and gives them time to adjust the lessons accordingly over those weeks to suit your situation.

    If you usually give commitment then in MY opinion any reasonable teacher would accept these circumstances.

    Hope this helps a little :lol:
  14. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    Seems that you're proving the point that she in fact is not handling the load as well as it would seem. I think it's all much simpler. You can either cover all of the commitments you make or you can't. If your confronted about it you either defend why you're doing a better job than being given credit for or it's time to say "you're right" and make some adjustments - doesn't make sense to cry. This sounds like an "it's not fair" story, and you know a lot of life isn't fair, but you do better by making the best of what you're faced with thancrying and whining. Now Aimee, I'm not trying to pick on you, please don't take it personally, I just don't see where the teacher was such a horrible ogre her
  15. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    hmmm, getting interesting, but I am personally under pressure to have a job, be in uni (at least 25 hours a week prescribed time), and to recover from this stress, I enjoy going to band, it is a hobby, and hence don't want stress from it! however, I am under no free will as to whichever band I play for, unfortunately, as I have no car! this causes stress in itself, is it worth it?

    ps, any band I am with is worth it incase you were wondering.
  16. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    isnt this true among other teachers as well as music teachers though??

    we had an assesment thing at college yesterday and we had a question in english about how much homework and revision time do you spend on english per week, and as we dont get that much h/w we all put around 3 hours, which we thought would be acceptable considering 2 or 3 other subjects as well. But it turned out it was not acceptable for us to be doing anything less than 5 hours per week, which if you times that by 3 or 4 subjects, comes to about 20 hours a week h/w/revision. This struck me as ever so sligthly ridiculous!!!!!
    hope you understand this i have rambled slightly!!!!! :?
    p.s in this case the music teacher was the most sympathetic!!!
  17. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    sounds reasonable to me Leisa... ;)

    at least you only have 3 or 4 subjects - over here it's 7-12 (all demanding 5 hrs extra work a week.... or so I remember)
  18. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I fully appreciate where you are coming from and understand your predicament. However, let me turn this on it's head.

    You are playing a part which involves a tricky duet with Billy on cornet. Billy attends all the rehearsals but is having difficulty getting the duet part right. The conductor wants him to play it a certain way but the last time he played it with you it was totally different.

    You then return to rehearsal and are completely lost, putting Billy and the rest of the band off. The conductor then spends the next 15-20 minutes sorting you and Billy out.

    As much as you need to work, you have just wasted the conductors time, Billy's time as well as that of the rest of the band who have sat there with their head in their hands wondering why they aren't playing something.

    A tad extreme perhaps, but "I was working" generally wont win any sympathy. That is harsh but it is true. Empty seats are empty seats whether it is because you are ill, working or out with your mates instead.

    I appreciate in the real world that not everybody will be at every rehearsal, (I have missed 2 rehearsals this year alone!!!), but the team nature of banding means that if you miss you can affect the enjoyment of others. It's not just you that loses out.

    Anyway, the final decision rests with you. I hope you get things sorted out so that you can keep everybody happy!

    (Lucky to have a 9-5 job)
  19. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    i agree though but any decent conductor would confront me an billy on cornet before or after a rehearsal to sort it out!
  20. Di B

    Di B Member

    So although you have other commitments that band needs to fit around the conductor doesn't have anything better to do?

    Doesn't sound fair to me! Conductors have work/family/social commitments too and also have to plan every rehearsal. If your argument is 'they get paid' in most bands 'if' they get paid it isn't a lot at all.

    Just wonder why you see conductors as having no other commitments than your band? :) I am sure one or two are human out there somewhere! :wink:

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