Problems with Co-players

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by meandmycornet, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Hmmmm perhaps at bit of an ambiguous thread title, but I'm hoping you can help!

    I'm posting for a friend who plays 2nd cornet in a 3rd section band and is having numerous problems with her fellow 2nd cornetter. These problems range from shall we say verbal abuse to just down right nastiness, she's been told on numerous occasions that she's playing parts wrong (when sometimes its actually her fellow 2nd cornetter thats in the wrong). Obviously she needs to be told she is playing wrong if it is justified.... but its also the way this person tells her so... she only talks to her in a nasty and spiteful way at the best of times.

    Also she is in the process of setting up a website for her band, and this fellow player has had many a nasty word to say about this... culminating in a nasty speech with the bandmaster at the area contest in registration before my friends band went on stage.... this made her very stressed, anxious and upset before going on stage, and when it continued after her band had come off stage (a few photos for the website were taken and player profile sheets handed out etc.) she ended up in tears. She also went home from band in tears after rehearsal this week.

    She is unsure of what she should do.... should she say on 2nd cornet and put up with it? or should she go back on 3rd cornet (she's been on 2nd cornet for almost 18 months) and sit the opposite side of the other 3rd cornet player to get away from it? This is an option she has been contemplating.

    Please help my friend, before she gives up completely!
    Many Thanks in Advance
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2006
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I don't think your friend should give up, definitely not. :( Has she spoken to the conductor or any of the committee about it? Maybe they can help. If playing 3rd cornet helps your friend enjoy banding again, then maybe that is worth doing. It's an important part after all, (linking the cornets to the horns!) so shouldn't be seen as being inferior to playing 2nd.

    It's a shame that some people behave like that, but your friend should just try not to let it get to her. Some people just aren't worth getting upset over!
  3. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Yes she's spoken to the bandmaster, who is going to speak to the MD. She's actually been quite keen to go on 3rd, but she's been having second thoughts, as she thinks it'll make her look like she can't just deal with it etc. Its horrible situation, and considering it sa hobby and something she does for enjoyment... not ideal! :(
  4. stotty74

    stotty74 Member

    Your friend shouldn't let somebody else spoil a hobby which she obviously enjoys. She should definitely speak to the conductor/committee about this situation, as it is totally unacceptable. I know you said she is in tears at times, but do other band members actually know what is going on. This is a form of bullying and should be stopped straight away. If she were to move to 3rd cornet, would this same player treat her replacement the same way? From the sounds of it, i don't think moving to a different seat would resolve this issue. Hope this gets sorted soon.
  5. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Fi, I think if it is making your friend so upset, it might be worth changing back to 3rd and sod how it looks to anybody else. What is important is whether your friend feels she has given in or if she feels that by moving to 3rd that she has "lost".

    This is tantamount to being bullied, and it should not be tolerated. Nobody should have to put up with abuse anywhere, regardless whether it is a hobby or not. If I was MD I would seriously consider sacking the person doing the bullying, because that sort of negative atmosphere doesn't do anything for the band team spirit. It is the MD's job to point out any mistakes, not that of the players. :mad:

    If she doesn't get the support from the MD, then there are always other bands to join instead, but I would consider that to be a last resort really. She shouldn't let anybody push her into leaving, or to changing instruments / parts......
  6. Rach_Horn

    Rach_Horn Member

    I feel really sorry for your one should have to suffer bullying ...i have been there and know how it affects you as i should think many people on here have. I really hope she gets it sorted out. I would definetly make the band aware of this situation...your friend should not have to put up with this and should not have to change parts.... it should be the bully that should have to do this.
  7. axio

    axio Member

    Generally people causing those kind of problems aren't a good fit for the band culture, and the MD may be quite happy with a solid excuse for asking them to leave. I really can't imagine in this situation that the problem person is well liked throughout the rest of the band... but of course I have no idea.

    But stick with it! Maybe the MD will decide to promote her to the front row or something else instead :)
  8. GIVE 'EM 'ELL!

    bullyin can't be tolerated in brass bands

    bullyins bad enough in schools without it being in bands aswell!

    1 little tip, dont appear to be the weak person in all this, thats what they thrive on, seein the person they are bullying showing weakness, coz the fact is, its the bully who is weak, they could be bullying for many reasons, for attention, coz for some reason they just dont like you, or they could be jealous that they dont have what you have, those are just 3 of many different reasons

    hope it gets sorted and that the bully gets his or hers come up ance as some people say

    if the worse comes to it, send the bully to me and i'll use them as target practice for my taekwondo kickin lol
  9. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Anyone causing problems should be brought to account. If the band your friend plays for has a committee worth its salt then she should speak to the committee. Then either the committee has a whole or one or two designated committee members should speak to the person concerned. This should be done in a way that allows the 'perpetrator' a chance to explain why they are acting like they are. It could be that this person has a genuine problem that can be sorted. If not and the person disagrees that there is a problem, then it is up to the committee to stress that this behaviour cannot and will not be allowed to continue. It may be that the person 'walks' but that is the chance that needs to be taken. In my long experience as a previous member of a committee, this situation had to be tackled only once, and the person did decide to resign. Yes, the loss of any players is difficult for bands, but the atmosphere in the bandroom afterwards can be well worth it.
  10. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Clive, how does this make you any better than the bully? I used to be of the opinion that if someone hurts you you hurt them back twice as hard but what is it going to achieve, really!? Stupid and childish attitude, one days some one may unexpectadly taekwondo you back with that attitude.

    Inform the committe and ask to have his/her behaviour monitored in rehearsals and in social settings for a month and should they feel your point is valid they should be expected to act or lose a player who is clearly committed to have stuck it out this far.

    Chin up and best of luck to your friend.
  11. JayneSop

    JayneSop Member


    I don't think Clive was serious with his joke about taekwondo. I think your overreacting a bit. Having studied with Clive for the last 4 years I can assure you he is a gentle person who does sometimes say things in jest but is completly harmless. He is a good kid. Leave him alone.

    As for the main problem of this discussion..... it seems to me that it is far more deep-rooted then it seems. If I thought for a moment that there was one of the players in my band being bullied, i'd put a stop to it straight away. Even if it had nothing to do with me and made me totally unpopular with everyone else.

    Where are the other players in the band here? They must seem what's going on? Or are all the players in the band afraid of this bully! My feeling is that it all needs to be brought into the open and discussed fully. It may be that this perceived 'bully' doesn't know that his/her actions are upsetting this person. Whatever, it must be discussed openly and a solution must be reached.

  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    I'd agree with that comment - clearly made as a tongue in the cheek comments - problem with reading what's written but not hearing the tone in which it was said.

    I'm aware of another band that had a similar problem between two players, not open comments just texts etc and a few tears were shed. This was brought to the officials' attention and initially the advice was try to ignore it and if it doesn't cease then something will have to be done formally. Seemed to die down and it has subsequently resolved itself.

    There are usually two sides to these situations and often the problem is made worse by people on the perifery passing on "comments" about what-so-and-so said about you-know-who etc. If you didn't hear it yourself then never rely or react to that kind of comment.

    No one should go home in tears after a band rehearsal (unless you've heard Killamarsh trying to play quiet or BBSBB trying to play swing :rolleyes: ) . Fi I hope your friend gets a sympathetic ear from someone in charge at her band to get this resolved
  13. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I think the first thing your friend could try is to talk directly to the person who is showing the aggression towards them with a member of the committee or band sergeant present. This way the problem is seen to be being addressed properly and the committee member can see that there is an issue to be dealt with.
    If the problem is aired an sorted at that point then all well and good, and if however the other cornet player denies any such bullying actions, at least your friend will have brought it to the attention of the bands committee, the committe will know that your friend has made a positive attempt to sort any problem there may be out and they will also have seen the other person refute the allegation of aggressive behaviour.
    The other person will then be aware that people have been told how they have been behaving and will either have to stop it or risk having actions taken against them by the band if they continue.
    If after this the bullying does continue then the band must be prepared to watch for it and take action if it continues.
    As in all area's of society, bullying can't be tolerated, but it must be remembered that some peoples idea of bullying will differ greatly from anothers and the bully may not even be aware of the upsetting effect their actions can be having. Definitely speak to them first, but have a witness present, just in case.
  14. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Okay. Number thirteen's view (please disregard at your leisure.)

    1) If someone's playing something wrong, and two players can't agree on how it goes, ask the MD. That's why they've got the stick. If your shouty nasty 2nd cornet is playing stuff wrong and telling the other one it's them that's got it wrong, one shout up to the MD will resolve it, and make nasty cornet think twice about doing it in future.

    2) clashes of personality are always going to happen but out-and-out bullying is well out of order. A band is a team, and team spirit is much easier broken than it is built. I'd be tempted to stick in there and hold my own, but that's the personality I have, and I realise your friend may not be the same. All I'd say is, moving someone else between them won't stop it completely. It's a delaying tactic at best. This needs sorting or it will affect other players, and the band manager and MD are the ones to do it.

    3) If the situation can't, for whatever reason, be resolved by the MD and band manager, your friend may be better finding a band where they are happy, rather than carrying on in a chair that's making them unhappy, as there's no surer way to put yourself off playing for good. Cornet players willing to sit on back row are hard to find! Your friend wouldn't lack for offers I'm sure.

    Hope it all works out happily. :)

  15. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    I think all this advice is great and I'm sure if the player in question reads all this support they will feel better for the fact that brass bands are like one big happy family but unfortunately every family has a bad egg in it and this person sounds like one of them

    If it was me I would start by writing to the committee explaining the situation and ask for a meeting between the committee yourself and the bully if possible on a seperate night to rehearsal.

    Use the committee as a jury and confront the bully face to face by asking them out right what their problem is and why they feel the need to treat you in the manner they do if the person has a genuine hate or dislike for you this will come out in the way they react to your questions and the committee will see at first hand what this person is really like and deal with them accordingly

    Yes I agree the MD is incharge of the band but only during the production of the music personnel matters should be sorted out by the committee and brought to the MD's attention and when a solution is found they should be addressed to the band.

    I hope you can get this sorted quickly as it would be a great shame for somebody to have their hobby spoilt by one persons stupidity

    Sorry for the lack of punctuation breath in the most appropriate places
  16. persins

    persins Member

    I don't think changing seats will cure the problem. You need to get to the root of the matter. Fi mentioned that this "abuse" was not restricted to musical activities. It spilled over into other areas too including the webmaster activities.
    Friendly banter is one thing when both parties recognise it as such. That helps to bind the team together and should be encouraged IMO. When it gets nasty or is interpretted as actual abuse, it is in fact bullying and should be stopped as quickly as possible.
    It sounds as if the bullyer in this case is the classic insecure sort who feels the need to be-little others. (Obviously an assumption on my part as I don't know the individuals involved.) In any case, this should be flagged up and resolved through the management of the band.
  17. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    As has been already said several times, moving seats will not solve this problem. All it will do is store up the bully's actions for tea breaks and times when you are not sitting in band formation. Apart from that, why should someone move seats due to the bullying actions of someone else?

    (I understand I'm not talking directly to you Fi, but I'll phrase this as if I am to make it easier for me to write :) )

    What you should do is go straight to a committee member. Any committee worth it's salt will jump onto this straight away. If you like, ask them for an "audience" and see the whole committee after a rehearsal. Don't be scared! Whether you choose to speak to one member, or the whole committee, put you're side of the story forward, calmly and truthfully and let the committee deal with it.

    You should see an immediate effect - if you don't, ask again what is happening.

    Give it a month and see how things are. If the situation hasn't improved after that then there is something seriously wrong somewhere. If this is the case - talk to whoever it was you spoke to in the first place and ask them to tell you exactly what the committee have done. If they can't come up with an answer to satisfy you then the only thing left to do is, I'm afraid, to consider leaving for another band. Please don't give up! The BB movement can ill afford to lose more young players - especially ones to reasons such as these.

    The committee should sort it. Give them a chance to do so, but If they can't for whatever reason, then you should consider finding somewhere to play where you will be happy and appreciated.

    Good luck, and please let us know how you get on. :)
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2006
  18. backrowboy

    backrowboy Member

    Your friend should stay on 2nd cornet, why should she be forced back onto 3rd just because of a bully. This sort of behaviour should not be tolerated in any band,this person should be thrown out no matter how good they are.Good luck to your friend and I hope things work out ok.
  19. CubbRep

    CubbRep Member

    I think that one way of showing this bully up would be for the MD to listen to him/her playing a particular part that this person is saying ,is being played wrong by your friend(Fi)then if he/she doesn't match up,I think he/she should be ridiculed in front of the band.Or at least brought to book and told that he /she was not good enough.I also think it would be better to lose a player who feels unhappy in a band that is making her life a misery.I am sure that there is another band that would welcome her with open arms.Then maybe your friend would get piece of mind and start to enjoy playing again.I also think that it is a crying shame to actually start on someone at an area championships,when the band is there to hopefully qualify for the national finals.What a warped sense of humour this person must have.Does he/she care about the band or not? As someone has mentioned before,all players no matter what position you play are a team.
  20. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I couldn't disagree more, Cubbrep. The worst possible thing you could do is put the bully in a situation that belittles or humiliates them. All that will do is foster resentment and probably worsen the bullying.

    The best suggestions have already been made. The band's committee should be approached and should deal with this matter. The bully should be made to realise that their behaviour will not be tolerated by the band and that, if it came down to the wire, much against the band's wishes of course, the bully would be asked to resign. Nobody is bigger than the band and bullying in the bandroom should not be allowed to happen. When it happens - if it is proven - the bully should be warned and then if things don't improve they should be dismissed.

    Zero tolerance.