PGCE and Banding


Active Member
Im on a teacher training course and next year is my PGCE year in Geography and everyone keeps telling me that I wont have time for banding or conducting is this the case :?: has anyone been able or not able to do both :?:


I know someone who is doing there PGCE while taking private lessons AND still playing for black dyke. So yeh there should be time to play/conduct in your band


Active Member
thanks guys. Tim I know who you mean but he does the PGCE over two years so it gives him more time. I do band most weekends and through the week so maybe if I just limit them, maybe it will be ok.


Active Member
It's a personal thing- just like it is with any form of studying/job with a lot of hours. Some people find they can't manage the workload and give up (well put on hold) things they previously did in personal time. Others find they can fit in it. Teacher training is a very stressful and busy period. You have to work really hard and have a lot of hours to put in when you finish school with planning and assignments. When I did my training I kept banding. I needed something to do that wasn't teacher related and some people to socialise with that weren't teachers! (not meaning to offend anyone here :wink:). I seriously believe if you are planning to become a teacher you need to start getting that balance right at the beginning.....locking yourself up and working all the hours god sends will not do much for your sanity! What I did was work really hard during the day (especially when you are on placements etc....use those free periods productively........get the planning done and out of the way! Although I know I felt like sitting in the corner of the staffroom with a coffee then sleeping for an hour!!!). If you plan things out you can minimise the amount of stuff you have to do in the evenings (especially those last minute lesson plans for 1st thing the next morning that do interfere with any plans you had). Just like revision, if you allocate time for the things you need to get done and stick to it, it infringes alot less one time you should be spending earning some well deserved rest (which you will need!!! :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: )

Hot Lips


:shock: It all depends on what type of person you are I think. Some people I know have just been looking for an excuse to give up banding and a PGCE has been it. Others (such as myself) have muddled through and managed to continue playing. You have to realise that it is going to be very different to 'normal' university life and you wont have anywhere near the same amount of time. It is however easier than when you start teaching full time!

If you are very diligent and organised you may find your work suffers too much to continue. Me, my priorities were the band and this may have done my career some damage if I had not recognised that I wasnt doing my job justice and choose another career.

On a more positive note many people I know are successful banders and brilliant teachers. You will only find out whatv you can manage by accessing the situation when you have started your course.

Dave Euph

If banding is a hobby, then there is no reason to give it up for the sake of doing a PGCE, but obviously it is down to whether you think you can manage it.

I think it is especially wrong that people should "tell" you you won't have the time - how do you know? What if you are intending to teach music?


Supporting Member
Teaching and Banding

I can proudly state that I managed it - admittedly 15 years ago before you had to write down how many times you went to the loo, what colour it was and whether it smelled or not). I managed to keep on banding but I determined before I started that I would keep going.

I must admit it was hell for a while, especially as the lecturers didn't much like bands and they kept telling me how important it was to do this and that. Of course, they hadn't been in a classroom for 20 years and then it had been a grammar school!

You might have to cut down, but do NOT give up. Band was the only thing that kept me my sanity. :hammer :guiness :bounce


Active Member
Ask Valvecap - he's in the middle of a PGCE at present. He has successfully kept his banding going and put in many hours at band, particularly before the Regional Contest which was much appreciated, clocking up many hundred miles in the process.

Of course, he has a very understanding and supportive conductor!

There are times when it will be difficult and much will depend on where you are placed in school, but you may find that you really need band to take you away from the stresses of the classroom.



Active Member
I know Pythagoras managed it without too many problems - he even found time to attend the after-band lock-ins!! Aaaaah, those were the days!


Supporting Member
know Pythagoras managed it without too many problems - he even found time to attend the after-band lock-ins!! Aaaaah, those were the days!
Ah! But that's just the student's innate ability to not let anything interfere with his drinking! :)


PGCE is a ton of paperwork and like Sparkly said, it depends on how organised you are.

When I did mine 3 years ago, I was conducting the Uni wind band once a week and also playing for a championship section band twice a week as well as the Uni Orchestra which meant I was out 4 times a week for at least 2 hours. It meant that I was doing all my paperwork either in my frees or as soon as I got in from school before a rehearsal or skipping the pub afterwards and doing when I got home, sometimes till 1am and then having to teach the next day which was a killer!

I found it really hard on my first placement but a lot easier on my second - down to a different attitude from the mentors I had in both schools so wait till you get to the school and see how it goes!

I wouldn;t decide until you find out your placements and have sussed the school out a bit. If you know someone who is on the course already, have achat with them because each PGCE course and subject differs - I said my paperwork mountain was massive but I didn't have to do as much marking as the Matsh guy who was marking for 4 hours a night!

If you are placed miles away from where you currently live, you might have to relocate anyway so it could be impossible.

Best thing to do would be to let your band know that you might not be able to carry on with as much commitment due to work now and see how it plans out between now and september!

Once you've got the year out of the way though, it is a hell of a lot easier!!!!

Rambo Chick

yes you will have time as i have a friend who not only maintains his banding whilst doing his PGCE but does a host of other extra curricular activities-all clean!!

plus has time for social activities!!



I did my PGCE last year and managed to keep up with band, conducting the training band, the work load and beer!!! Stressful though! You've just go to make the most of your time when you've got it! I did speak to band though and made it clear that at times my committment might suffer (practising definately did!!). Does get better though when you start teaching full time!


Active Member
I did my PGCE in 2000-2001, and managed to continue to play in my band, as well as work at Marks and Spencers on Saturday and Sunday and train at the gym. Admittedly it was a lot of work but as long as you're organised and your conductor knows you may miss the odd rehearsal then I can't see why you shouldn't continue to play.


Having a number of teachers in NMYBB why don't you talk to them? PM me for e-mail address.

I know some of them found it a struggle but all seemed to keep in contact with the band during their PGCE year - a lot of the weekends do fall during holiday period. Can't comment on weekly band practices but I'm sure you'll work out whats best for you quite early on.


Aye - it can be done if you have the right mentallity - From a teaching point of view, teaching about deforestation is a doddle as you can use the PGCE as an example of paper wastage - your wrong! - you dont have to write down how many times you visit the loo - you have to do it in TRIPLICATE!!!!
Seriously, their is so much work involved that you will end up very tired at some point or other - however, if you have an understanding MD (cheers David) and are not afraid to say "im signing off band for tonight", it is possible to strike a very workable balance. Banding is an escape from the stresses of the classroom a lot of the time.

Besides - where iun school would you hear the 'teacher' (MD) say "Front Row - Finger your parts..." lol

If you need any advice on the geography side of the PGCE, PM me.

Look out world - i qualify in 9 weeks!!!!!


Active Member
I didn't start banding until my PGCE year. Surely its better (well healthier) to spend 2 hours at band then 2 hours in the pub to try and forget about work, than just spending 4 hours in the pub. :D

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