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Bill Adam
15-01-08, 12:39 AM
My post on metronomes got me to thinking. As school band directors we try, not always successfully, to instill in our students that we hold band rehearsal to put together what you practiced on your own. So, we call them band rehearsals and not band practices. Too often students think that they can use "rehearsal time" as their practice time.

I find myself always referring to pipe band practice and I hear that a lot from others. I also know that I have some that only pick up their pc when we meet for full rehearsal and look at this as their practice time.

I'm curious. What do you use, the term band practice or band rehearsal? Do you think using the term rehearsal consistantly will get the idea across to most (hopefully all) that we do not practice here but rehearse and that they need to practice on their own.

Disclaimer: I do know that all of us have pipers who do practice on their own and don't need terminology such as this to get them going. Just looking for ways to get more out of those who don't. (If that's possible)

PowerBoozer007
15-01-08, 02:35 AM
Great topic Bill, one of my favourites!

Being thrown into a PM's position back in 96, I quickly learned what not to do when trying to run a band. Was a foreign concept to call out a tune and then you can't play it because nobody bothered learning it.

It all comes down to expectations, if you don't outline what the commitment level is expected from the members, then they will assume the position of least amount of effort.

I run a practice like a playing session, meaning when a tune is called out to play, you better know it.

Some say they just want to have fun, but what is fun about sounding like crap? Music is made to be enjoyed, not endured!

Bill Adam
15-01-08, 04:50 AM
Great topic Bill, one of my favourites!

Some say they just want to have fun, but what is fun about sounding like crap? Music is made to be enjoyed, not endured!

Several of us in the band are working hard to get rid of "just having fun." That is not an easy thing to do. That is pretty much why we didn't compete last season.

macpiper
15-01-08, 06:47 AM
Several of us in the band are working hard to get rid of "just having fun."

Maybe it's just cause I'm still a newbie on the PC but to me going to practice (and for me it's still just a practice...but I guess in a way rehersal of all I've done that week) is fun. I love going. I love the people I'm with when I'm there and I love doing what I'm doing. So it's fun. Frustrating at times but fun. If it wasn't fun for me then I wouldn't be doing it. But I practice on my own, again cause it's fun. There's nothing I enjoy more than driving my husband and child nuts with drones that squeal. Since Phyx helped me they don't squeal so that little nugget of fun is gone but I'll find something else that'll drive them just as nuts.

UpstatePiper
15-01-08, 01:25 PM
Our practices are run like a rehearsal. Play a tune; P/M gives advice for how to play it better; play it again. We call it "practice" but the P/M does occasionally mention that everyone needs to be practicing on their own.

Stig
15-01-08, 02:39 PM
You are getting into a knit picking over wording. If this is happening in a school that you are a director of then you should run it like any other class or line of studies. If you give a student a tune to practice and learn at home and they don't do it then it should be reflected in their grade. Just because it isn't what some would consider a major course of study (ex. Math, History, Science) they are still expected to learn the material and show up for class having learned it at home. Does a history teacher let a student practice while taking a test? The answer is no, when they give a test you are expected to know the material and when you play a piece in your band class you are testing your students and they are expected to know the music.

If this is happening in a non-school setting then handling it becomes a different issue. I am all for having fun while playing but a band is only as strong as its weakest member so if you have peole that don't know a tune well then it reflects on the entire band. Certain tests should apply to bands as well, and if you have members that don't know a tune to a satisfactory level then they should either not be allowed to march or should be forced to not play on that particular song or set.

PowerBoozer007
15-01-08, 04:35 PM
We don't have any set rules in our band as I refuse to run it like a daycare center for adults. Everyone knows the drill and it's up to each individual to maintain a standard of playing that doesn't degrade the performace level of the band.

There's really only one common understanding that we all operate with, when there is no longer a desire to play, then the need ceases for a band to exist.

Scarlet O'Hair
15-01-08, 04:53 PM
Too often students think that they can use "rehearsal time" as their practice time.


This was one of my biggest beefs when I was running the band.


Some say they just want to have fun, but what is fun about sounding like crap? Music is made to be enjoyed, not endured!

Amen

Our practices are run like a rehearsal. Play a tune; P/M gives advice for how to play it better; play it again. We call it "practice" but the P/M does occasionally mention that everyone needs to be practicing on their own.

I love that model.


if you have members that don't know a tune to a satisfactory level then they should either not be allowed to march or should be forced to not play on that particular song or set.

What a tough and frustrating thing to have to impose. Necessary though. You wouldn't make it into the circle not playing up to par, you shouldn't be on the march either.

We don't have any set rules in our band as I refuse to run it like a daycare center for adults

Simply "getting a kilt" should not be the goal for band members. Everyone should be working together for a common goal. Chewing them out is hell for everyone involved.

Bobby
15-01-08, 05:40 PM
ok...practice or rehearsal.....not everyone is aware of the different mindset for each and can assume they mean the same thing.

One of the problems "teaching" bands often face is that while they are great at atttracting prospective members, they often find themselves losign them later on when their abilities exceed the focus of the weekly band practice. Bands that are not "teaching" bands often have a hard time attracting new players because they don't typically invest time and effort inot developing members abilities. There has to be a happy medium between the two philosophies to be a successful sustainable band.

In a sustainable band, often part of the year is dedeicated to developing players abilities through learning new tunes together and would be classically referred to as "practices", while the rest of the year is devoted to perfecting the group performance as much as is possible and that means the players practice and learn the tunes on their own at home and come together to rehearse and perfect the performance. That would be termed a rehearsal. I've often found that groups that try to achieve both in a single session every week achieve neither.

PMB
15-01-08, 11:26 PM
I use both practice and rehearsal to descirbe what happens.

Practice is from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. Then assistance is given to help people resolve any issues with the way they play a tune.

Rehearsal is from 8:00 to 10:00PM. The band plays and we work to improve the band sound (both pipes and drums and all together). 8 to 10 is very much alomg the lines described by UpStatepiper.

Just another point, we don't actually "teach" a tune. New music is issued and the PM or appointed person plays it through a few times on pc with everyone arround the table. If individuals need further assistance they are expected to ask for help from the PM, PS or one or two other band notables (those who are are asked to help are expected to do so).

Just the way we do things, and we do not actually care what people call it so long as they are there AND are prepared, having practiced at home!

PowerBoozer007
16-01-08, 12:04 AM
Just the way we do things, and we do not actually care what people call it so long as they are there AND are prepared, having practiced at home!

That's just the point, if they are not working on the music, what do they expect the band to sound like?

Do they want to let their band mates down by not pulling their fair share of the weight?