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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPedagogy(Moderators: JP, Doug Elliott) Elementary Band Recruiting Ideas?
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formerly tbone stakes

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« Reply #20 on: Dec 23, 2003, 12:52PM »

Originally posted by Brandon Natelli:
Originally posted by trombonist15354:
I am all for the trombone Advocacy Association mentioned by dantrough.  That’s a wonderful idea.  Where I live, band starts in seventh grade.  I moved from Texas, which has a wonderful band program that starts in 6th grade.  When I was just starting I remember there being 21 trombones, many of which stuck with it.  Getting back to Florida, not many kids start on the trombone and barley a fourth of the 4 or 5 kids that usually start every year in my old Middle School stick with it into High School.  
  All of these tings you do to attract kids to the band program are great and I am very happy the community there supports the band program.  I live in a very expensive neighborhood very close to the beach, with a lot of people making their children play violin. (I guess this is just some rule of nature, or at least around here, that if a kid has very rich parents, he or she will most likely play a stringed instrument)  Even the orchestra isn’t very good.  I wish there were a way to get kids excited about band and trombone in particular.  

I am very envious of the support your band program gets.

Play a really hard violin concerto on the trombone.  If that doesn't wow them, they are lost to you.  I have always loved the way the trombone is so versitle, maybe if you can take advanged of this?
It's a good idea, probably better for those who are already interested in band but not sure of an instrument or for those who've started and want to keep motivated.

However, for kids in, say, 5th to 7th grade, most simply aren't interested in classical music (but that can change, with time). Play them something they know. Get a group together and do multiple styles, maybe do a ska number with emphasis on trombone, do rock, and jazz, and classical--appeal to multiple audiences.

Well, my two cents anyway.
« Reply #21 on: Jan 01, 2004, 07:50AM »

I think you're on the right track, maximum exposure to the instruments and their characteristics is important.  I agree with tbone stakes about playing a variety of music styles that incorporate various instruments.

It is important to present the strengths of each instrument individually.  I grew up in Frederick Maryland and when I was choosing my instrument while at Green Valley elementary not all instruments were given equall introduction.  The trombone, for isntance, was presented as an instrument for those students who could not handle a trumpet (either the range or the concept of valves).  I was interested in the trombone but was apprehensive because I was made to feel like I was inherently a lesser musician because I was not playing the trumpet.  I was playing an instrument who's purpose was to give a failed trumpeter a chance to play in the band (at least that is how I percieved it as a fourth grader).

One band you may want to consider playing for the students is Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.  Each of their songs tends to put a spotlight on a defferent instrument in the band.  Many children will recognize the band as they have had some of their songs featured in Disney films.  

Mentioning the band trips that middle schools and high schools go on may be helpful.

Any way, that is my input.  You seem to be doing a lot already and that is awesome.  I would have welcomed such efforts as a grade schooler.

M. Williams

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« Reply #22 on: Jan 02, 2004, 05:28PM »


LOVE that post!

You are one seriously warped trombonist (sorry for the redudnancy).

We have to appeal to the wiseguys in class.  Honestly, how many of us went to school where the class clowns invariably ended up in the trombone/low brass section?

Let me tell you about my HS experience...

Tuba player who would play the Meow Mix jingle every chance he got (went on to the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park)

Trombonist who would create his own redneck narration to Carmen Dragon's arrangement of America the Beautiful (no, not me) having to do with being from Texas (we both grew up in Michigan)...

Baritone player who would do comedy routines during rehearsal breaks...

Another Baritone player who would lead cheers like, "nuts and bolts, nuts and bolts, we got screwed" during football ganes...

Trust me when I tell you we had some seriously wacky individuals in our section...but boy could we play!

Not every kid who wants to be in band is the leader/future doctor/lawyer/community icon...and it's not like that in the real world, either.  I've spent most of my career encouraging misfits and geeks, Scholars and jocks, all kinds of students to play low brass instruments.

You aren't getting students who want to stick with it?  Make it sticky enough and they might surprise you.

Daniel De Kok
Principal, Warminster (PA) Symphony Orchestra
B.M. Michigan
M.M. Western Michigan
M.S.L.S. Clarion
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