Read it here: cymbolboys.blogspot.com
Our "WHY" is to produce better young people... music is our "HOW".
This "band thing" that we do is an enigma to most. Of course we are about learning and performing music... but it goes FAR beyond just that. A former band parent wrote an outstanding article about this citing his own experiences with the Pope Band.
Read it here: cymbolboys.blogspot.com
Our "WHY" is to produce better young people... music is our "HOW".
Simon Sinek is all the rage on social media and as an author/speaker. His "TedTalk" has been viewed by millions. The principle that he espouses centers on finding out the "WHY" rather than focusing on the "WHAT" and the "HOW". When you think about it, we have embraced that philosophy in our band program for decades.
"WHY" we do what we do is to see students grow and develop as better people.
Our "WHAT" is music.
Our "HOW" is offering bands, chamber ensembles, and performance opportunities.
We focus on the "WHY" as we plan all of our various activities. We search for opportunities for our students beyond the minimum involvement. We teach the "life lessons" in addition to musical information. We create leadership scenarios for our students and encourage them to take on additional responsibility. We bring in professionals to share information and coach our students so that they can get a more global view of what we do. We challenge the process in order for our students to grow and go beyond their comfort zones.
It is easy to get all caught up in the "WHAT"... what music are we playing? What is the theme of the marching show? What concerts will the Jazz Band play? What contests will the Winter Guard attend? What level of difficulty will the group perform at LGPE? These things are all important, but they are not the actual REASON that we do what we do.
The "HOW" is the most obvious. It includes our schedule, our annual calendar, our list of performances, our daily warm-up routines, our audition process, and all the various things we do in order to learn the techniques needed to be a part of the performing groups. Sadly, many people get so involved in the "HOW" (doing the day-to-day routines), that they lose sight of the "WHY".
Our program has produced amazing young people for many years. They have grown, matured, discovered new talents, uncovered hidden skills, and become outstanding leaders among their peers. Over 30 of our alumni have become music teachers. Dozens more are classroom teachers in different subjects. Several have become performers. Others enjoy a leadership status in their chosen field, being in charge of large groups of people or major projects. Many of them communicate with us and share their stories about how being in the band program shaped them into being capable of achieving what they are doing in their adult lives. It's all because of the "WHY"!
Another school year begins and we scramble to get our routines established, figure out our path, and hope that the new year brings success and accomplishment!
To our newest members:
High school is different than middle school. You MUST keep up with assignments, turn things in on time, and ask for help when you need it! The grades you make now will determine how likely you are to get into the college of your choice. Participation in sports, music, clubs, etc. goes from "just for fun" to "something that sets me apart from the masses" and can help universities see your determination, dedication, and motivation. Plan carefully. Put deadlines on a calendar. Put down the phone, cut back on social media, arrange homework time in place of "hang out" time and give yourself every chance to succeed!
In band, we have 4 classes up and running. The Fall Concert is in just a few weeks (and some of you thought we only did marching band during the Fall!). We introduced the students to our website, talked about all of the possible performance groups and opportunities available, and got school instruments into the hands of those who needed them. We assigned band lockers, handed out folders and method books, and started reading new music. The road ahead is filled with musical adventures.... take advantage of as many as you can so that you can experience the fun and sense of pride in your performances!
Parents: We can't have a diverse, successful program without YOU! Read the e-mails, attend the meetings, come to the performances, help with the fundraising, be a chaperone, work on the equipment team.... we can only function at the highest levels when we have volunteers who make it all happen behind the scenes!
Hope to see you all soon!
We are off and running with marching band 2017! Band Camp week has been a challenge from a logistics standpoint with all the construction, but we have persevered and learned a lot of material this week. As we begin school, please be careful to watch the calendar and schedule your other activities around our rehearsals and performances. We have a lot to learn and will be adding new material each week, so it is critical to have everyone attending.
As school begins, please help your students remain organized and assist them with planning for the semester's assignments. If they fall behind and get pulled from band due to grades, we can not maintain our performance levels. Please do not use band as leverage for academics!!! It affects all the other students to have gaps in their performances for missing members.
It is also a great time to get signed up for private lessons and begin the preparation process for auditions for District Honor Band and All State. We would love to see at least 100 Pope students try out for honor band. In order to do well, one-on-one instruction is critical. It is the best and fastest way to attain the upper levels of musicianship.
Finally, be involved in PBPA. We need to support our fundraisers and have parent volunteers for all of the "hands-on" tasks such as uniforms, chaperoning, and equipment crew. You can make a positive difference...and you get to see the students at their best in rehearsals and performances.
Everyone should be aware that the school will shut down on the last student final exam day. For us, that means that anything and everything you need for the summer MUST be taken home with you before you leave on your last day. There will be no access to instruments or equipment between the last day of school and the first day of band camp. Plan accordingly!
Wind Symphony members for 2017-2018: We will be sending lots of info regarding the Carnegie Hall trip in March. Watch for e-mail and Remind messages. Also, plan on participating in fundraising efforts in order to help with trip cost.
There are MANY summer music camp opportunities listed on our website... everything from large camps for marching band to individual instrument camps/weekends. You can find something for your areas of interest.... and especially with our summer rehearsals being cancelled, you can keep active at a summer camp!
As the school year draws to a close, we can look back on many, many wonderful experiences. From marching band to winter showcase, Swing & Sweets to winter guard, LGPE to jazz bands, percussion ensembles to chamber performances, we have covered a lot during this year!
How much you get out of an activity is directly correlated to how much you put in. The more engaged you are, the more opportunities you embrace, the more you experience, the more fun you have. Be one of those who is active and involved! Those who do the bare minimum rarely have as much fun.
We have had amazing performances at our two state music organization evaluations. The Symphonic Bands all did superior performances at their LGPE, and the Jazz Bands also had outstanding, superior performances at Jazz LGPE. Our winter guard had a great competition season, and our percussion ensemble(s) performed at the Lassiter Festival as well as a home concert here at Pope.
We are approaching the band banquet. This is a time when we gather to celebrate the great year we have had as a band family. Please keep this perspective in mind as you plan to attend. Recently, a fellow band director posted on social media that one of his band families told him that if their student wasn't getting an award, then they were not attending the banquet. The responses, as you might expect, were many and all in agreement. "What we do we do as a group." "We teach ensemble". "To be so selfish and/or self-centered that you would ignore the accomplishments of the entire organization because of a certificate or trophy is petty and immature." Let's all reflect on that and make our band banquet a celebration of "us" rather than an evening of "who gets what". We will recognize many great accomplishments from our year and have some great reflections on where we started and where we are today. Come be a part of our special evening!
As we wind up 2016-17, we also look ahead. Contact an eighth grade family and welcome them to the Pope Band program. Reach out to one who isn't sure about participation and encourage them to give it a try. In order to offer the many amazing opportunities that we enjoy, we need new students! Help us chart a path forward that will see our program growing and thriving as we create fantastic memories for our members.
Want college cash? Think bassoon
The less popular the instrument, the more likely a student will get a scholarship.
By JUDITH SCHOOLMAN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
NEW YORK -- The right instrument can turn that C major scale into major cash in college.
Parents of children just beginning their musical careers can improve their child's chance of getting a scholarship by playing the supply and demand song. While the best players on any instrument can score college funds, those proficient on the bassoon, oboe or tuba may give themselves a better chance than their counterparts on the violin, clarinet or flute.
"Generally, more obscure instruments give you a better shot at a scholarship than more common instruments, such as a violin," said Lawrence Ferrara, chairman of the department of music and performing arts professions at New York University. Indeed, in Manhattan School of Music's entering class of 2005, for example, only 25 percent of the violinists got scholarships, while 63 percent of the oboists, 83 percent of the bassoonists, and 100 percent of the tuba players were able to hear the sweet sound of ka-ching with their school admission.
Bassoon player Devin Cohen, a 15-year-old from Bolton, Conn., has been playing bassoon for five years, and has already made the two hours a day he practices pay off. This past weekend, he won $200 for placing third in a music competition in Hartford, Conn.
He said the bassoon is "not that popular," and requires "perfection in different areas." To be sure, admissions officers said the best students on any instrument have a good chance of either gaining admittance or receiving scholarships. "If you are outstanding on any instrument" there's a likelihood of a scholarship, said Richard Adams, vice president and dean of faculty at Manhattan School of Music, which has some 800 conservatory and postgraduate students. Still, the better players of the less popular instruments may find a more receptive audience.
At NYU, there is a "flood of violinists" and a "plenitude of flutes and clarinets," said NYU's Ferrara. But, in order to enroll top-quality players of less popular instruments, also including English horns, French horns and tubas, "we set additional money aside," Ferrara said. He declined to offer specifics about his school's scholarships.
Popular instruments, violins and cellos, which come as small as 1/16 of their full size, are often children's musical instrument preferences, leading to later proficiency and advanced study. In addition, "parents want kids to play more popular, conventional instruments," said Jeremy Conley, director of education at the Bloomingdale Music School on West 108th Street in Manhattan, which teaches toddlers through seniors. Violin, piano and guitar make up the majority of demand at Bloomingdale, with some clarinets and flutes as well. "Percussion is very popular," Conley said. "Kids love to bang on things." Yet there's nary a bassoon or oboe among them, Conley said. "They're very difficult." Costly endeavor - As many parents can attest, the investment in music can be steep.
Even before a child enters the college sphere, parents can spend upwards of $15,000 on music lessons -- an average of $50 per 45-minute lesson -- from around age 7 or 8 until 18, Conley said. Be aware: The less popular instruments are likely to cost more. One local retailer quoted a price of $3,000 for a low-end bassoon. Reeds, which experts say could last from five minutes to five days, cost around $15 - $25. Don't let the financial upside get in the way of a specific musical passion, Ferrara of NYU said. You want your child to "really love the instrument, be drawn to the sound," he said. Cohen, whose favorite composer is Tchaikovsky, said he decided to play the bassoon because "he saw a picture of it and wanted to play it." Cohen advises those who don't know what a bassoon sounds like to rent Disney's "Fantasia," because the sounds that accompany Mickey Mouse when he's a wizard come from a bassoon.
Registration is open, planning has started for next year, and we need to get our new members committed to the band program and signed up for our activities. In order to have successful programs within our band, we need students! Encourage your friends and the upcoming 8th graders to give competition marching band a try. Most students find it to be very rewarding and they come back year after year. Friday Night Band is an option for those playing fall sports at Pope. You only commit to one day per week once football season starts. We strongly encourage EVERY band member to try at least one of these options....those who only do concert band as a class miss out on many wonderful opportunities and experiences. Come on out...you will have a good time and make lots of great memories!
)We are nearing the time of our LGPE performances...please make plans to attend the Pre-LGPE Concerts and the LGPE event (all details on calendar, in newsletter, and on class handouts).
Soon afterwards, we will be having auditions for Fall band placements, Spring Concert preparation, Winter Guard Circuit Championships, Jazz LGPE, the XPLOSION! Show, Percussion Ensemble and Solo performances, Solo & Ensemble Festival, Student Leadership training, and the Band Banquet. Things never really slow down, they just change focus.
We are getting questions about our summer schedule for marching band, and the truth of the situation is that we just don't have details at this point. With the construction, roundabout installation, etc., we have not been able to confirm campus availability. We will post info as soon as we are given details, but it will be a crazy summer and our plans will likely change several times.
We are planning to hold band camp the week of July 17-22, but even that location might not be confirmed until the end of school (it will either be here at Pope or off campus again like last summer. The Tuesday evening practices that we typically do in June will likely be cancelled due to construction. We are planning rookie training for the period immediately after the school year ends, but this is also tentative pending approval. When we know, we will pass along the info. Just keep watching the website/calendar/Remind messages!
Upcoming ninth grade families (current 8th graders):
It is registration time, so sign your student up with band as their first choice elective. We have an informational meeting Monday March 6th at 7p.m. in the Pope Band room. Come hear what we have to offer and listen to current students and parents as they discuss their experiences with the Pope Band.
Current Pope band families... reach out to your friends and neighbors with 8th grade band students and encourage them to enroll. You only get ONE opportunity to experience high school band... and we don't want them to miss it!