Monday, September 15, 2014
THREE MUSTS FOR EVERY MARCHING BAND
by AAron Bryan
ESTABLISH A STARTING ROUTINE
Start on time, every time. Think about the message it sends when students are on time, yet nothing is happening for a few minutes as the rehearsal begins. Make sure a regular activity (stretching, fundamentals, warm-ups, etc) begins when the clock strikes (8:00).
Start in the same block or warm-up arc everyday and assign each student a specific spot. Students know exactly where they're supposed to be & when, making taking attendance very easy, and emphasizes being on time.
Visual Fundamentals are arguably the most important part of your daily marching band routine. An All-State musician who cannot march well, does not sound like an All-Stater when moving. An individual's Visual Performance affects their Music Performance, which also affects Music Ensemble & GE Music, as well as each Visual caption.
If I had only 30 minutes of rehearsal a day, I would spend at least 10 minutes in Visual Fundamentals. It's that important.
When I began teaching at Broken Arrow, I was shocked at the slow pace in which bands throughout that area taught their shows. I had always operated under the mind-set that getting the entire show on the field as quickly as possible, followed by cleaning was the best approach. I quickly came to understand the differences between information overload vs. mastery learning. When students were presented with more information (drill) after having a "performance-ready" level of understanding of what they had previously been given, there was much more retention and much less re-teaching.... and frustration, etc. Students were very confident and proud of what they were doing throughout the season, and I had a lot more fun as a teacher.
Palen Music Center
AAron Bryan taught band for 13 years, the last 8 at Broken Arrow High School, home of the nationally acclaimed Pride of Broken Arrow Marching Band - the 2006 Bands of America Grand National Champion. Mr. Bryan was an 8-time Oklahoma Band Director Sweepstakes winner and his Wind Ensemble performed as one of three Oklahoma bands selected to OMEA’s Friday evening Honor Concert in 2009. AAron was a lead soprano soloist and brass instructor for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps and later served as Brass Caption Head for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps. AAron holds Master of Arts degrees from Truman State University in Conducting and Trumpet Performance and a Bachelors Degree in Education from Missouri State University. He is in demand as a clinician, conductor, and drill writer across the midwest. Mr. Bryan’s professional affiliations include Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, Northeast Oklahoma Band Directors Association, MENC, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, and he is certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.