Monday, May 11, 2015


Ten Commandments For Band Directors | Pics from the Classroom

Ten Commandments For Band Directors

Thou shalt write these words on thine heart and keep them ever present in thy planning and teaching. With these words as thy guide, thou shalt perfect bands and musicians beyond thine understanding. Copyright Dr. Alfred N. "Buzzy" Green. Used with permission of the author.

1. Thou shalt have no priority higher than beauty of tone, which, when attained, touches the heart and is profound unto itself. Both in each student's and in thy band's sound, thou shalt constantly ponder in thine heart what thou mayest do to improve what thou hearest before thee. In thy listening thou shalt search for, and in thy words thou shalt constantly praise beauty of tone before all in the sound of thy voice that they may know it and strive diligently to acquire beautiful tone above all musical qualities. Thou shalt not praise the tone of he that makes that sound which is not beautiful. Nor shalt thou come to consider beautiful tone to be possible for only those who have reached a fullness of years, for a beautiful tone tunes exceedingly well and brings joy to the heart. He who, even in his childhood, holds and breathes life into an instrument may cause the sound to be beautiful if perchance he studies at the feet of one who believes.

2. Thou shalt teach tuning to thy youngest students, to thy middle school students, and to thy oldest students. Though tuning perfection be elusive and full understanding of acoustical mysteries are beyond the imaginings of thy students, ears are given unto all for this most pleasing use. As the heart warms to a new love, so doth ears warm to accurate intonation. They must be taught when thou warmeth up, when thou playeth loud or soft, when thou playeth scales, when thou marcheth upon the field or the street, and when thou sitteth to play. Yea every sound that cometh forth must be placed before thee and they students as a test of thine accurate hearing. It shall not be pleasing unto thee until it is well tuned. Thou wilt find this endless travail to be thy glory, for in tuning, beauty of tone shall also come forth. Yea, tuning and tone are constant companions and true. They cannot be forced asunder.

3. Thou shalt develop and use a sequential rhythm training curriculum. Thou shalt enter into its mysteries every day and thy students shall explore its wonders with rapture because thou hast caused it to be a delight unto them. They shall learn to speak and to play according to every written rhythm, both simple and compound. Tea, I say unto thee, thou shalt make known to all under thy direction that perfection of rhythm performance is required of all and thou shalt countenance no other result. For this cause, thou shalt teach these things to all thy students and cause them to understand and count well beyond that which they canst play. In this way, they shall not behold music that seems difficult unto them, nor shall they fear when thou ask them to play that which they have not seen before thou asketh it of them. This shall not come to pass without thy daily attention to rhythm and its myriad perfectible qualities.

4. Thou shalt begin thy rehearsals at the appointed time, and thou shalt release thy students from thy control as thou has promised in thy schedule. Thou shalt keep every minute of rehearsal time as a sacred opportunity and teach the value of time unto thy students. To do elsewise is arrogance and shall be a curse unto thee.

5. Thou shalt select from among thy students and their families leaders to assist thee. They shall do all that they canst do, leaving thy days, hours, and minutes for that which thou alone canst bring to pass.

6. Thou shalt honor thy family as that which reveals thy character unto thy students. Thou shalt honor thy husband or thy wife and thine own children in the viewing of thy students lest thy students think thy family abused by thine absence from them.

7. Thou shalt not place earthy rewards - be they ratings or trophies - above musical beauty in the eyes of thy students. Nor shalt thy words be filled with what judges might say or write. Musical beauty and fullness of heart shall be thy trophies and that of thy students.

8. Thou shalt speak truth in all thine utterances. Neither shall falsehood or deceit come out of thy mouth. For though thou mayest attain today's bread by connivance, tomorrow shall find thy soul wanting for joy, yea even for students that thou mayest teach.

9. Thou shalt place before thy city, yea even before thy judges, performances of material, both music and movement, that is fitting for the age of thy students and what thou hast afore taught unto them. Thou shalt respect thy students' limitations of time and abilities and build upon them in a manner worthy of thy calling. For thou art a teacher.

10. Thou shalt live before thy students as a man or woman of honor, taking time for thyself and thine enrichment of mind, body, and spirit. For who shall follow in the steps of him who hath only band as his god? He is a fool whose ways are beyond knowing, and wisdoem hath not come unto him. None shall wish to follow him in the days of his striving nor in the paths of his labor.


Pics from the Classroom