Monday, September 24, 2018
IN THIS ISSUE:
How To Make Everyone Happy
Rule #1: You can never make everyone happy. If you make that your goal, YOU will be unhappy. That is the only rule.
But, here are 30 helpful hints (from experience) that may be useful:
- Two things are contagious: Enthusiasm and Complaining. Encourage the first one.
- Performing at sporting events is part of the gig. Embrace it. See #1 about Complaining.
- Coaches: Kill them with kindness. If you expect reciprocation, you may be disappointed.
- Drop in and visit with the Athletic Director a couple of times a week.
- OVER-communicate with your parents. Send a weekly email with a schedule of all events, rehearsals and deadlines.
- Your band boosters have three jobs:
- Make money
- Props/Uniforms etc.
- Thank your parents/boosters continuously.
- Communicate often with administrators. Inform them of all your successes.
- LEAD THE WAY when it comes to school spirit...it is dying and needs to be revived.
- Band is supposed to be FUN. That doesn't mean it is easy. Being GOOD is really fun.
- Your band is a family. Treat it that way. Sit down and talk at the appropriate times.
- "Firm but Fair" is a good cover-all philosophy for teaching band.
- Kids are not dots.
- When you see kids outside of school don't talk about band. Ask them about other stuff.
- Handle individual discipline problems in private. The band doesn't need to constantly witness the drama. Keep the spin positive.
- Discipline: Avoid "Gotcha" scenarios; that's not fair. Be a One-Minute Manager: come down hard, then forget it.
- Adopt this into your vocabulary:"EXCELLENCE is being better today than you were yesterday. EXCELLENCE does not take days off...it's a lifestyle."
- Don't make excuses for perceived failures. Own it. Work harder.
- Have an Attendance Policy and stick to it.
- Engage your band's IMAGINATION. It will pay off big time.
- WE before ME.
- Utilize your staff members' strengths. DELEGATE and TRUST.
- You and your staff should have a good LAUGH at least once a day. Take the time to "BS" one another every now and then!
- Listen to your kids, parents, administrators, staff members and YOUR FAMILY. Do it without speaking...
- Have non-band hobbies: Coach a soccer team, play golf, play Fantasy Football.
- Everyone on your team should learn to EMBRACE STRUGGLE. That is where the GROWTH is.
- Sight-read something everyday. Even if it's just rhythms written on the board. The only way to get better at sightreading is to sight-read.
- "ALWAYS make your best sound."
- Do not compromise on how the band UNIFORM will be worn. Always insist that it be worn with PRIDE and DIGNITY.
- Ask yourself every day: How do I want this to end? What do I want the final performance to be like? AND THEN GO TEACH LIKE YOUR HAIR IS ON FIRE!
|Chris Harris has been a band director in Oklahoma for the past 26 years and has taught at Owasso High School in Owasso since 2004. In June of 2014 he was named Director of Bands for Owasso Public Schools. He conducts the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band 2, teaches AP Music Theory and coordinates the PRIDE of Owasso Marching Band. His bands have earned 23 Oklahoma Secondary School Association Sweepstakes awards and 10 Jr. High Outstanding Achievement Awards. Harris graduated from the University of Oklahoma with Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education in 1990 and 1992, respectively.|