You just do 😀
Last rehearsal I got to see the battery and the horns for about 30 minutes at the start of the block. After they warm up/stretch I usually talk to them for a little bit. This time I just lined them up and gave them the exercise I wanted them to do. 8 and 8’s forward twice, 8 and 8’s backward twice, leaving every 16 counts, 16 to 5 hold 8 forward twice, 16 to 5 hold 8 backward twice, leaving every 24 counts. Continuous. Simple, right? Consistent low box 3 performance. Very irritated, very annoyed by an obvious lack of effort to be visually better than the last rehearsal. And some individuals never performed outside of box 2! That means NEVER! One snare in particular, and a couple of people in each horn section! I would have been only disappointed if I had seen flashes of box 5 with mostly high box 4 performance.
We are moving straight lines in straight lines. It does not get any easier. What happens when they have to demonstrate side to side awareness and form control? I shudder to think.
In ranks of 5 to 10 people, 2 to 5 people would have a bad first step EVERYTIME! Really, you’re going to miss the first step? Get a shovel, dig a hole, jump in, cover yourself with dirt; you’re dead. Forget count 2.
Again, I am not sure how much more to speak to these children about expectations, achievement, and what it takes to get it done. Like I said, how do you motivate yourself to be better? You just do!
I understand working with children they cannot see the forest through the trees.
That reminds me of a riddle. How far can you run into a forest? Half way, at that point you are running out of the forest 😀
Habits of the mind. What made me borderline angry at that rehearsal was that in the course of the block they worked hard and had a decent focus. Where was the hard work and focus between last rehearsal and that moment? I have given them the math. Counting all other life activities (school/homework, work, sleep, eat, personal hygiene, personal time (21 hours a week!), travel/commute time) they should be able to manage AT LEAST 4 ½ hours a week to make themselves look smarter. What we do is not an intelligence test. It is simply THE WILL to look absolutely perfect visually.
The sops (trumpets) killed me on one rep after the battery went away to work on vizh with the battery staff. I lined them in ranks by section: tubas, baritones, mellophones, sops. As the watch the ranks move across the field I see two ranks of sops! WHAT?! CUT!!! When did that section decide they were going to split into two ranks, and for what reason. Why would they decide to do something different than what I had asked? Hey how about, hey ray, can we split into two ranks? I will probably say sure, why not. But to just change something for whatever reason without asking? NOOOOOOOO!!!!!
BAD HORN LINE. I say bad horn line because when ONE of you makes a mistake, it is a reflection on ALL of you.
I am pretty sure it was before that that during the hold of one of the previous reps, someone moved. I do not know, other than printing out a dictionary definition, what to do to convey the concept that during a hold, NOTHING moves. Even though it was only one person, that is one too many.
I have no doubt in the end they will achieve a level of performance that is entertaining and acceptable in terms of excellence; I do not want that to be the last week of the season like last year. We have a more challenging production schedule this year. We are going to be away from home for a week and will lose valuable rehearsal time in the middle of the season. Everyone has to look and sound smarter at the START of the season, not the end of it.
We worked the mark time during the visual block also. I hear later from some on the brass staff that it still looks inconsistent. It has been defined. They have been told to apply what they are instructed to do, how to look visually, and apply that during music sectional time. Why they choose to not to do that is borderline insubordination. I understand multiple responsibilities, etc, learning new music, etc.
So here is where I have found myself. I am going to argue that if you are taught something, and you fail to demonstrate that knowledge, there was something wrong in the way you were taught. It is me who sucks. Stop sucking ray.
I have 8 days to figure it out and be a better instructor. I already have some new ideas. What is old is new. 3 more rehearsals and we are learning drill. All individual visual issues WILL be eliminated by then…or…good time to teach them the high mark time. They should be rewarded every time they decide to not listen and follow directions 😀
If you think this is worth sharing, please do
I know audience focus drifted back and forth; its a blog, deal with it 😀