After figuring out that which needed to be figured out, I parked myself in front of the International Cafe (did anyone else notice that? Bell Gardens HS doesn’t have a cafeteria; they have an International Cafe, with adjacent “Staff Dining.”)
My morning chill spot of the moment was strategically located near the bandroom, our gathering location. There were only a couple of people there before us (Hotcakes, Karen, y Yo) so as others arrived, if they appeared to need directing, I directed 🙂 Of course, the nearby tables were too tempting for drummers to not put down pads and peck away. Drummers gotta drum. In a short amount of time, quite a number of drummers were now gathered and filling the air with beats, and Alex came out of the bandroom to tell them to sign in 🙂
Hotcakes had checked with Mike regarding our morning zone and restroom location.
Gathered the masses emerging from the bandroom briefly before sending them to the truck to grab their equipment. As I watched bodies move up the truck’s main steps to the second level I noticed the hornline had taken the initiative, as the battery was standing, waiting. Anticipating that would be the case was the reason I was there observing. Inspite of the fact that my first formal direction was to go get their equipment from the truck, the battery wasn’t sure that meant them too.
The previous rehearsal would have been battery’s first time with equipment, but weather conditions had me change that plan, and because of the shortness of time in previous vizh blocks, I’d never had them bring equipment to the field. This provided an excellent teaching moment.
“Kennon (center snare), first thing when you see me, ask me what the plan is. I will let you know as much as I can, then you help spread the word. If you sense the original plan might change, check with me. At that point the plan may, or may not change. Either way, if you’re not absolutely sure what’s going on, and I’m around, ask me. If I don’t know, maybe we can figure it out together.”
Trevor wasn’t there, hope he got his ice cream. Afton led the stretch and warm up. Then Hotcakes took the hornline and I went with battery to side two end zone.
Started with a word about their playing, as I usually do, as most vizh instructors do 😛 , reminding them of words that have been shared by the percussion staff in regards to playing and moving.
First time with equipment so kept the first exercise as basic as possible.
The second rep was drastically better than the first.
This pattern repeated itself throughout the morning with each additional exercise, which is annoying and encouraging. It means they are smart enough to follow directions, but don’t care enough, yet, to do it right the first time.
I glanced a few times at the hornline during the morning, and from a distance, I noted measurable excellence in effort and achievement. Talking with Hotcakes later, he had the same observation about the battery, but neither of us found the effort or achievement level acceptable with the sections we worked with, if they are to become the quality of drum corps they desire to be.
It’s like we’re working with kids! 😀
We as instructors have much more to improve on in delivering actionable information. They, the members, are smart. They are just inconsistent in their effort, and in their physical and mental stamina, at this point.
I am determined to see them meet and exceed the challenges that lie ahead.