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NOTES FROM AN IRATE WIFE OF A BAND DIRECTOR

NOTES FROM AN IRATE WIFE OF A BAND DIRECTOR

This is my week of rants. Yeah, I ranted yesterday too. I feel I deserve it. If I keep the words all bottled up inside, I sometimes feel I may explode. What are the chances? Anyway it makes me feel better to write it all down and then I can be on my way again next week with more pleasant things to say. I’ll be happy. You’ll be happy. Some may not be happy. Oh well…

This is what no one gets:

  • Don’t hold grudges when things don’t go your way.
  • Patience is a virtue of a musician. Practice it.
  • It’s all in the attitude.
  • You don’t have to like the band director or any other teacher, but you are still required to do the work.
  • If you hate band, drop the class. It’s not a requirement.
  • After school rehearsals and sectionals are homework. Don’t do your homework and your lowered grade will be evidence.
  • Know your music before you walk through the band room door.

With a small band everyone plays a solo. Missing a rehearsal or two or three holds the rest of the band back. It is a big deal. Rehearsal time the next day is given to you – the absentee – so that you can catch up with what the rest of the band learned the day before. The rest of your classmates are being bored to tears waiting for you to ‘get it’ and that escalates into boredom, frustration, and anger. If attendance was greater and consistent there could be less rehearsal time. A win-win for all.

Oh parents, this isn’t all about your student. It’s also all about you and how you hold your child accountable for his actions and how you take care of situations because you are on the ‘board’ of the band parent organization. “Of course it’s ok for Sally to miss rehearsal. I’m the president – vice president – secretary, etc.” Wrong answer!

Where is the parent when the percussion captain announces one week before the most important performance of the year, “I’m not going to do the concert this year.”

Can he do that? It’s a class that comes with a grade for heaven’s sake. Apparently he can. I wouldn’t want to bring home that grade home to Mama!

Where are the parents that should be out there in the audience cheering and supporting their children? I don’t care if ‘The Voice’ is on tonight or sister Grace is visiting from out-of-town. There’s always room for one more spectator. Bring Grandma, Uncle Thomas, and all the cousins to that concert or marching performance. The more the merrier.

While Billy or Sue are out for a birthday dinner or family obligation the rest of the band is working hard to learn their parts so they can be bored to tears when Billy and Sue return to the land of the living.

All rehearsals are mandatory as are all performances. Why would they not be? Be there or be square. Evidently,  H has a lot of square students.

Marching MPA and Concert MPA are your bands grades for the district. It shows what your band is made of and what others can expect from you. You can’t just expect a superior and it happen. You have to work for it as a team. Sometimes you are lucky and squeak through – sometimes not. Hard work and determination should make you feel better about the superior score you just received.

Sadly, this rant all comes on the coat tails of receiving a straight superior score – the eleventh in a row – at Concert MPA. Yes, even in sight-reading.

I’m just saying – it doesn’t have to be so hard. Do your part and the tension lessens. Don’t and it all comes crashing down on your head!

Yep he’s persistent. He’s old school. He believes in accountability, hard work and coming out on top. It’s all or nothing. This isn’t a popularity contest and no one promised it would be easy.

Again…be there or be square.

~Elle

WHEN IT’S OKAY TO LIE

WHEN IT’S OKAY TO LIE

We’ve all done this. Lie that is. Come on now – be honest. Don’t lie about it. In the course of our lives we have all had the opportunity and have probably taken advantage of that opportunity to tell a little-white-lie or two or three. Is that a bad thing? Maybe – maybe not. It depends.

I believe it’s okay to tell that little-white-lie so as not to hurt someone’s feelings. You know what I mean. When your very best friend asks if you like her new haircut, outfit, or the choice of restaurant she picked for the two of you to have lunch, your answer is quickly stated with a fake smile and “I love it!” All along  you are cringing at the thought of having to eat at that restaurant, seated across from the haircut from hell, in  the outfit that doesn’t fit! What is she thinking?

It’s even okay for your husband or significant other to say, “You look great!” when you know you have put on a few pounds in all the wrong places. This is a very safe little-white-lie. It makes you feel better and he doesn’t have to sleep on the couch!

So when is it not okay? Consider these points that I actually have heard second-hand from H.  So yes, I do know what I’m talking about.

  • It’s not okay to send an email to your child’s teacher saying Billy won’t be able to make that scheduled mandatory rehearsal tomorrow afternoon because he has other family obligations when Billy really has talked said parent into covering for him!
  • It’s not okay to tell your teacher you missed a performance because your Grandmother passed away – and she didn’t! Poor Grandma. 😦 (What ever happened to ‘The dog ate my homework’?)
  • It’s not okay to skip an afternoon  rehearsal because you were sick when you just left the class thirty minutes earlier with no signs of sickness, a smile on your face, and your girlfriend/boyfriend waiting in your car!
  • It’s not okay to send an email or text saying your child missed rehearsals last week because of sickness in the family when he really was goofing off with his friends!
  • It’s not okay to say, “We were out-of-town for that performance” when you child was really at home babysitting the younger kids for you!
  • It’s not okay to say you missed the performance because you didn’t have a ride when you never really tried to get one!
  • It’s not okay to say you didn’t know there was a rehearsal because you don’t get the emails! (Yes you do and it’s written on the board and talked about in every class.)

Is it really okay for parents to send out these messages to their children that it okay to lie? The majority of those ‘little-white-lies’ in the bullets up there were from kids. They had to learn from someone though and it’s usually from the parents. The first time you tell that little-white-lie is when your child takes it and runs with it – all the way through life!

Think about it next time you pick up the phone to call or text or open you computer to send that not-so-true email. Is this really what you want to teach your children? Is this the way to make them responsible adults? Will they even know what accountability is from your actions?

Okay, I’m done with my rant and I feel better. 😉 When was the last time you told that not-so-true little-white-lie?

~Elle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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