This just may be a problem in my area, but I wanted to put this thought out there and get other impressions. It has only been 11 years since I graduated from high school, and already it seems to me that students are not as motivated as they once were. Or maybe dedicated is a better word. I don’t know. Here’s what I mean:
I feel like when I was in high school, we had students in our group that were totally dedicated to the program. They would never consider missing a rehearsal, or God-forbid, a performance, for anything. I can remember hanging out before and after school in the band area with a group of quite a few other students. I took private lessons, and so did many other students. Band was my favorite class of the day, and I just couldn’t wait to get there. There more band activities that I could be involved in, the better. All of my friends were in band. If I was in the band, why would I go to a basketball game and not play in the Pep Band? That’s where all of my friends were. I would never dream of not preparing my music for a lesson, or a rehearsal, or a performance. I could go on, but I think you probably get the idea. It just seems that I am over-run with students who are not motivated to be better musicians, students, and humans, and who are not dedicated to the program.
Now, I know there are a number of factors that are unique to my situation that could have an impact on this. The program has had 3 different directors in the last 10 years. The band is a small group, and almost every student is involved in several other activities (that of course conflict with band in every way imaginable). Perhaps that blame here should be placed on me and the way I run the program. I know that my directors were very influential in shaping my attitude about the band. On the other hand, maybe I just haven’t been here long enough to make that much of a difference yet. Don’t get me wrong, I do have students that are very dedicated and somewhat(!) motivated. It is just a very, very small group of students – like 5 or so!
Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated!