Okay, so I'll never love the clarinet. Especially after being subjected to the squeaking and squawking of no less than SIX beginning clarinet students. Oh, there were supposed to be seven, but one was a no-show.
Speaking of no-shows....
That pretty much describes my first night of practice with the band solo kids last night. The number of participants was down -- way down. I think there were about 40 kids two years ago and there were close to 35 kids last year. This year I think the number is closer to 25.
But the numbers in band at our school are also down. In a way, that's good. The kids who really don't want to be there are gone, so the kids that want to be there can do a better job. In fact, the director told me that his 6th graders have undergone an amazing transformation of improvement lately. When he asked them if they had any reason why, every kid said it was because two kids dropped out of band. Interesting....
Anyway, it was a long night of rehearsal last night, which involved us getting moved to three different rooms over the course of the evening. Frustrating, but given we had so few kids, we really stayed on schedule for a change.
The band director only made two kids cry, which is, I believe, the same number as last year. There was a second year trumpet player who was doing just fine, but who just got flustered when playing with the piano. I may extend the offer to do some extra practice with him since he's so close to doing a great job. The other kid really was quite far behind the others in his group. Again, he got flustered, but in this case, he really didn't put in any of the work he needed.
That being said, it's a pretty good crop of kids this time around. Nearly every one of them is very close to being ready, with only a few minor things to work out in their songs. There's always the fun of the beginning students who are soooooo nervous and who struggle to count rests so they come in when they aren't supposed to.
We have one more big practice next week. We'll see how much better they are then.....
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