Reply To: All State Band Auditions

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I voted for the change.

1. The session last Jan was labeled as “band interest session”, not marching band. The description of the session said, “This session will review the 2016 marching band festival and get feedback to improve the 2017 festival AS WELL AS OTHER ISSUES PERTINENT TO PUBLIC SCHOOL BANDS IN WYOMING.” That is pretty clear what the session was going to be about. I just want to make sure that the board is allowing the band directors of the state to have their voice (if they choose to show up), serving the educators of Wyoming and not becoming too micro managerial. In your classroom if a kid missed the prep day for a test, you don’t move the test back because that kid didn’t come to class.

2. I am a HUGE proponent of kids learning all 12 major scales. Personally, that was a big stepping stone for me as a player and I feel it is vital to my students. However, I do not feel that the purpose of the audition is force kids to learn their scales and many kids, who are wonderfully talented musicians, do not audition because of that aspect. As a music educator, if that is a priority in your band, than that is your responsibility to teach.

3. To use research….. studies show that a valid test is one that does not surprise students. They should know what is going to be on the test if it is going to count towards “the grade” (not be for extra credit or a bonus question). How does keeping the student guessing what scales they are going to draw show us what that student can do as a musician? The sight reading portion of the audition covers that aspect of seeing what they can do in the moment. Scales are about technique and playing within a key. That doesn’t need to be a surprise.