For music educators - By music educators
So the rehearsal day is finally here...you've prepared your score, your lesson plan, your time allotments and are psyched to go!
In come the kids, some warm up, some chat. Either way, there can be at least 1 who plops down with no music and/or no instrument.
I'm seeking suggestions of people's approaches to handling this problem on the spot.
We'd agree it is so frustrating as you can quickly lose time to finding them an instrument, making copies, or just get generally worked up from them not being prepared and take away from your excitement and focus on the students who are ready to go. However, just having them sit there and do nothing feels like it neglects them of some sort of opportunity.
Aside from making preparedness and grading expectations clear from the beginning what thoughts can people share?
Celebrate the students who are prepared by:
sending the to chamber music rehearsal on things they love
having those chamber groups perform for special events
asking if they might like to work one on one with deserving strugglers
special privileges or stickers for their IDs
rewarding them with whatever behavior mod system is in place at your school. (bear bucks @ my place)
sit them at the very rear of the section so that their sound comes "Through" the non-practicers.
Communication with parents Practice logs. (parent signatures)
I always kept elementary rhythms sticks handy. If a student didn't bring his instrument or his music, he was asked to hold the rhythm stick in the same position as if it were his instrument - if at all possible. (He was to at least hold it where I could see him fingering the notes.) The band students thought this to be funny but the student who had to do it did not necessarily enjoy it. Results: He usually remembered to bring his instrument and/or music with him after experiencing the "un-joy" of fingering/tapping a rhythm stick. I thought it to be a "nice" and practical way to emphasize the importance of coming to rehearsals prepared. Respectfully, Pamela Rezach