For 34 years I was in Education…..Music Education to be exact. Thirty-two of those years were spent in a middle school band room, with the other two as an administrator.
I can hear some of you gasping now.
Let me tell you, Middle School is where it all happens, especially in the band world.
How Did You Do It?
Well, let me tell you that it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart.
Let me sum it up this way, 6th graders are still babies, 8th graders think they are grown, and 7th graders, ahhhh 7th graders. Well, they are just aliens.
To all you parents of middle schoolers, you will survive it, we did.
Middle school is the place where children find themselves and start becoming the adults they will become, not just in a band room but in life.
As a band director sometimes I got to spend more time with my students than their parents. I had my students for 2-3 years and really got to know them. We traveled so we lived on a bus together, which can get very intimate.
What Do We Teach In Middle School Band
Most of the students who enroll in band in middle school have never played any music at all. Some have been in a choir at church, but most haven’t played an instrument. We start with how to read music, put the instrument together, and make the characteristic sound.
All of these components are expected. But we teach much more.
How to be part of a group that is much bigger than any one person.
How to work together for an end result. Most people think only of high school marching band here, but it begins in middle school.
And let’s not forget the math skills that are reinforced daily. Some days I taught more math than the math teachers.
We also teach social studies through music from around the world.
There are so many other skills that are taught. We will be looking at the benefits of music in education over the next few weeks along with education in general.
I hope this retired educators can shine some light from the other side for someone.
If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments and I will be glad to answer.