Junior High Band
Conducting Tips

Metronome Use

Conductors are supposed to be able to conduct the exact tempo indicated by the composer. We develop tempo memory aids, i.e., mm 60 is one beat per second, mm120 is the tempo of "Stars and Stripes Forever," etc. We know how to find the tempo by using a watch with a second hand, i.e., mm 84 is seven beats in five seconds or 14 beats in ten seconds. But fatigue and the amount of adrenaline in our system can affect our judgment.

I found it very helpful to occasionally rehearse with a metronome amplified through the band room sound system. It took the pressure off me to maintain the tempo and it was easy for everyone to tell when we were speeding up or slowing down. It was also a fun "new thing" to do occasionally.

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.