Junior High Band
Organizational Tips

Store Instruments Securely

When I started teaching at the junior high the instrument storage was limited to cages (without locks) on the back wall of the band room and large shelves in a practice room. Although most of the students were kind and didn’t disturb other instruments, some students thought it was funny (an unfortunate part of the junior high mentality) to play tricks on each other. They would move instruments, take reeds, “borrow” valve oil, etc. One day I found all the parts of a tuba (valves, slides, bell, mouthpiece, etc.) strewn around the room.

I requested lockers and locks to solve the problem. The cost was around $10,000 and the district didn’t think the pranks merited the expense.

One year five instruments were stolen. One of them was a very expensive violin owned by a student. The student’s parents were very upset. That had a positive effect on the district. The next year we had a combination lock and locker for each student.

I’m not suggesting you stage such a theft, but it worked for me. That came out wrong. The instruments were really stolen. See ID Cards for the rest of the story.

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.