Junior High Band
Program Survival Tips

Follow up with "Good" Dropouts

My opinion is that everyone needs to find something they can be successful at to maintain a positive self image and have a productive life. Junior high and high schools offer a variety of classes in hopes that every student will find something that he/she can do well. Unfortunately, band is not for everyone.

If you are experiencing large numbers of dropouts, determine which students are leaving - the good players or the poor players. If it's the poor players, I wouldn't worry about it. Hope they will find success elsewhere. If it's the good players, I would be very concerned. You will probably need to change some things you are doing to keep them challenged and interested in playing. Do some critical self analysis and determine what changes you need to make. In the meantime, talk to each good player who drops. They might have just had a schedule conflict and with some creative help from the counselors they could come back. Just knowing that you care about them and miss having them in your class will bring some of them back. Then go to work on making the needed changes.

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.