Junior High Band
Rehearsal Tips

What to Fix?

Rehearsal time is precious. Much of it is wasted working on things of little consequence. Knowing what to fix is a talent that directors need to develop.

I've mentioned that when sight reading I determined that we would keep going as long as the majority of the band was in the same measure. Once we decided which pieces to work on, the rehearsing began. Our first goal was making sure the melody was always heard with the right notes and right rhythm.

We saved time if we tried to play everything as written from day one, i.e., the correct dynamics, articulation, phrasing, etc. If we practiced a section louder than it was marked, it was difficult to ever play it softer. Likewise, if we practiced a section slower or faster than it was supposed to go, it was difficult to change it later. Of course there were parts that we couldn't play as fast as they were written. We had to start slowly and work up to the correct tempo. We tried to do that as quickly as possible so the majority of our rehearsing would be at the correct tempo.

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.