Junior High Band
Survival Tips

Control the Warm-Ups

I had always played in bands that permitted individual warm-ups before a rehearsal. It worked well at the high school level, but at the junior high it just turned into a contest of who could play the loudest. I did my best to teach them how to warm up properly but it didn’t have much effect. I tried a variety of methods to end the warm-up time in a civilized manner. Some worked for a while but not for long. I would end up ranting and raving which is not a good way to start a rehearsal. One of the most successful directors I observed did not permit individual warm-ups. The students quietly got their instruments and music ready and waited for the director to lead the full-band warm-ups. It was wonderful! Of all the valuable things I learned by observing other directors, this may have been the best.

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.