Junior High Band
Survival Tips

Guard Your Health

I learned this one the hard way. After playing a student's flute, I got hepatitis and was unable to work for a month. My wife was pregnant at the time. Just as I was recovering, she caught it from me and was also down for a month.

Once you have had hepatitis you can't catch it again from anyone else, but if you overdo you can give it back to yourself. A month after my wife recovered, our third child was born. The exertion of giving birth caused the hepatitis to return. My wife and the baby both had the disease and were in quarantine for a week in the hospital. The three of us were quarantined in our home for the next three months and our two older children had to stay with grandparents.

Schools are breeding grounds for diseases. Protect yourself! Use a good quality mouthpiece disinfectant every time you play a student's instrument. Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water. Consider getting a flu shot.

A principal once told me that a sick teacher is four times as good as a substitute. A healthy teacher is better yet.

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.