Junior High Band
Survival Tips

Hang In There

The first tip to survival is not to give up. The first year is usually the hardest. No matter how successful or unsuccessful the previous director was, you will be different. Unfortunately, to many students, different means worse. Hang in there at least until there are no students who remember the previous teacher.

My first year at the junior high was miserable. Fortunately, the district moved the ninth-graders to the high school my second year, leaving me with no one who remembered the old director. The comparison between my first and second years was like night and day. After three years the nine-graders were moved back to the junior high and by then I was the old band director.

I don't mean to give the impression that time is the only factor to success, but it takes time to develop relationships with the students and their parents, and to demonstrate your skill and credibility as a teacher.

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.