Junior High Band
Survival Tips

Test on Monday

I initially thought that having tests on Thursday would be best for the students. I could introduce the new test on Friday, giving the students the weekend to practice. Monday through Wednesday we would polish and fix problems, and test on Thursday. It didn’t work very well.

For me, the hardest days to manage classroom discipline were Mondays and Fridays. Giving them a new playing test on Friday just made Friday harder.

One of the teachers I observed had tests on Mondays. I was slow to change but when I did I was quickly converted. Friday became the day we played through our pieces to determine what still had to be fixed, which was more fun for the students. Monday the pressure was on the students and off me. It made both Friday and Monday better. It was delightful!

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.