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The Danpodcast - Campfire Story #2

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As one of those private teachers who teaches roughly 40-ish kids per week in the Cy-Fair area, I will say when a kid drops lessons but doesn't drop band, it kind of is like a breakup.  There are a couple kids that have dropped me that I'll still see around the band hall several years later and it's still awkward seeing them.

I don't think she turned her grudge into your chair placement though, and I don't think she was the reason your chair placement was poor.  In any room full of kids where ALL the kids can play the music very well, the judging becomes more arbitrary.  Also region band also drops the highest and lowest rankings, much like UIL marching...and they use 5 judges.

I definitely remember that feel of putting [what you feel like is] everything you have into the music from July to December, and still not getting as deep into the competition as you wanted.   And that's Texas for you.....which is why there's a thriving private lesson culture here in the first place.....kids are looking for that word of advice, that new perspective,or guided practice diet to give them just that tiny extra bleeding edge to push their chair placement just a little bit higher....and that's great business for people like me, hehe.

Great podcast Dan....that was a nostalgic listen.

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I wanted to reply to both of you as a neutral 3rd party because I can see both of your points. Let me first say that I love the private lesson program for kids in Texas bands. My daughter graduated this past May, and she was in private lessons ALL 4 years of high school band. It is my understanding that over 90% of the kids in the Leander Band are in private lessons as well. They even have a scholarship program for kids that can't afford it. I believe that these private lessons are part of why the Leander ISD bands have been so successful and I'm sure it's true of other districts as well. When I was in band 100 years ago, no one was getting private lessons! Band has come a long way...but I digress.

 

While I agree with Takigan that these teachers/judges shouldn't be able to hurt a student's chances at better placement, and for the most part probably don't, I can not help but believe that this teacher did in fact "recognize" Daniel, that she let her bias jade her judging of his performance, and that she definitely harbored a strong grudge against him! Why else would she go to his band director and unload on him? It almost had a hint of Fatal Attraction to it, in a professional sense of course.

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I've had an idea for a while in regards to this where you have some of the college members of TMEA get the opportunity to judge for region auditions. You could have music majors from the schools such as UNT, Houston, SFA, etc. judge the auditions where they could be 100% impartial rather than band directors or lesson teachers who could have that bias towards their current or former students.

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I've had an idea for a while in regards to this where you have some of the college members of TMEA get the opportunity to judge for region auditions. You could have music majors from the schools such as UNT, Houston, SFA, etc. judge the auditions where they could be 100% impartial rather than band directors or lesson teachers who could have that bias towards their current or former students.

 

College students won't do it for free.  Most of the ones that are really qualified to do it are already involved doing things like teching, or lessons themselves, so they expect to be paid.   It actually costs more to use college students because the band directors already do it for free and TMEA already puts limits on how many freelance judges they can use to cut costs.

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