Preparing for Marching Band Over the Summer
Did your administration green light marching band in the fall? Are you struggling to plan for band camp and the season because your students have gone over a year without doing marching band? There are countless directors in your situation, we have suggestions for getting you and your students more prepared for the upcoming season.
- Performing Assignments – Your students are more than likely tired of doing playing assignments from this past school year, try encouraging them to perform for an assignment instead! Your students are more than likely excited about the upcoming marching band season and ready to perform again. Help your students start out the season with more confidence by asking them to perform before they even get into uniform. Start with short and simple visual assignments coupled with easy music selections from your warm-up routines or show music to help your students focus on the simultaneous demand of marching and playing. You or one of your staff members should make a video explaining and giving an example of the assignment for the ensemble to watch. If you get a good response from the assignment, start increasing the level of demand both visually and musically. This will also allow you or your staff to pre-teach some visual and playing techniques to your ensemble before you get to rehearsal.
- Mini Camp Rehearsals – If your district allows for summer rehearsals, try planning a few optional rehearsals for your students to attend. Students that are really looking forward to getting band to marching band will for sure be there! You can not only help these students out with playing and marching but also using these rehearsals to sample what level your ensemble is going to be at for the coming season.
- Student Leadership Training – strong student leadership is always important in a band program; this year will be no different. If you have not already, schedule a day or two to meet with your leadership prior to band camp to help get them prepared for the upcoming season. You may need to rely on them even more this year depending on your ensemble’s ability level, using this time to teach your leadership some teaching techniques will benefit you and your entire ensemble once the season starts.
- First Year Band Camp – for members that have never done marching band before, coming in on the first day with all the returning members can be a little intimidating. Hosting a 1–2-day First Year Band Camp will help your new members feel more comfortable joining the whole ensemble when band camp starts. This is also an excellent opportunity for your leadership to work on their teaching skills and meet the new members of their section.
We hope your marching band season is successful and memorable for you, your staff, and your students! See other ways GPG Music can help you #InspiretheNextGeneration here https://www.gpgmusic.com/custom/