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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000070.txt from 1998/03

Subj: Re: Marching Band
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 18:13:04 -0500

In a message dated 98-03-02 13:31:31 EST, writes:

I believe marching band is fantastic. I helped my high school take six
state trophies in my four year career. >>


Now what does winning trophies have to do with Music education? When I went
to high school, marching band was at best, an "extra-curriculum" event, as it
should be. It was never given the focus it enjoys today because band directors
were apparently aware that more valuable musicial experiences would be in
ensembles that stressed good intonation, blend, an emphasis on excellent tone
production, and expressive devices that yield satisfying musical performances.
Obviously, I hated marching band. Looking back, it NEVER contributed anything
to my development as a musician, other than disrupting my embouchure,
temporarily impairing my pitch sensitivities, worsening the quality of my
tone, hurting my feet, and degrading my sensitivity and taste in recognizing
quality music literature. Thank God I had a private teacher, and other
avenues of musical expression, or my four year stint in high school "band"
would have been a total waste.
Sadly, this "marching band disease" has gained increasing popularity in my
area, and I now regularily see incoming music majors, fresh out of high
school, enthusiastically prepared to perpetuate this musically degrading
practice. These "marching band seduced" students go on to become teachers in
my area, and a vicious circle is begun -- bad teachers creating more bad
teachers, with their few unwary talented students, left in an musical
environment that's devoid of imagination and promise.


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