OT: tenor line help S.O.S

So here is the story. Ive got these 3 kids on tenors, and they are all new. But they know how to read and can play ok, but they have no motivation. The snares , basses and pit are all cookin and are highly motivated , but for some reason these kids on tenors just dont get it. Ive taken them step by step, let them try and figure it out,Measure by measure, had sectionals with them, gave them laps and push ups, brought in a Bda tenor alumni to do a clinic with them and nothing works. Even the blue devil guy was frustrated with them.  I am at my wits end with these kids, I just dont know what to do. I really need some advice because I feel like I am not getting through to them. Any help would be greatly appreciated. And once again I came here because I know the best of the best come on this forum everyday, so I came to the right place for the right answers. Thanks a million

Darryl Jones

sibelius 4
finale 2006
Fire them and replace them with rookies that might not be as good, but are willing to learn and work hard.  It will be better in the long-run.  Otherwise their attitudes will affect the entire group. 
Hey man, take it easy with them.  Maybe they're overwhelmed?  I think push-ups and laps may not reel them in but push them out.  All I can say is try to inspire them, encourage, and 'love those guys";.  I'm sure you will do just fine.  When it gets frustrating, take a step back, deep breath, and MAINTAIN COMPOSURE!

some people don't have that fire,  yet we still do our best with what we got.
Sorry FSmith, I'm with Jedi on this one. As long as you have explained to them that their lack of motivation is actually hurting the whole team, you will be justified. Be sure to C.Y.A. and make the necessary parent phone calls well in advance. With some of these kids, all they need to hear is that their spot is in jeapordy and that will light the fire you need. Jedi is right, you'll be better off in the long run with an entire group that is willing to work for you.
I also agree with Jedi.  I'd rather have 1 snare, 1 quad, and 2 basses that want to be there and work over having a line of 15 morons.
Both views have valid points.

If those kids weren't inspired by a BD tenor alum, then you may need to re-evaluate their spot on the line.

But I also understand that since we are in the middle of a semester of school, removing them may not be possible.  I think you've done the right thing so far by giving them a few chances and implementing some positive & physical (laps & push-ups) motivation tactics.  FSmith has a good point.  Sometimes the ";hard@ss"; instructor approach only makes things worse, and then nobody wants to be there.  But you can only be nice for so long - you may need to crack the whip.

Someting else you might try is peer pressure.  Use the ";line is as strong as it's weakest player"; bit and make the whole line push for the tenors not being prepared.  That sucks for the ones that don't deserve it, but maybe the tenors will step up so their peers won't be mad at them.  However, if you see no immediate success with that trick, you may need to have a meeting with the director (if that's not you) and the tenor players.  For the sake of the rest of the drumline, the situation has to change.  They need to see that there are consequences for a poor attitude/effort so they don't lose their motivation too.  The situation may need to be that of not meeting the standard = no performance (or some similar consequence).  Also, let them know their poor attitude/performance may be affecting their grade.

I've also noticed a sort of apathy epidemic in some kids in my drumlines too.  Darn those video games...

Hope this helps.

- OT
[quote author=Owen Taylor link=topic=1383.msg6149#msg6149 date=1160004452]
Darn those video games...

Isn't that the truth!!!!!
I have already decided that they will not be playing tenors for winter and beyond. Ive got 3 freshman that I am training to replace them. Their bad attitude has already started affecting the group. Ive been getting calls , emails and text messages from all of the other kids complaining about the tenor line. So the band director and I decided today that if there tenors dont shape up by sat, then the snare section leader will replace them on quads(he's already learned the music). We have 4 snares , so 3 snares and 1 good quad wouldnt look that bad. Thanks for all the advice, it was very helpfull.

darryl jones
Bring in the parents.  That's always a good motivating factor.  When mommy finds out that you're not doing what you're supposed to, things typically change.
So what happened with all of this?
So we got this whole matter resolved by giving one person in particular an ultamatum. We had this girl on the tenor line , who is probably the best one , causing a lot of the problems. The band director and I told her that if she didnt completly change her bad attitude by last sat, then she would be kicked off the line and would not be allowed to be in band. She would have to sit in the library everyday during band class doing assignments that we would give her. She was told that if she talked back, refused to run laps or push ups, or gave any kind of attitude or said that ";she cant";, then she would be out. I guess we got through to her this time because she is like a new person, plus she is starting to take charge of the tenor line with out me having to.  The other 2 are tenors are trying alot harder now that they have someone to follow and the rest of the line is getting excited again. So I guess everything worked out for the best. Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it.
That's great. Wow, the power one person has in the influence they wield over others! Glad to hear things are working out now. I bet the tenor line sounds better, too.
Login or Signup to post a comment