Sitting in the rehearsals of the NC All State Honor Band, I am reminded why I became a music educator and the great lengths students go to become fantastic young musicians. We get caught up in the hustle of everyday classes and rehearsals, all the goings-on of school and work, and all of the other distractions that happen throughout a given week that we forget the infinite rewards of why we take part in performing music.
We are, however, continuously reminded of the hard work and dedication that performing at a high level entails. On a daily basis, student musicians are asked to be prepared for that day's rehearsals. When a student arrives to rehearsal without being as prepared as a student could be, then the day's plans are often shot. In the rehearsal space, it is to be that, rehearsal. It is not space for practicing. Practicing comes outside the class time. Practicing is the homework of band.
Most people have a feeling that, "There is no homework assigned in band." How incorrect could one statement be. We do not have worksheets. We do not have text books. We do, however, have homework. It is the student's responsibility to work every day, outside of the class time, to better his or her instrument performance. Whether you are working on class music, or other materials. Practicing is homework. And as in other courses, when you do not complete homework, you have trouble participating in class discussions and work to the best of your ability.
You may not be assigned specific homework each night, but when you do not complete that practice time, rehearsals can not happen effectively. And so, tonight, as I listen to the rehearsal of the All State Honor Band, I encourage you to do ALL of your homework this weekend. When you complete your band homework, you will be surprised what can be accomplished when we all complete that homework. Music will be made. Have a great weekend.