Posted by a band director on April 09, 2002 at 20:11:14:
In Reply to: HS band woes - argh posted by Dan Mordhorst on April 09, 2002 at 18:52:08:
If your band directors only reason for wanting you to play this way is for visual uniformity, then someone needs to remind him that music is an aural art and not a visual. If this position dimishes how you play your horn, then what good is it? If he just wants you to look good and doesn't care how you sound, then why play at all? I'd ask him if he knows why the "professionals" play that way. I bet he wouldn't even know. It would be one thing if he was a jazzer and had a valid reason to play that way, but I doubt this.
Now if he was asking you to put your bell into the stand b/c your sound is sticking out, then perhaps I could understand. But even that doesn't mean your stand has to be to the ground.
Perhaps retorting in such a harsh way wasn't your best bet. Undermining his authority in front of the ensemble isn't a good idea. Simply replying "I wish I could play your way, but that way prevents me from breathing..." would probably work better. I'm not saying he was right, but he also can't let a student undermine him or else he will lose control of the ensemble.
If he is unwilling to work with you and thinks the visual uniformity of the ensemble is more important than the sound, then why would you want to be there? Try and find other ways to play in ensembles. Just b/c you aren't playing at school doesn't mean that you have to stop playing.
Unfortunately directors are not right all the time. Too bad some can't humble themselves and realize this.