Another example of analog 8mm video transferred to mp4 format and imported into Youtube.
By John Gardner
The teacher had requested going from a half hour lesson to an hour. I recall the teacher’s response when I asked if there was a discount for the double-session…..
You get me for twice the time at twice the price.
As I wrote out the check, I shared a sentiment with my son,
I consider this an investment in your college career. I hope I am paying for your college one week at a time….and by the time you’re ready to graduate that you will be good enough that a college will pay for you.
He worked — and his did. This video is a portion of his senior recital. He had the flashy stuff too, but I thought his tone was fantastic….. I had the honor of guest conducting his high school band, which accompanied him on this same piece during his high school final semester.
…even for students who will NOT be majoring in music in college. Read more ›
These memories came rushing back a few days ago when Joan mentioned an area show choir that used the solo, “Tell My Father” in their show.
Son David sang this solo in several show choir solo competitions his senior year in high school (2001). It is an emotional solo from the musical “Civil War” about a son asking someone to “Tell My Father” about his death on the battlefield.
To increase the impact, David borrowed a reenactor Civil War uniform. He wouldn’t let me hear the song until he performed it. I remember the first time I saw him walk toward the competition room, in “full uniform”….he walked, pridefully, in total character and ignoring stares from other students in the hallways. Dressing in ‘costume’ was not a common thing for solos.
And the first time he walked on stage, he confidently and effectively commanded audience reverence and respect. Each time he finished, it felt like there was an ever so slight gap, prior to applause, where the audience was wiping tears and unsure if applause was appropriate, especially after the final line.
After one of his performances, I heard a couple girls from another school talking in the hallway:
“I just heard this guy dressed in a Civil War uniform sing a song to his father and it made me cry.”
It made me, David’s father, cry every time.
Here are the lyrics:
Tell my father that his son
Didn’t run or surrender
That I bore his name with pride
As I tried to remember
You are judged by what you do
While passing through
As I rest ‘neath fields of green
Let him lean on your shoulder
Tell him how I spent my youth
So the truth could grow older
Tell my father, when you can
I was a man
Tell him we will meet again
Where the angels learn to fly
Tell him we will meet as men
For with honour did I die
Tell him I fought the blue
Proud and true, through the fire
Tell my father so he’ll know
I love him so
Tell him how I wore the gray
Just the way that he taught me
Tell my father not to cry
Then say goodbye
I recently made a video (below) to send to a group of Band Parent officers prior to a board meeting. I offer it for consideration from two perspectives:
Share feedback at will…..please.
Below is a Facebook post from a former student, now a successful professional and parent of successful high school and college age children….
In less than 24hrs, there were 160+ likes and reactions and many comments. Here is my posted response.
“…and sometimes, when the parents fail they put it in the laps of teachers to have some sometimes incredibly awkward conversations. Not too long ago I got a nice note from a girl I had one of those conversations with several years ago. She is now a college grad, married and with a good job….and she thanked me for what she knows was an uncomfortable talk — when I, apparently with some success, encouraged her to hold herself to a higher standard than just what she could “show”. That’s a dangerous conversation for a teacher to have with a teenage student, btw. But I haven’t been fired yet.”
By John Gardner
At the end of my first semester at HNHS, I gave a “talk” at the Band Banquet Awards….. At first, I was going to update it with what is outdated or different……but have decided instead to print it (almost) as I said it 9 years ago.
From my perspective, the best thing going for this band is THIS BAND. The work ethic is good. These guys will do just about anything we ask, almost without grumbling. They have all been respectful to me. As the principal says, we have a great clientele of students here.
The NEXT BEST THING GOING for this band are THE PARENTS. There are the dedicated people on the uniform committee; measuring, altering, touching up, repairing when the fence tears a hole in the sleeve or touching up dirty shoes – and dealing with those who forgot socks, or shoes, or uniform. There is the Pit Crew that loads, unloads and transports all our equipment. The Food Committee waters the band after every performance and sometimes feeds them twice in a day.
As Bill Clinton said in a church service, “I like it here – and I don’t wanna leave.”
more below the poster……
After a Band Parent meeting, a group of people made an encouraging request.
“Tell us what you need and let us see what we can do.”
I’ve generalized my goals into three major categories – and they all start with ‘S’. I’m calling them my “Sssss-Steps to Success”.
The FIRST thing we need to do is to SUPER SIZE this band. Size doesn’t equal sound – but it certainly helps!
We need to Search for Super Sizers.
You can help. Be enthusiastic about your band. Enthusiasm is contagious.
Pit people (front sideline ensemble) don’t have to be band members. Your friends who play piano can play mallet instruments. People who quit band in the past can come back. And then, without taking anything away from what it takes to be a percussionist, we can teach just about anybody how to hit something.
We currently have a lot of people in the high school bands who do not march.
You need to Stay to be Seniors.
I’d love to see the school or community have to deal with
SECOND, you should Strive for Individual Success.
If you become the best that YOU can be, then we can work to blend your individual abilities to improve the overall band. A super-sized band can give us more sound, but we need your individual improvement to enable us to play some of the more challenging types music we heard this past fall.
Study Seriously for Improvement.
You should consider Individual Study on your instrument. If you can pay, we have access to professional experts on every instrument. They absolutely make a difference. For less pay, we can connect you with some college students who are looking for some experience. And if you can’t pay, let us know, because some teachers will make allowances for hard-working students.
Instruments need to go home. There are no shortcuts. Proficiency requires practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it certainly helps.
Your Individual Level of Musical Success depends on a combination of
FINALLY, we need a SIZZLING SHOW, and it won’t come cheaply.
We need Spectacular Music.
We need Stunning Drill Design.
We need Superb Special Effects.
We need Splendid Style.
We need State-of-the-Art Equipment.
You give us what we need in people, equipment, work ethic and attitude – and we’ll take some major steps toward BIGGER success.
I like it here.
By John Gardner
When the local high school band director of 40 years (yes, graduated college, accepted a teaching position and spent his entire career in the same room with the same office and same desk) retired. One of the things he left was the music library software on his 1980’s vintage Apple computer. After multiple attempts by collegiate techno-types to transfer the data into a newer Apple format proved unsuccessful, we went a different route and have successfully transferred the data to a new program. In the process of doing that, I wanted to find how other directors organized their libraries and after some email and facebook responses, the following includes a compilation of that feedback.
Alphabetical by Title, separated by season. The local university band library is set up this way. Separate sections for Christmas, Marches (used to have a Sousa-festival), Basketball, Orchestra, Methods classes.
Simple and does not require a catalog program/file.
If you don’t know what you are looking for, it can be pretty miscellaneous.
When a drawer or shelf fills up, you must shift, which can be really bad if the overstuffed drawer is toward the beginning.
Separated by major ensemble types, but then numbered with Drawer and File number. My current school’s library has separations for Method books, Jazz Band, Pep Band and everything else.
Random searching….if you want newer stuff, you go to the higher drawer numbers.
When one drawer fills, just start another one.
If you eventually free up space in a lower drawer number (throwing away old music), you can add a new item there.
Efficient use of space.
Can’t find a piece by title or type without looking it up.
Are you able to “search” for example, for an advanced piece for concert band that you haven’t played for three years? Have you kept it up to date? Then it sounds like you’ve got things going well and you don’t need me.
Are you still using a card catalog? Are you using a file format that you need to transfer to something new? Do you want to add categories (from the list above or similar)? And is YOUR time completely maxed out with teaching classes? I can help.
In 1984 I started a data entry services operation in a specialized vertical market…..but I have, and have access to, accurate transcribers and data entry staff who can take on such a project. OR… I can set something up so that YOUR people can do the data entry.
Contact me at John@VirtualMusicOffice.com and we can set a time to discuss it.