concert band · jazz · marching band · teaching

Back from vacation, and interesting concerts

Now that I’m officially retired from public school teaching, and we’ve returned from my “Senior Trip,” I hope to get more stuff posted here. If not new music (which takes a while), at least some other musings from 34 years of teaching music.

For today, I leave you with this thought, which I had about 15 years ago:

Put yourself in the audience at one of your concerts. At what point would you become bored?  Could you say you were honestly enthralled from beginning to end? (Maybe you could. That’s cool.) If not, what changes could you make, in programming, sequencing, or presentation that might help keep your audience focused? I didn’t say entertained – that may be something different entirely. But I wanted my audience members to be focused on the performance, in such a way that they couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next! Sometimes it works better than others. Still, think back to a concert from this past year. If you were a parent, how would you feel? Like you were there as an obligation to your kid? Because the concert is actually interesting?

A friend of mine recently commented on Facebook that his impression of early-season DCI drum corps shows was that a lot of the latter half of the shows were GNDN. That’s what Art Director Matt Jeffries labeled on pipes in the engineering spaces of the Enterprise from the original Star Trek series. It stands for “Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing.” He’s right about the DCI shows. At this point in the season I’ll bet a lot of shows don’t have the focus they need yet to be interesting from beginning to end.

I’ve told kids for years we should do what we could to make performances interesting. That word encompasses a lot of different things. I may bring up some of my favorite items in a later post. Right now I’ll leave it for you to ponder…


One thought on “Back from vacation, and interesting concerts

  1. I’ve been both the parent in the audience and the teacher who put the show together.
    I’ve found that the younger the performers are, the less interesting the performance is. I can’t help it if my kid’s music teacher doesn’t design an interesting performance, but I can control the design of my own concerts. Thinking back over the last school year, I think I did a good job choosing interesting (and entertaining) music, but I need some work on the delivery.

    Thanks for the food for thought.

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