Students Struggle with Shared Music Period

News, Rotator, Uncategorized — By on March 21, 2012 12:52 pm

By Haleigh Ehmsen-
Band and orchestra practice in separate classrooms but seven students in both ensembles find themselves traveling during fourth period this year. For the first time band and orchestra have both been scheduled during the same period opens schedules of those participating in both.
Senior Alex Kolker, who has been playing the violin since she was seven and started playing the saxophone in sixth grade, finds playing her instruments relaxing but her schedule has become hectic. Alex has band at the beginning of fourth hour, then goes to B lunch, then goes to orchestra for the second half on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. Tuesday she eats A lunch and then has orchestra fourth period. On Thursday she goes to band and then eats C lunch.
While Alex finds the schedule helpful to fit both into her schedule, she said, “You don’t feel like a part of either group, just somewhere in between.”
The reason for this schedule, Guidance Counselor Mick Angel said, is so students don’t have to choose between band and orchestra. Mr. Angel called the schedule a “good compromise, certainly a compromise.” An alternative option would be to have the classes every other day but Mr. Angel said in order to develop our music programs, meeting every day is the best option.
Senior Kindra Ockenfels, who plays the bass clarinet in the band said, “I think the idea had good intentions but it hasn’t worked out very well so far.”
Claire Gruver-Pandich, a sophomore violin player in the orchestra, said, “Having band and orchestra at the same time is incredibly inefficient. Because of the split time, no one gets the amount of practice they should.”
Both Kindra and Claire commented that with students moving between the rooms their practice time is interrupted and it’s distracting when trying to play.
Bernard Moore, first year Band Director said, “There is no solution that would be ideal for everyone. The schedule has its positives and negatives. By having orchestra and band meet during the same time students are able to be in two ensembles as well as having another period for other electives. However, I had students tell me that because they are constantly switching it makes it hard for them to really get in depth and learn a lot for the two classes.”
Alex said, “I feel like we can’t advance and be as good as we were last year because we don’t have the full [group].”
Mr. Angel said that band and orchestra will probably be scheduled together again next year.

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