Evan Doyle, a DMA Lead staff member, talks about his most important DMA lessons—especially during “social distancing.”
In our organizations, leaders who are gonna be effective are going to be be those that value the people in the organization more than anything else.
You need to be less worried about titles and trophies than you are about the people in your band.
If you can do that and take care of those people, amazing things will happen.
A camaraderie is built, and it breeds excitement and energy. It allows each person in the band to commit to the concepts and goals that you’re trying to achieve.
And when you’re committed that way, and your bandmates know that you’ve got their back and that you support them, amazing things can happen.
It’s all about your attitude.
Your are at your best when things are at their worst.
And if we think about what’s going on right now with distance learning and social distancing and everything that we’re forced to do, it’s a unique opportunity for great drum majors and bold leaders in their organizations to find ways to connect band members.
Maybe that can be done through Zoom or through other social media applications. Try to find different ways to get people thinking about band and about each other.
Having fun, laughing, and enjoying one of the best parts about band—the togetherness the family atmosphere that it can bring.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Another important thing I’ve learned from Drum Major Academy is the importance of planning and patience.
You need to make sure you have these plans because that’s gonna be how you set yourself up for success.
If you try to just go in without any sort of idea of what’s going on, it’s a sure thing that you’ll have a hard time succeeding.
Planning through uncertainty
But if you look at what’s going on now, how do we plan for the unknown? What do we do right now when we don’t know what the fall is going to bring? That can be a challenging situation.
The way I see it, and the way I’m approaching it is—I’m planning for a fall that looks like a normal fall.
And I’m also in the back of my mind, thinking of how can things be a little different if they need to be— Contingency plans.
So I hope just like I’m sure you do, that we get to do our summer band rehearsals—our band camp type of things. And then we get to get on the field in the fall.
If that does happen, I’m gonna be so excited.
But if it doesn’t, I am confident that me and my leadership team have the tools that are disposal with the Westboro High School Band to make sure that our marching band still feels some of those important elements of what brings to the table.
We might not get together in the same way that we did in the past.
But I know for a fact that even if it looks different, a lot of the most crucial things are going to feel absolutely the same because I think we all know this: Band kids are some of the best kids anywhere.
And we always have each other’s backs.
And as a leader of your program, my hope is that you’ll be able to help facilitate that and foster that no matter what the circumstances will be.
I sincerely wish you all the best of luck as you go forward looking at this stuff. Thank you so much for listening to me.
I hope you have a wonderful summer and I look forward to getting to chat with you again.