MFA – Day #2

Talk about a jam-packed day! To start with, the morning was filled with lots of opportunities for every member of every squad to get to work on learning the DMA Teaching Procedure. But first you’re all asking, “what’s a squad?” At every location we create much smaller groups from the whole by placing the students in a groups of 6: a squad. The idea is that it is a microcosm of their band–and takes on a resemblance to the start of every band camp:

  • 6 people from 6 different band experiences
  • Everyone has their own “idea” of how to march, etc.
  • Each squad has one week to get their group to look exactly alike regardless of “style.”

This is EXACTLY like band camp—all the new members arrive and have little to no idea what marching band is about. They join up with all the returning members and now the band director and staff have just one week to get them to look “uniform!”

The DMA Teaching Procedure is a step by step guideline that, when followed, allows the student to become an efficient and successful teacher. And today, every member of the squad got an opportunity to take a turn at giving it a try. (Tomorrow it will become much more involved and they will need to be more detailed in their teaching approach.)

After that the entire group was put back into a full block and they learned the Parade Routine they will use in their competitions over the next 3 mornings. And then, to round out the morning, every single student–all 623– had their conducting video taped. Talk about a process! But I assure you that it all got done in approximately 20 minutes!!

The afternoon consisted of video tape feedback by the staff and SWAGS, a salute class with Fred, and the next conducting lesson (fermatas, cut-offs and preparatory beats) with Parker.

The evening was jammed with the first mace session, Banner checks, learning the final steps of the Parade Routine, and of course, a march off. We actually had two march offs today, and the winners were:

  • Sara Sharpe from Wisconsin
  • Kaleb Todd from Kansas (Maize High School)

Congratulations to both of them!

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