West Chester: A Whirlwind of Info

An incredible amount of material was covered and explored during the first day. Progression form the port position of attention to a trail arms position that drum ajors use; a simple basic salute was taught; the first stages to developing a successful conducting style and form was presented; the parade routine used as part of the squad competition was taught; and the first march off was held. WOW!

Congratulations to Audrey Guyer of West Chester East HS in PA for winning the first march off.

Today, day 2, began with the first squad competiton–talk about anxiety! But they all did very well and learned that there is much to learn. Squad comps are wonderful motivators for individuals to improve their performance ability. But they serve a much more important role in the curriculum of DMA.

Every year there are new people in band. The first thing than has to occur is for the new people to begin the process of “looking like the others members.”. Meaning uniformity in all actions. At DMA all students are put into small groups [squads] of 6–a microcosm of their band. Over the course of the wek they learn teaching techniques [DMA Teaching Procedure] that assists them in developing their observation and evaluative skills. This arms them with tools to “clean the look” of their squads in a precise and pragmatic manner. Implementation of such techniques with their own bands increases the probability of better band uniformity–a goal ever band director works toward achieving each year!

This afternoon will be a module session of three classes: advanced conducting, cleaning techniques in marching and video taped feedback of each and every student.

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