Fall Wrap-Up

Lane Armey

For most people reading this column, the marching band season has either just ended or will be ending shortly. Therefore, timing is right for everyone involved in your percussion section to reflect on the season, consider opportunities to improve for next year and set some goals.

Set Personal Goals. Do you want to play snare or marimba next year? Now is the time to set that goal and talk to your instructors about how to reach it.

Maybe that means starting private lessons or getting good materials that you can work on over the next six months. If you wait until next spring to decide your goals, you are likely going to fall short.

Improve the Ensemble. Do you have ideas that will help your percussion ensemble be better next year, such as changes in rehearsal technique? Take note of it now; you will definitely not remember otherwise!

The same applies to instructors. After a whole summer and fall of building a percussion ensemble, there have to be several things you want to adjust for the next year, whether it is the audition process, exercise packet, rehearsal times or approach to technique. Meeting as a staff and doing an end-of-season debrief can be invaluable to your future growth. Just don’t forget to take notes!

Borrow From Others. And as a designer you are going to see some amazing ideas put out on the field by your peers. Think about a couple really successful things you witnessed—how a drum solo was constructed, what got the audience to stand up, an exercise you saw in the parking lot. There is probably an idea or two that you can incorporate next year in your own unique way.

Springboard to Winter. For many programs the end of the fall season is just a springboard into winter percussion. You may be able to immediately put to use some of these principles. A fresh set of music and drill can be accompanied by a fresh approach to rehearsal, discipline and performance.

Wrap up the current season, and set yourself up for future success.

About author

Lane Armey

Lane Armey is the battery percussion coordinator for Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif. In the past, he has worked with various groups including Northwestern University and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.

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