Hello and welcome to Band Together, a six-part series exploring how different music teachers foster positive classroom cultures in their band room. In this series, I interview six band teachers and discuss their general views on a positive culture and what strategies they use to implement it.
This first episode features Michael Brandon and we co-teach at a large, rural Manitoba comprehensive high school. I thought this would be a good place to start because we’ve spent a lot of time planning, implementing, and reflecting on different strategies that directly impact the culture of our band room. Because we’ve taught together for about ten years now, this discussion is both broad and specific; both idealistic and pragmatic; and both strategic and reflective.
And when we use this word “strategic,” we don’t mean it in a manipulative or cunning way, but rather in a more literal one where we develop a plan (or a “strategy”, if you will) implement it, then reflect on it over time. The theme of reflection comes up a lot in this discussion.
I also wanted to start this project with Michael and I’s conversation because he was the catalyst in all of my research. If it weren’t for his perspective, his reflection, and his vision for building a program through culture and musical quality, I wouldn’t be teaching in the way I am today. I owe a lot of this to him.
The show is available at bandtogetherpodcast.com or on Apple podcasts and Google Play. Listen at your computer or on the go. The results of the research are published via two papers in Canadian Winds, a peer-reviewed journal for instrumental music educators.