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.
In this fourth episode, I speak with Marissa Hirsch who teaches small, rural Manitoba middle school—indeed, a middle school. While I’ve been focusing on high school these past few episodes, culture is extremely important at the middle school level too (it is at all levels, really). I really value the organization and the discipline that she brings to her job, but I especially appreciate her energy and you’ll hear it in the interview. I wish she was my middle school band teacher. In our conversation, she establishes the importance of the setup, whether it’s setting up the expectations for the kids, setting up the instruction, or setting up traditions. She also has a great story about how she picked which Grade 8 student got to play their brand new tuba.
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.