Stepping It Up!

By: Stacie MacBush


I wanted to make this blog about something positive. Many music programs are being cut, rehearsal times are being taken away and music education is being broke. I am lucky to still have a job that I love and went to school for.


When I started in my current position many students did not know what a tuning note or a Bb scale was. They were even confused about the most basic fingerings or slide positions. They told me there was A LOT of hide-and-go-seek instead of playing music. No matter what happened before me I knew I was up for the challenge.


One of the top items on my agenda to work on was getting a marching band started. There was a GREAT marching band many years ago, but it had fallen by the wayside. I loved marching in high school and worked with other bands in college and knew my students were capable of being great again.


My first time taking my new marching band to the Belleville Santa Claus Parade was a little frightening. We did not have straight rows or columns, the music was sloppy and the students were not close to being in step. I was just happy to get the ball rolling and students interested in making our marching band better.


This is my fourth year at working on our marching band and I am proud to say our rows and columns were MUCH better, the students were MOSTLY in step and “Jingle Bell Rock” sounded ROCKIN’! I am so happy with the progress of our band. I will continue to teach them the fundamentals of marching to improve our band. I also hope my students will carry that knowledge over to High School and maybe even College.ImageImageImage 





2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie K.
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 00:40:31

    I like this positive post. I agree with Stacie that much of what we hear where music is concerned is all doom and gloom. The “good stuff” rarely makes the news, but the “bad stuff” always makes the headline. I, too, am lucky and blessed to have a job that I love and a music program that has not been cut. During my first year teaching in my current position, I remember asking another teacher what I needed to do to “get tenure.” She gave me a strange look, but then responded with “do something that hasn’t been done before.” What she meant was that I needed to bring something new to the program. Stacie started a marching band. I started a pep band. That year, we played at four home basketball games. To be fair, we played at two girls’ games and two boys’ games, and I cannot even describe what a hit it was. Administration loved it. Coaches and fellow teachers loved it. The pep band was even mentioned at the monthly board meeting.

    I have been doing pep band for four years now, and it is something I plan to continue in the future. And, I do expect to have tenure after this year, but that is just a bonus. ☺ The nice thing about something like marching band or pep band is that it makes our music programs visible to the whole community. It is a chance to give our program a voice and to let that voice be heard. It is not easy. It takes a lot of work, and I still get a little nervous before the first game of the year. But, it is worth it when the feedback from the community is positive and our music programs are valued. When we go the extra mile to show that we, as music teachers, care about music, we help others see the importance that music plays in the lives of our students, our schools, and our communities.


  2. patti b.
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 04:54:31

    Congratulations to both of you for starting the marching band and pep band. The visibility that these programs provides in the community is of such great value! Furthermore, you are providing your students with the greatest chance to be successful at the next level, high school. This definitely was a positive post! Stephanie received about doing something that hasn’t been done before is good advice. Along those same lines, each of us in unique in our leadership style and strengths. Our students will reflect what we excel in.


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