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Old 10-24-2018, 12:46 PM   #1
pipermitch23
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Default Band Practice

Hi All.
I am a fairly new Pipe Major however I have been playing for about 15 years. I am just wondering how everyone runs practice nights and hoping to get new ideas other than the same old "pipe and chanter practice with the same old tunes" and keep everyone engaged both new ans more advanced.
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:11 AM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: Band Practice

Set goals for short, medium and long term. Train youngsters: lots of them (say about fifty kids on chanter and 30-40 drumming). Set expectations for practice. Use time efficiently and don't do things that people can practice as individuals.



Every six months or a year, send out an anonymous survey and ask for feedback about the band, the way it's run, problems, etc. Try to ask the same questions each time so you can track if things are improving.


Use each person's talents as much as you can, not just musical. Figure out who is good at social media and have them do that. You'll have someone who can do websites or graphic design or accounts. Be proactive about moving tasks from your shoulders to other peoples'.



Don't be afraid to sack people who are disruptive, musically or socially. You need them less than you think.


Train 3-4 people to be capable of replacing you if you are run over by a bus.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:07 AM   #3
el gaitero
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Default Re: Band Practice

All good tips Callum . Especially about sacking people. Keeping people on to simply fill the ranks....but still canít play a hoot and donít try...hard enough..breeds discontent among those who do . Asking for a kilt back puts one on notice.
Seeing goldbricks enjoy the same Ďbeer and pretzelsí youíve work hard to gleen is frustrating. Not to mention turning out a poor performance due to few malcontents or musically inept not with the program.

As DSR would exclaim...the expectation should always be to play as well as the player in front of you,behind you ,to your left and to your right. And vice-versa.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:57 AM   #4
Steve Law
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Default Re: Band Practice

Loviní all of Callumís tips, especially having 50 kids learning

Snag is, within maybe 2 hoursí drive of here in Norfolk I doubt there are 50 pipers in total, adding proficient and learners together!

I suspect the same circle drawn around Aberdeen or Glasgow might muster a good few hundred, but pipingís a minority sport in this part of UK (quite understandable) so we have to work with what we can get, and if (for example) we were to decide to pursue excellence by excluding those not up to a certain standard, I predict our band at least might fold through lack of numbers....

Iíd guess our average age is something over 60, with a good few further on, and weíre increasingly concerned how to help our future selves by recruiting those youngsters who are the only real hope to provide continuity long-term... in areas like our with relatively low population density and our music seen as nothing more than of passing interest at a carnival I can readily understand why the kids would rather engage with a playstation than a practice chanter.

Good luck to anyone trying to forge a band and hold it together... itís no mean trick when youíre not knee-deep in Jock blood
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:27 AM   #5
CalumII
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Default Re: Band Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Law View Post
within maybe 2 hoursí drive of here in Norfolk I doubt there are 50 pipers in total, adding proficient and learners together!

Absolutely. But just south of the M25[1], Sally Morante has learner pipers coming out of your ears: they're like rats, there are so many of them.



And the reason she has so many is constant recruitment, and good retention. A lot of bands don't do enough to recruit, and then don't do enough to retain people once they join. This is a whole other topic in itself, but it is possible to recruit and teach in difficult areas.



[1] The orbital motorway around London
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:01 AM   #6
Tom MacKenzie
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Default Re: Band Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Law View Post
Loviní all of Callumís tips, especially having 50 kids learning

... and 30-40 drumming!



tomm
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:03 PM   #7
el gaitero
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Default Re: Band Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom MacKenzie View Post
..

. and 30-40 drumming!



tomm
So ,as you know,...:to get 6-8 keepers..
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:28 PM   #8
CalumII
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Default Re: Band Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
So ,as you know,...:to get 6-8 keepers..

Yes! And don't forget, you're going to end up with a grade 1 band, a grade 2 band, a grade 4 band and a juvenile band - that's a lot of drummers!
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:42 AM   #9
montstros1ty
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Default Re: Band Practice

Get used to people ringing/txting you an hour before band practise saying they can't make it!
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:28 PM   #10
piper01888
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Default Re: Band Practice

And the reason I left my band,those that promise faithfully to
be at a practice/gig until the time comes to show up.
Then, apparently, they find something much more important
to do.
Cheers
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