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EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

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  • #76
    Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

    Originally posted by pipervin View Post

    I examined the data we *do* have here

    More Thoughts on Pipe Band Instructors

    Interesting.

    Thanks for that.

    Comment


    • #77
      Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

      I have been reading the arguements with interest. I question some of the motivations of the arguments. I believe that having an instructor play the lead role will give the band advantage. In the Drum section and in the pipe section. Being conducted and having strong lead drum to tie ensemble together will have great benifit on the day.

      I believe that the reason for the suggested rule change is because of percieved abusers taking unfair advantage over its competitors. and those arguing against it, are because they want to have that unfair advantage. It has nothing to do with improving the band in the sustainable long term. Learning and instruction takes place on home ground long before arriving at the competition park. In the case of Grade five, and possibly grade four this is most evident. As you progress through the grades, the individuals in the band have better skills and the "Ringer" has less effect and in fact I do not believe you can have a ringer in a grade two band as players at this level are amongst the best.

      In the case of WDPB where they have had people go up to Truimph Street, the instructor rule does allow a Piper and a drummer play with them under the instructor rule. This I believe to be legitimate as it gives up and comers to compete at the highest level and still play with the home team. Players when travelling distances to play with Grade one bands, I would think often would like to stay on with their home team and only move up to the All Stars at the few games they have. In these cases, the "Instructors" are really members of the band that have the opportunity to play in a top notch band.
      We do this for fun, travel, and to meet people

      Comment


      • #78
        Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

        Originally posted by wmuirhead View Post
        I don’t consider Playing Instructors ringers .. As a band develops it makes sense to allow them (Instructors) to compete with an upper grade band and push their own development and enjoyment.
        Willie, you plead the case of many drummers very well. Those of us who are limited in the home band levels available to play in (geographically speaking), and who are able/willing to travel to learn/play in a higher grade band on occaision to improve themselves, are being hurt by this rule as they then would not be able to continue to lead their home band. I certainly don't consider myself a professional instructor or ringer by any means, just someone wanting to play better and learn from whatever sources I can make available.

        All the best...
        Gary Smith
        City of Dunedin Pipe Band

        Comment


        • #79
          Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

          Originally posted by wmuirhead View Post
          For a knowledgeable instructor, to bring along a band from grade five to four and into grade three is not that difficult and not all that uncommon - provided they are willing to follow direction and invest a modicum of time and are committed to a competition schedule. All that needs to be done is to instill pipe banding basics in the band - playing well tuned instruments with confidence, landing together on the beat (both corps), starting and finishing together, utilizing proper use of note values, etc. will go a long way to accomplishing that goal. Those basics can be mastered by the majority of players in most bands. Also, when was the last time a grade four competition was decided by musical content - not that it isn’t important in a bands development.

          I've played in a band just like that. Just like you outlined, we were able to get to grade three. Odds of us getting higher, regardless of the instructor were slim and not just because of numbers.

          Chance of getting there without that instructor? Slim to none. Especially if that instructor doesn't play. For one, numbers become a thing. Not everyone can make the leap. Losing them AND the instructor, not a chance. Not the case everywhere, but it was for us.

          But, more importantly, our instructor was a friend and bandmate. You sweat blood with someone at practice, why not sweat with them in the circle?

          I'm kind of ambivalent about playing instructors. On one hand, sure there's understandable arguments against it. But, I've also never cared all that much what other bands do or whether it gives them a competitive advantage over the band I play in. I know I've been in bands beaten by other bands that had 'extras' on their roster, beyond multiple playing instructors. I just can't really bring myself to care.

          I only really try to measure the band's success against itself and competitions are a great way to gauge how well you're doing in that pursuit of being better than you were yesterday. And in our case, our instructor played a big role in that effort.

          Comment


          • #80
            Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

            Originally posted by ratherbpiping View Post
            I have been reading the arguements with interest. I question some of the motivations of the arguments. I believe that having an instructor play the lead role will give the band advantage.
            Perhaps, but every band has different strengths and weaknesses.

            I think people are getting too hung up on the nomenclature, and making too many assumptions about individual piper's choices.

            Suppose piper X leads band Y and also plays in higher grade band Z. Now suppose piper X leaves band Z and only leads band Y. In which scenario is band Y better off?

            Seems about the same to me.

            Everyone seems to be assuming that all pipers X will stop playing with bands Y, but why would that be the case? It's going to go both ways. Sometimes the piper X is going to choose to stop leading the lower grade band, but sometimes they're going to stop playing with the higher grade band.

            Either way, one certain result is going to be smaller bands on the field.

            Comment


            • #81
              Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

              Bingo, bob! Hit the nail square on that one.
              https://harperbagpipes.com/

              Comment


              • #82
                Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                It seems to me that one result would be that some bands would lost the services of some of our best players. Either lower grade bands lose their playing instructors or higher-grade bands lose players capable of playing in them. Not sure who benefits.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                  Originally posted by Dan Bell View Post
                  Not sure who benefits.
                  Oooh oooh! *raising hand* No one?
                  https://harperbagpipes.com/

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                    I question some of the motivations of the arguments. I believe that having an instructor play the lead role will give the band advantage…. Being conducted and having strong lead drum to tie ensemble together will have great benifit on the day.
                    I seriously doubt that having the piping instructor in the competition circle will have anywhere near the advantage you are implying. If a band were on such a knife edge, in terms of unison and technique - where the… nuances of conducting were actually of any value, then I would suggest that you are playing in a band that is about to be … seriously, upgraded. In fact, breaks aside, if the truth be told, any foot thumping of the ground, in the circle, in my experience, has only ever aggravated sore knees from previous years of silly foot thumping.
                    I believe that the reason for the suggested rule change is because of percieved abusers taking unfair advantage over its competitors. and those arguing against it, are because they want to have that unfair advantage. It has nothing to do with improving the band in the sustainable long term
                    If that is the reason, and it has never been presented as such, then the piping association has tools at its disposal to sanction those bands or individuals who are abusing the spirit of the “allowed instructor rule.“ Your statement that we, who argue against the rule change, want an unfair advantage strikes me as a little… hysterical.

                    If that were the case why, for those bands traveling to competitions outside the association, where the playing instructor rule is in force, like The North American Championships, The World Championships and Pleasanton CA. (your hills and glens) would an association, who says it only has the interests of their top bands at heart, handicap their own bands. No - I think what was presented was a misguided concept.

                    It has nothing to do with improving the band in the sustainable long term. Learning and instruction takes place on home ground long before arriving at the competition park.
                    I firmly believe you have it wrong - instructors ARE about improving bands. If we want to have an identity on a bigger piping stage, I believe that there needs to be a system that allows our good musicians - pipers and drummers to be invited as “guest players” into upper grade bands while maintaining their playing status in their, lower grade, home bands. In fact, if it is not done, given the ever increasing size of band circles in the upper grades, our US top bands will be left at the gate.



                    At the worlds this year, how many top grade one bands had guest players in their ranks - I think you would be surprised!


                    Willie

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                      Originally posted by bob864 View Post
                      Either way, one certain result is going to be smaller bands on the field.
                      Again you are infering the argument is about what is best for piping and pipe bands, when the argument is really about how to ensure the perception of a level playing field.

                      Besides, smaller bands on the field is not necessarily a bad thing. I don't think increasing band size by haveing people play in multiple bands does anything. We have to increase band size by increasing participation in competition bands. Whether this is from getting non competition people to perform or bringing new people into the world of piping and drumming.

                      Also, Competition does not improve a band, preparing for competition improves a band. less than five minutes in the circle on the day is just a presentation of months of prep work.

                      Mike
                      We do this for fun, travel, and to meet people

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                        Originally posted by pipervin View Post
                        Chris Hamilton mentioned in this thread that the rule change was nullified and everything left status quo at the AGM? Until there is an "official" announcement of some sort, bands really can't consider this as anything more than a rumor. Not that I'm doubting you Chris... ;)
                        I was reporting the popular attitude among both judges and players ... I wasn't commenting on the political / legal machinations that went on. The groundswell was overwhelming in favor of keeping the Instructor Rule for all grades. I'm here to teach and to play; no agenda other than that.

                        Chris
                        Christopher Hamilton

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                          Originally posted by ratherbpiping View Post
                          Again you are infering the argument is about what is best for piping and pipe bands, when the argument is really about how to ensure the perception of a level playing field.
                          No inference or judgment. I'm not saying what's best, better or worse. It's just a fact that if some people are playing in two bands this year, but next year they can only play in one, then the bands will necessarily be smaller.

                          Just an observation.

                          Now regarding judgment and opinion: Is it better for my band if our P/M no longer goes "home" to play with a higher grade band? I don't see why. Is it better for my P/M's home band to loose a player? I don't see why that would be either. Is it better for my band if the P/M steps down to let some lesser experienced piper lead? That doesn't even begin to make sense. If it does, then why doesn't it apply to grade 1 bands? If it's better for a band to have a lesser experienced piper playing lead then shouldn't grade 1 bands have figured that out?


                          Also, Competition does not improve a band, preparing for competition improves a band. less than five minutes in the circle on the day is just a presentation of months of prep work.

                          Mike
                          I agree that the months of prep lead to improvement, but there's a difference between practice and the real deal. I'm certain that the competition itself makes us a better band. We learn to deal with adrenaline, pressure, and stress that doesn't exist in practice, not to mention the distraction of four people walking around with clipboards.

                          It's also not five minutes. We start our competition run about two hours before our deck time. We get better at managing our tone and tuning each time we compete, by trying to make our best performance in the circle, and not in the final tuning area.

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                            Originally posted by Chris Hamilton View Post
                            I was reporting the popular attitude among both judges and players ... I wasn't commenting on the political / legal machinations that went on. The groundswell was overwhelming in favor of keeping the Instructor Rule for all grades. I'm here to teach and to play; no agenda other than that.

                            Chris
                            Amen, brother. It would seem that cooler heads did indeed prevail. The "official" word regarding instructors is up on the EUSPBA site today and it is to remain as is with no change for 2011.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                              In light of no rule change, I withdraw my question. But thanks for all the good discussion.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Re: EUSPBA rule change for instructors playing lead

                                Just a thought..................

                                It really sucks for the instructors that had to make a decision on what to do based on a new rule implemented in June/July for the following year. Then to find out in November/December that no change is being made?????

                                Robbie Calder

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