In setting forth my views on what I would do if I were a band director, I shall attempt to look at the band director and his job through the eyes of an administrator. I believe that this scrutiny will be objective, friendly, and encouraging...
What Would I Do if I Were the Band Director?
First, if I were band director, I would support the contention that my activity has inherent values worthy of inclusion in a program of general education.
There are those who doubt this. I do believe that the time is now here when it is necessary to point out certain values, a few of which I shall attempt to explore.
Music is an activity for leisure. I feel that some music educators are apologetic with respect to this value. I deplore this attitude. Our society is such that the wise use of leisure will be an increasing problem. Music can help fill the void.
Music has an ennobling effect. Someone has said that youngsters who are participating in good music are not likely to be numbered among the delinquents. One study some years ago confirmed this philosophy. I do believe that music is a wholesome, emotional expression and should be a part of the experience of every youngster.
Music developments have paralleled the changes within the structure of American life. Music has been a basic part of the American heritage. It should have an integral part in the general education program for every student, whether he is in elementary or the high school.
Secondly—If I were the band director, I would insist that my activity be scheduled at a time when representative students could elect it as a free choice.
Most band directors who have served in more than one position during their career will find that this has a familiar ring. The values to be gained from participation are such that no interested student should be denied the privilege of belonging, particularly if the denial is a result of failure to plan the program intelligently.
Third—if I were the band director, I would attach significance to my subject as being one of the school's contributions to the program for developing the talents of students.
Music and athletics led the field for many years in making special provisions for students with special abilities. With in recent years, it seems to me that giftedness has come to be associated with academic superiority in the traditional disciplines, particularly mathematics and science. No one would question the wisdom of placing great emphasis upon producing talented and creative scientists and mathematicians. There is some question as to whether this emphasis contributes materially to the solution of some of the world's most distressing current problems. In any system-wide program of study pertaining to talent development's general area should be represented, and its methods should be based on the fact that its students are talented.