Fourth—if I were the band director, I would regard myself as an integral part of teaching staff.
If my area had been losing ground as a result of pressures from the so called academic disciplines, I would wonder whether I might be partly at fault. The characteristics of the music teaching program, which involves usually both individual and group instruction, are such that there is a tendency to withdraw from participating actively in the professional activities of the local teaching staff. When committees are formed to perform specific functions, whether it is music or not, all too often the band director finds himself either uninterested or unavailable. I know that the performing aspects of his work are such that heavy demands are made on his time and energy. It is necessary, however, if I am a band director, to concern myself with the general problems that confront the school.
Fifth—if I were the band director, I would constantly strive to improve my qualifications in the field of liberal arts.
I have been stuck many times by the number and extent of specialized courses in the field of music per se. I do not discount the necessity for artistry in individual performance or group conducting. I do know, however, that it is necessary for the band director to establish and maintain proper communication with those who are often musically illiterate. It seems to me, then that his own preparation in the general field of liberal arts should be more extensive than that which has been traditionally required.
Sixth—if I were the band director, I would align myself with those forces which are engaged in preserving the traditional values of the system of education in the United States.
It seems apparent that, as a profession, we must insist that all of the children of all of the people have a right to an education. The entire profession needs to present a united front if our educational program is to be preserved and expanded to meet the needs that characterize the space age.
The band director has both the qualifications and the obligation to speak out on behalf of our total educational system. With the possible exception of athletics, the school bands have succeeded in obtaining more news coverage than any other phase of the school program. Through cooperation with civic groups and patriotic organizations, the band director has a traditional reservoir of good will. He is known and admired throughout the community. I trust he will accept the challenge to assume the professional obligation to represent all education at its very best.
I hope that I have said enough to convince you that through the eyes of this administrator, you have a contribution to make; not only to the curricular aspect of the program of general education, but also to the welfare of our total profession and the educational experiences of our boys and girls.