ABA: How are we going to get through this?

How are we going to get through this? What are my students going to do? What about my concert? How will I recruit for next year? What about auxiliary and drum major tryouts? How will I teach my content digitally? These are all BIG questions that we have all had to answer over the past 5 weeks. None of us would have ever imagined on March 1 what April would look like for our programs, but there is one thing that I know for sure, we as band directors and music teachers ALWAYS find a path for our students and programs whatever is put before us.

In the days ahead think about the following things to help your program:

  1. Attend some PD sessions online to aid you in this time
  2. Look at your program and implement some things you’ve wanted to but haven’t had the time (I’ve revamped my student leadership application procedures and how I will train them for the Fall during this time)
  3. Spend time getting organized as you close out this year and are getting ready to tackle next year
  4. Plan for summer activities. a. Have a plan A for normal summer. b. Plan B for shorter summer. c. Plan C for what would happen if there are no summer activities – don’t be caught off guard, plan NOW! Remember, if you fail to plan you have planned to fail!!!!
  5. Start now planning Concert Band literature your band for the next academic year – order in September: a. Veterans Day, b. Christmas, c. MPA, d. March Madness – if you’ve never done this concert – DO IT, e. Spring Concert
  6. It’s not too late to recruit – put together a video of your leadership students encouraging younger students to be in band – use iMovie or the like to put this together and get this out on social media and to your school – ASSUME THAT ALL YOUR UPCOMING STUDENTS ARE GOING TO BE IN BAND AND GO AFTER THEM!!!!!!!!!
  7. Use this time to market your program in a positive way!!!
  8. Look at your finances and how you will manage them in the Fall since most of us missed a fundraiser this Spring

Upcoming ABA events

All-State – All of the clinicians from the 2020 event will be with us for the 2021 event in Mobile. All of the registration money for All-State, the Solo Festival, and the Friday lunch has been refunded to the schools.

Summer Conference – As of now, the ABA Summer Conference is still a go. The board will meet in May to make a final determination about this event, but we are hoping that we will be able to have the event as planned. Doug Farris will be sending out a room link very soon to the membership for this.

Solo and Ensemble – Our bylaws allow for Solo and Ensemble to occur anytime from October through May. Each district has been encouraged to offer two solo and ensemble events next school year for our students. This is something for each district to discuss and see what works best for your district.

AMEA 2021 – All legislation that was going to be voted on at the All-State festival (2020), will be moved to the 2021 AMEA conference so that the membership will have the opportunity to discuss the legislation before we vote on the legislation.

AMEA has a resource page at myamea.us where we can all go to find resources to help during this time. You can also place your ideas and resources here to help us build this site. Also, remember to be proactive and positive as we move forward. The future of our programs will depend upon how we handle this time with our students and their families.

Take time during all of this to invest in personal growth, time to invest and grow with your family, time for your faith, and time for your musical journey as well. I am setting aside 30 minutes a day to sit down and practice my horn. I always complain I don’t have the time, well now I have nothing but time. Remember that this will end, and we will get through this, what matters is what we did with the time we had and did we invest in the things that really matter!!

Stay strong!!

This is your association. Let us all strive to make it better so that we can serve the students and the bands in our state better. We are ABA and together we CAN do great things!!