Rethinking the Traditional Wind Band

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ABSTRACT: The 21st century has brought new struggles to the instrumental band program, yet little has changed in wind band pedagogy (Kirchhoff, 1988). There have been alternative approaches to the traditional band rehearsal that could help support the growing diversity in schools and school band programs. World music pedagogy, typically employed in general music classrooms, can be adapted to engage students in multiple musical experiences in both traditional repertoire as well as other genres and styles. Critical pedagogy encourages students and teachers to work together to better understand their world through music, deconstructing the need for the director at the podium instructing students how to interpret the repertoire. Finally, there have been multiple studies that encourage wind band instructors to go beyond the traditional large ensemble and incorporate smaller ensembles that include chamber groups, mariachi ensembles, and steel bands. It is easy to forget that while students do not know how to play the instrument, they come to the music class steeped in their musical knowledge. By stepping away from the podium, even for a little, we can offer our students the chance to think critically and creatively that deepens their connection to music. Band directors are not just rehearsing for the next performance; we are educators supporting our students on their musical journeys.

Author: Lauren Diaz

Published 7/3/2020

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