The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

DMIdeas

 
Welcome to the fifth edition of DMIdeas—A blog series for student leaders from the Bands of America Drum Major Institute Staff. The BOA Drum Major Institute is committed to helping leaders dig deep into their own personality and discover the natural leadership abilities that already exist while simultaneously providing new skills for greater effectiveness. Leadership is at the CORE of every great endeavor. And at the CORE of every great leader resides honorable Character, comprehensive Content, effective Communication, and an active role in an organization’s Chemistry. Each blog will take a look at one of these facets. It is our sincere hope that we can both inform and inspire! CORE!
 

Biggest Band in the Land... Communication in the Allen Band

With over 800 students on the marching field the Allen Eagle Escadrille has to be one of the largest High School Marching Bands in the country. Students cover 110 yards of green turf and it is not always easy to communicate to each student the instructions and improvements between every repetition. The student leadership team (SLT) is absolutely vital to the success of such a large program. The SLT consists of 75-­‐85 students that work as Drum Majors, Section Leaders, Drill Instructors, and Quartermasters.

AllenBand1
These students help the band communicate with each other and the directors while on the field. When it comes to an outdoor rehearsal, the directors depend on the SLT to more directly connect with the more than 700 students on the marching field. During a rehearsal the Drum Majors address the band through whistle commands and verbal instructions. The band is learns to respond to various whistle commands with a  verbal response in unison. Some examples include:

               -­‐    Attention:      Band-­‐Ten-­‐Hut
               -­‐    Parade     Rest:     Band-­‐Parade-­‐Rest
               -­‐    Ready  Position:  Band  to  the  ready

These commands allow the Drum Majors to get the attention of the students so the directors can communicate instructions to the students via the PA system. While the band is rehearsing the director will give the directions and the Dum Major on the center podium will repeat the instructions for the band to hear before the next rep starts. In this way, the students are able to hear the director’s comments twice before continuing with rehearsal to increase effectiveness and understanding.

AllenBand2
Throughout the school year the Allen Band spends time learning drill and rehearsing music to reach their expectation of excellence. However, in order to achieve that goal the Section Leaders and Drill Masters are there to encourage and educate the band. The communication role of the Section Leader is very similar to any other band program in that they are responsible for communicating to their section members the expectations and information given out by the directors. The directors rely on Section Leaders to teach and remind other students of the marching and musical skills in order to effectively communicate the information to all students. The Drill Instructors’ role is to assist the Section Leaders and help fix any visual inconsistencies during the performance.

The key concept for the Allen Student Leadership Team is to be effective and communicative. These expectations allow for them to act as ambassadors to the other 700 band students. Without their assistance communication between director and student on and off the field would suffer drastically.

Through the efforts of student leadership and organization by the directors, the Allen Band is able to rehearse and perform high-­‐caliber marching band shows throughout the season.
 
 

Previous DMIdeas Posts:

 
 
 

DMIdeas: Musicianship

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 20:39 Written by Koji Mori

Welcome to the fourth edition of DMIdeas—A blog series for student leaders from the Bands of America Drum Major Institute Staff. The BOA Drum Major Institute is committed to helping leaders dig deep into their own personality and discover the natural leadership abilities that already exist while simultaneously providing new skills for greater effectiveness. Leadership is at the CORE of every great endeavor. And at the CORE of every great leader resides honorable Character, comprehensive Content, effective Communication, and an active role in an organization’s Chemistry. Each blog will take a look at one of these facets. It is our sincere hope that we can both inform and inspire! CORE!

DMIdeas: Musicianship

Content: Musicianship

“Can I really do this? I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never held a leadership title let alone the drum major title. What will the others think of me? What do I need to know? I don’t really know how to conduct. And I don’t really know what else is involved. Now that I think about it, what is involved? What are the responsibilities? What do I have to know?”

“How am I going to be a drum major?”

These are all thoughts that crossed my mind as I prepared for my audition to be a drum major for my high school band. Most band students at one time or another think about the possibility of becoming a drum major for their band. They often tell themselves, “Maybe I could be drum major…” But then the inevitable doubts run across their mind at some point. Questions keep coming to mind about whether they are qualified or know enough to be drum major for their band. The idea of being the top or one of the top leaders of the band is one that can be exciting and/or overwhelming. For me, I was nervous and didn’t know if I could do such a job because I had no previous experience of having a leadership title. I knew that I loved music and wanted to be able to help everyone in the band. I just wasn’t sure what I needed to know or have the skill to do to be successful.

In previous DMIdeas posts, Bobby and Stephanie did a wonderful job discussing character and challenging you to think about what kind of person you are and WHY you do what you do. We’re going to look at WHAT we need to know and have the ability to do as drum majors and WHAT you can do to prepare.

The drum major position is the ultimate servant leadership position.

Servant leadership means it’s not about you. It’s about what you can do in the background to help everyone around you achieve a common goal. This can include serving others in ways such as: picking up after the band after rehearsals and conducting skillfully in order to communicate the music to the players to perform at their best. However, in order to communicate said music to the players, we must have skill in understanding the music. We must be good musicians.

A drum major needs to be one of the best musicians in the band. This necessary skill enables the drum major to understand the music of the show and communicate that to their fellow band members through conducting on the podium and teaching off the podium. It’s imperative that the drum major is able to assist other students who need extra help with understanding how to perform the music that they must perform. The essentials of how to read music notation and expressions on the page are vital. Beyond the notes and rhythms, let’s look a little further and find out what makes a musician a good musician.

How do you know if someone is a good musician? Is it how well they play their instrument? Is it the kind of music they listen to? Or perhaps it’s about what they know about music. Yes, yes, and yes. How can you further improve your musicianship and therefore become a better musician? There are 3 ideas that can help you going on this journey of becoming a better musician…

Listen. Ask questions. Be curious.

Who are the great performers on your instrument? Do you listen to them? Do you have a favorite artist? Why do you like their music? Do you like drum corps? Do you have a favorite corps? Why are they your favorite? Do you listen to non-band music? Why do you like it? What makes it good music? Ask yourself some of these questions and stop and think about the answers.

Music is something that all of us engage in. But are we passively hearing it or are we actively listening to it? Most of the time, the music that is played around us is background sounds that exist for ambiance or mood. It’s something that we hear and have some kind of emotional response to. Aaron Copland talks about this in his book, What to Listen for in Music. He says that this kind of hearing for the “sheer pleasure of the musical sound itself” is the simplest way of listening. We hear music all the time without thinking about it or listening to it with critical intention. However, actively listening to music with intent is something of a different nature. When truly listening to music, it’s an active process that demands our full attention as we are now engaged in what is going on within the music. We can then think about questions such as: What is the melody? Who or what is performing the melody? What kind of rhythms are being performed? Who or what is performing them? What are the chords and harmonies being performed and who or what is performing them? Are there repetitive melodic or rhythmic ideas? How is it formed? Write these questions down. These are some of the questions that someone who is actively listening to music is going through in their mind as they listen. It goes beyond the surface level of passively listening to the music because it “sounds cool.” It allows you to analyze and think about WHY it sounds the way it does. This ultimately helps you understand and perhaps even helps you appreciate the music for what it is.

At one time, I disliked classical music. It was something that was old and long that just didn’t make much sense to me. It sounded boring. But when I heard the Phantom Regiment play Pachelbel’s Canon (not knowing it was classical music,) I thought it was some of the best music I had heard. It wasn’t until I was in the Phantom Regiment that I discovered a true passion for the classical repertoire. It was after a camp where we had read an arrangement of one of the Paganini Variations that I became intrigued with the idea of looking to the original. It was so pretty and I was saddened when I found out that we were not going to use the piece for the show that year. After camp I was curious as to where I could hear more Paganini, maybe even find the original (thinking that it couldn’t be as good as the arrangement we had just played) and so I searched for it on YouTube. What I discovered was incredible. I discovered Rachmaninoff for the first time and it changed my whole perception of music forever. It was the most beautiful piece I had heard and I fell in love with this music. I remember thinking: “This is classical music!? Wow…” The nostalgic melody was introduced by the solo pianist and then accompanied by the orchestra. The orchestra then took over with the melody in such a beautiful manner that it made me want to listen to it over and over again to try and understand how it could sound so beautiful. From that night of discovering Rachmaninoff (Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op.43 Variation 18 performed by Mikhail Pletnev,) I’ve not only come to appreciate classical literature but have truly taken a joy in listening and studying it. It helped me develop as a musician and it all started with a question: Where does that music come from? This got me curious to find the answer and in turn, sparked a desire and love for a genre of music that I once was simply uninterested in.

My challenge to you is to listen to different genres and styles of music from Lady Gaga to Igor Stravinsky. From Beethoven to Miles Davis. From Pachelbel to Pop Radio. You may hear similarities along with the many differences. If you like drum corps, check out what your favorite drum corps are playing and find out where the arrangements came from and listen to the original. Getting exposure to some of these different generations and genres of music can start to build a reservoir of musical knowledge. This can directly help when playing/practicing your instrument, which in turn can help give you context when we begin to dive into the printed ink we call the score. In addition, as you begin your quest to listen to music that you are unfamiliar with, you may find something new to you that you never were able to appreciate before simply because of your willingness to listen to it with great thought and care. As Aaron Copland said:

“Strive for…a more active kind of listening. Whether you listen to Mozart or Duke Ellington, you can deepen your understanding of music only by being a more conscious and aware listener—not someone who is just listening, but someone who is listening for something.” –Aaron Copland

Continue to develop your musicianship through the 3 ideas of LAB (Listen. Ask Questions. Be Curious.) From there, be diligent in your personal growth of playing your instrument. Conducting will come more easily as you learn the most important elements, which are first derived from being a good musician. I will leave you with one last idea: Time. As a drum major and conductor on the field, your first job is to keep time. How well do you keep time? You can check yourself through a simple exercise of playing the metronome and tapping your hand in time with the metronome. Turn the volume down and let the metronome keep going. Keep tapping your hand for about 8 beats and then turn the volume back up. Are you still with the metronome? If not, no problem. Do the exercise again and let the metronome go mute for 4 beats. If you were spot on after 8 beats of muted met, try going 16, 20, etc. You can do this with any tempo markings, but you will generally want to hit a few ballpark ranges such as: 80, 120, 144, and 160. Time is the first vital element in conducting as a drum major. We’ll cover the other 2 elements this summer at the BOA Drum Major Institute. Stay well this spring and good luck on drum major auditions!

CORE!

-Koji

DMIdeas: What Can We Give?

Tuesday, 01 April 2014 16:18 Written by Kim Shuttlesworth
Welcome to the third edition of DMIdeas—A blog series for student leaders from the Bands of America Drum Major Institute Staff. The BOA Drum Major Institute is committed to helping leaders dig deep into their own personality and discover the natural leadership abilities that already exist while simultaneously providing new skills for greater effectiveness. Leadership is at the CORE of every great endeavor. And at the CORE of every great leader resides honorable Character, comprehensive Content, effective Communication, and an active role in an organization’s Chemistry. Each blog will take a look at one of these facets. It is our sincere hope that we can both inform and inspire! CORE!
 
DMIdeas-blog-photo
 
What Can We Give?
 
This past month I was helping with Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis when I had a defining moment in my life. That sounds dramatic, and it’s not intended, but it was a moment that I will remember exactly where I was and what happened. To not keep you in suspense, it was at the banquet that concludes the weekend before the National Honor Orchestra and National Honor Band take the stage. Franz Krager was the speaker for the night. I have known Maestro Krager for many years now. He is one of the most vibrant, exciting conductors to watch, but more importantly- he is one of the most genuine, giving people I have ever met. I am paraphrasing, but he spoke about how in our lifetime there will be very important marks on our radar that have changed the course of our life, people who give unselfishly to help us, and events that are “defining moments”. In the moments he was talking about this I began to drift to my own story. What, in my short time here on earth, were some of those marks on my radar? I would like to share a few things that have made their mark with me:
 
1.    My mother- I know it sounds very cliché, but she has been my mentor my entire life. See, she is a music educator. I grew up in a band hall and a choir room for most of my life. When I think about the type of teacher I would like to be, the “make-up” for what I can give back- I hope that I can be like her. She taught me to give my best, finish what I start, and be in a constant mindset that I am capable of anything because of the talent within every person.
 
2.    The book entitled “One: How many People does it take to make a difference?” is written by Dan Zadra & Kobi Yamada, edited by Kristel Wills. I am a big believer in inspirational quotes and motivating stories to use when educating. This book is simply that. I use it when talking to my students about giving their absolute best. Some of my favorite stories within the book are: What Can One Do? (my favorite quote is “I am but one, I cannot do everything, but I can do something”) and You are Royalty. The book allows one to write in his/her own story, experience, and favorite things that influence life.  

3.     Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. I think the piece speaks for itself, but for me, it was a defining moment in which the song was present. I believe with any audience, music educators or general public, this song has the ability to create emotion and feeling that is universal. It can educate all of us about life and possibly, death, love, passion, patience, and simply the gift of silence. Every note has meaning, like every decision we make in our life.  

4.    Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess- who doesn’t love a Dr. Seuss book? I try to read this book every year. It is just one that each time I read it, I get something different out of the book. I think that is because each year we evolve, events happen, and a new chapter of our life begins. I was given the book when I graduated high school. At the time I thought, “Why would you give me a Dr. Seuss book at my age?” Now, when I can, I pay it forward. It is one of the best pieces of advice to give.

5.    “To All those who enter… You are subject to the relentless, refining process of music, through uncompromising standards.” This is painted on the wall in our band hall for all students to read daily. My former boss, Bruce Dinkins, was taught this from the band hall of William Revelli. This is an oath I attempt to live by, not just with music, but with life. I believe that we, as educators, and leaders of our programs (students as well,) are in the business of developing great people for our communities, character for future leaders, and citizens that give to others because someone once gave to them. Music is the tool that we use to do that. Yes, the power of music has all of those capabilities.
 
 It can transform people…Inspire others…Create a change.
 
These are just a few things that keep me going and motivated everyday. I encourage you to find those “pieces of the puzzle” that make the grand picture of “you” shine. Share those moments, stories, people, and pay it forward. I think that is the one thing I hope that we will learn as leaders and citizens… the question is not what can we get, but more importantly- What can we give?
 
- Kim
 
 
 
Did you miss the first two editions of DMIdeas? Read DMIdeas: Character and DMIdeas: The Foundation of Success.
 
Want to learn more about the BOA Drum Major Institute?  Click here.
 
 

DMIdeas: The Foundation of Success

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 10:08 Written by Stephanie Grote
Welcome to the second edition of DMIdeas—A blog series for student leaders from the Bands of America Drum Major Institute Staff. The BOA Drum Major Institute is committed to helping leaders dig deep into their own personality and discover the natural leadership abilities that already exist while simultaneously providing new skills for greater effectiveness. Leadership is at the CORE of every great endeavor.  And at the CORE of every great leader resides honorable Character, comprehensive Content, effective Communication, and an active role in an organization’s Chemistry. Each blog will take a look at one of these facets. It is our sincere hope that we can both inform and inspire! CORE!
 
The Foundation of Success: What is at YOUR Core?
 
Core graphic
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of working with the 2014 Drum Corps International Drum Majors at the Annual DCI Meeting held in Phoenix, Arizona. I thought you all might like to have a glimpse into some of the leadership traits that my team discussed as essential qualities of great leaders.

Our discussion was based on the teachings and sayings of one of my favorite leadership gurus, Coach John Wooden. Coach Wooden was a legendary basketball coach at UCLA, where he won an unprecedented 10 NCAA National Championships. In fact, seven of his national titles were consecutive wins! However, the best part of Coach Wooden’s success is not the astounding number of wins throughout his career, instead it is the foundation upon which he built his program. These leadership principles are best summarized in his “Pyramid of Success,” which can be found at his website: www.coachwooden.com. Coach Wooden’s core values include: industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, and enthusiasm. He puts these values at the base of the pyramid, in the order you see below.

Industriousness

Friendship

Loyalty

Cooperation

Enthusiasm


While there are several other elements to the Pyramid of Success, these core values that serve as the foundation of Coach Wooden’s teaching legacy are the most basic and essential skills necessary for a drum major today.

The first cornerstone of the foundation is industriousness. Today we would call this being a hard worker. In all music programs I have been involved with – high school band, college band, and drum corps – leaders are chosen by an audition that actually occurs over the course of the entire year. The actual “audition” where we physically do an interview, write an essay, or show our conducting skills is more of a formality of affirming all of the leadership skills you have displayed throughout the previous year.

Why does it matter that you show evidence of being an industrious student throughout the school year? Why does it matter that other students identify you as a hard worker?

As we all know, other students are more likely to listen to a drum major who is known for diligently working to improve his or her skills for the good of the group. Students are particularly eager to follow a leader who is a hard worker that maintains a positive attitude at all times.  If you are already a hard worker with limited responsibilities, chances are good that you will still be a hard worker when you are given more responsibilities (i.e. a prominent leadership role). 

Directly next to industriousness, we find friendship. While it may seem strange to see friendship labeled as an essential leadership quality, Coach Wooden’s aim with this principle was to instill the highest level of respect and camaraderie between each player on the team and himself.  The saying goes, “no one will care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  Therefore, we must realize that forming and cultivating personal relationships is the easiest way to show our groups how much we care. Learning first names, making personal connections, and always being respectful and kind will increase the extent of our influence exponentially.

The other cornerstone of Coach Wooden’s pyramid is enthusiasm, or being highly interested and motivated by an activity. The great part about leading with enthusiasm is it becomes highly contagious! Just the other day, I was watching a documentary about the leadership qualities of Marines, and in this documentary, one of the drill sergeants made a statement that he seeks to always lead his recruits with enthusiasm,  “to motivate them to stay in the fight.” That phrase really struck a chord with me (pun intended), as we have the same goal when trying to motivate our ensembles. We want them to stay in the proverbial fight – to continue pushing through the fatigue or the boredom and strive for excellence. Your enthusiasm can and will make the difference in encouraging another student to continue trying their hardest to achieve at the highest levels.

To the left of enthusiasm is cooperation, or a willingness to work with others.  On any team, but particularly in the band world, if we cannot maintain an atmosphere of cooperation we will always fall short of achieving our goals. Cooperation is the glue that holds us all together as a single unit, instead of simply coexisting as individuals. When we agree to join together as a collaborative team, we all travel along the same path, in the same direction, in pursuit of the same goal.

Finally, in the very center of Coach Wooden’s philosophies, we find loyalty. There are countless ways that we can show (or disprove) our loyalty within our band program. First and foremost, the loyal leader must always show great respect to the members of their ensemble by not engaging in behavior promoting unhealthy relationships or compromising trust (i.e. gossip and/or drama). While we could talk about this topic for several weeks, let’s look at the other equally important facet of loyalty, which is being loyal to yourself – not compromising your values, your systems, or your standards. A good leader will set up a system of standards and values for their program. A great leader will enforce these systems and values relentlessly, never allowing themself or others to settle or be less than their best.

While all of these teachings and principles are great ideas, the most important thing you can do today is to ask yourself one question: what is at your core?

If you (or your band) were to sit down and make a list of the leadership qualities you possess – the qualities that are the foundation of your personal leadership philosophy – what would make the list? Would you be identified as the loyal, trusted leader? Would you be known as a hard worker with a great attitude? If these qualities are not at the top of your list yet, do not fear! Every great leader is constantly learning and adapting, as they know change will always be necessary to keep moving forward. As you review your own core values and make an action plan for adapting your personal leadership traits, I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Coach John Wooden:
 
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

-Stephanie
 
Stephanie Grote is Assistant Director of Bands at Vandegrift High School.  The Marching Band is the current Texas 4A State Champion earning this title for the first time.  Mrs. Grote graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Texas in 2010. While at North Texas, Mrs. Grote served as Drum Major of the Green Brigade Marching Band for 3 years, and performed in the Wind Symphony under Eugene Migliaro Corporon. Mrs. Grote studied trumpet with John Holt, principal trumpet of the Dallas Opera Orchestra. An active participant in Drum Corps International, Mrs. Grote marched from 2007-2009 with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, of Santa Clara, California. Mrs. Grote served as Drum Major during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. She remains the only female Head Drum Major in the 46 year history of the Santa Clara Vanguard. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Jim Jones Leadership Award, which is given annually to one world class drum major by the DCI Hall of Fame. Mrs. Grote lives in Cedar Park with her husband Rob, and their two dogs, Belle and Dusty.

 
Did you miss the first edition of DMIdeas? Read DMIdeas: Character here.
 
Want to learn more about the BOA Drum Major Institute? Click here.

DMIdeas: Character

Friday, 14 February 2014 16:25 Written by Bobby Lambert
Welcome to the first edition of DMIdeas—A blog series for student leaders from the Bands of America Drum Major Institute Staff. The BOA Drum Major Institute is committed to helping leaders dig deep into their own personality and discover the natural leadership abilities that already exist while simultaneously providing new skills for greater effectiveness. Leadership is at the CORE of every great endeavor.  And at the CORE of every great leader resides honorable Character, comprehensive Content, effective Communication, and an active role in an organization’s Chemistry. Each blog will take a look at one of these facets. It is our sincere hope that we can both inform and inspire! CORE!
New DMI
BOA Drum Major Institute Staff and Swags

Character


Most leaders in the band are inherently good people. My dear friend and college band director, Bob Buckner, would often comment that the problem with society is that not everyone is in band. He would say:

"If everyone were in band, there would be very virtually no crime
and we could work together to make great things happen.

That's what bands do. Band people are the best people in the world!"

So with so many good people in band, why must we speak of Character? It is usually not to dissuade students from stealing or cheating but rather to encourage students to do their best in all they do. Character is often described as what one does when no one is watching. I believe Character, for student leaders, is more the place between what you WANT to do and what you SHOULD do. That gray area where one could leave trash on the floor and no one would lay blame, or the middle ground where a leader could walk by an obviously struggling freshman and ignore their need. My particular favorite example of Character in the band medium pertains to personal practice. No one really knows your practice habits—or so we think. 

See, Character can feel like this grandiose idea from which after school specials and Disney movies spring. We have all seen the like—“A downtrodden student changes his entire school from a devastated war zone into a place of love and tranquility using only his trumpet" or "A courageous girl and her snare drum save seventy kittens from certain annihilation using the power of the flam." 

But Character is much more simple. It is not so much WHAT you do to
help others but WHY you do it.

If your sole reason for kindness is recognition and praise, it will be a disappointment. People can be very smart and usually are quite savvy when it comes to false intentions. Have you ever experienced a friend or teacher who is false in their intentions and you could just tell? Everyone has. So you cannot simply attempt the "right" thing for praise or promotion. There must be reason behind your actions. WHY should you help someone? WHY should you be a champion / protector of your band? WHY should you pick up someone else's trash??? 

I believe there are two reasons. Number one can be summed up by a question:

"If not you, then who?"

If it does not begin with you, band leader.... musician...intelligent human...artist then from where should Character rise? It is actually a cycle that is created between art and artist. We partake in the most profound artistic movement ever created--music. It is alive, ever changing, and transcending. There are no words to describe it, only musicians to embody it. We can do that on the stage or on the field but shouldn't we also exemplify this most transforming of art forms in our everyday existence? How can one be miserable and be a musician (Please understand I include dancers and color guard members as musicians--your medium is your movement. You are the personal representation of the music)? We get to create art out of thin air. We get to bring the inspiration and passion of composers to life for audiences whose lives were very dull up until the moment we began to play. We get to touch people all across the country and world through music. What have we to dread? Music gives us every reason to celebrate with Character exhibited in all the things we do.

The second reason why is music demands that we are as aware of the human condition as possible or else we cannot communicate with one another. It begins with our fellow musicians and performers. I can always tell a band with a sense of community in the way they prepare and perform. The Character exhibited by the members toward one another is powerful and therefore, their musical and visual achievement is amplified. Much in the same way two frequencies amplify one another when they are perfectly in sync, two people can amply -- strike that -- MUST amplify and fortify each other for art to reach its full potential. As the performers communicate with each other, they communicate with an audience. Whether that is on the field, in the parking lot after a performance, on a bus or in the school, the band is always performing. Have you heard the classification, "band kid"? We are all "band kids" in every facet of our life. I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER ABOUT THAT!!!  That moniker should mean the best of the best in every way. If it doesn't, the point of BAND has been missed.  

See the cycle: 

Art demands Character, which in turn, inspires Art...

Character is so important on so many levels. Consequently, it is a win-win situation. Exceptional Character breeds exceptional performance. I will leave you with this challenge. Simon Sinek has written several books and has an outstanding video on TEDx Talks. His latest book is titled, “Leaders Eat Last”. Since arriving at Marian, thirteen years ago, I have eaten many meals with our head director Greg Bimm and the full band. In EVERY situation, Greg Bimm eats last. At every potluck, contest, or social situation, he is always last to eat. I thought it was a small point at first but over the years, I see the bigger picture. It is a sign of care and concern for those he leads. He will not rest, until all are served…and I do not only mean food. We follow him with even more vigor because of that fact and the care he shows for us. 

Do your followers feel that kind of care? Does your Character inspire extraordinary commitment? If not, do not be surprised when some do not buy in to your philosophy. In the world of leadership, Character is the engine that makes everything possible. It motivates the leader and the followers to move forward. Without it, little else matters. It is at the core of every leadership skill and cannot be overestimated.  

“In the last analysis, what we are
communicates far more eloquently
than anything we say or do."
— Stephen Covey

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