I would like an(some) opinion(s) on something.

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Zarathrustra
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I would like an(some) opinion(s) on something.

Post by Zarathrustra » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:22 pm

Do you guys think that a drum major should be one of the "higher level" musicians in the band? I do understand that leadership is the most important attribute of a drum major, but do you guys think that the drum major of a band should be one of the more skilled musicians in the band?
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Psalm 56
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Re: I would like an(some) opinion(s) on something.

Post by Psalm 56 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:06 am

Zarathrustra wrote:Do you guys think that a drum major should be one of the "higher level" musicians in the band? I do understand that leadership is the most important attribute of a drum major, but do you guys think that the drum major of a band should be one of the more skilled musicians in the band?

The drum major needs to be "the one" who walks the walk and talks the talk. Your question is interesting. My perception is your question slants in the direction of "...to be a good drum major, one should be a more skilled musician than others." If my perception of your message is accurate ... I slightly disagree. Attitude over aptitude. Some of the worst leaders are some of the best musicians. Some of the best leaders can be some some of the worst musicians??? Really, Paul. Really. :roll: Come on... Again, its perception. Perception is reality.

I will always take character over competency and even chemistry. However, a strong and effective leader needs to have a percentage of character, competency, and chemistry. Those attributes makes the a leader of followers.

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Re: I would like an(some) opinion(s) on something.

Post by Zarathrustra » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:30 pm

I'm not saying that one must be a better musician than the others to be an effective leader. I'm asking if you think that a drum major should be a strong instrumentalist/musician as a part of their triats. As I stated, leadership is the priority, but I know there is more you are looking for in a drum major. Shouldn't the conductor of a field show have a strong understanding of music if he/she is in fact conducting it? I do inderstand parade is a whole different story and I know I should have clarified. I was speaking of a drum major in terms of a conductor during field show.
San Benito Scarlet Regiment
Trombone/Euphonium Section Leader/Student Director:2007-2009
Rifle Regiment-Sousa
The Elephant-Ord Hume arr. Zuniga
Simoraine-Barraclough arr. Zuniga
Boys of the Old Brigade-Chambers arr. Zuniga
Muhledorf-Broadbent arr. Zuniga

Psalm 56
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Re: I would like an(some) opinion(s) on something.

Post by Psalm 56 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:58 pm

Zarathrustra wrote:I'm not saying that one must be a better musician than the others to be an effective leader. I'm asking if you think that a drum major should be a strong instrumentalist/musician as a part of their triats. As I stated, leadership is the priority, but I know there is more you are looking for in a drum major. Shouldn't the conductor of a field show have a strong understanding of music if he/she is in fact conducting it? I do inderstand parade is a whole different story and I know I should have clarified. I was speaking of a drum major in terms of a conductor during field show.
Well, give me the opportunity to answer again :D
People want to follow a leader who has strong character. Just because one can conduct really well or one can play his/her instrument really well doesn't give them the respect of the followers. What's the saying - "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care (not how much you can conduct)." Sure...conducting skills are important - knowledge of music is important(competency) but if the drum major lies, cheats, steals, makes his/her followers feel stupid, what good is his/her conducting pattern or knowledge of music?

Character FIRST...competency a slight second. Just an opinion...

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Re: I would like an(some) opinion(s) on something.

Post by formermarcher » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:36 am

Zarathrustra wrote:I'm not saying that one must be a better musician than the others to be an effective leader. I'm asking if you think that a drum major should be a strong instrumentalist/musician as a part of their triats. As I stated, leadership is the priority, but I know there is more you are looking for in a drum major. Shouldn't the conductor of a field show have a strong understanding of music if he/she is in fact conducting it? I do inderstand parade is a whole different story and I know I should have clarified. I was speaking of a drum major in terms of a conductor during field show.
Excellent question. 8-)

I think usually you'll find that people who are drum majors have a good work ethic and are not only people of character like Psalm has mentioned, but are skilled as musicians as well. That is to say, they're the kind of people that actually go home and practice their instrument and/or take private lessons. Its just a well-seen fact; those who practice usually have a higher understand of music that someone who doesn't. A person who has all the traits of being a drum major probably puts in a lot of effort to music and takes it seriously. As a result of having those traits, they probably understand music to a pretty high degree.

I've heard of a few different ways that directors select drum majors, but in the end they all evaluate the same things, and conducting is usually one of those things. Its rare when a director picks someone to be a drum major or assistant drum major and they have an attitude where its clear they don't take the position seriously (slackers, basically).

So should they have an undestanding of music? I'd say there is definetly a need to have some competence in music, but I also think that if the director has done a good job in picking a solid candidate, they'll already have a good background in music by virtue of being qualified to hold the position of drum major. Maybe not the best musician, but certainly someone that knows the difference between a whole note and a half note :lol:
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