I don’t know if you watched last week's Celebrity Apprentice…. um, I mean the Republican Presidential Debates, but it was theater not to be missed. I generally shy away from discussing politics with these newsletters, as there is little to gain and lots to lose, but this is different because it’s not about politics, it’s about a persona.
Last Thursday Donald Trump landed on the stage and set off fireworks with every word. And yet, through it all, he emerged virtually unscathed and with a widening lead in the polls. It seems the more bombastic he gets, the higher his numbers rise. I call it “The Trump Bump.”
It’s easy, if not enjoyable, to watch because much like every other facet of reality TV, his communication style feeds our desire to feel smarter and superior to everyone else. I’m just not sure it’s the way we want our leaders to behave, whether they are leaders of our country, our communities, or our music programs.
This past week I had the opportunity to spend with several VERY fine programs. As a part of my stay, I watched rehearsals and saw these programs operate on the field and in the classroom. I was AMAZED! Without exception, every instructor I saw operated an communicated in the most professional and positive manner possible. Their rehearsals were silent, efficient, and productive. There was no hype, hazing, or yelling. There were just hard working teachers and harder working kids.
Let’s be clear… I am not the person to give advice when it comes to being over the top. But, I believe our country and it’s children take their cue from their leaders. I think it’s important that as music educators we serve as the model for what we want out students to be and behave in performance and in life.
During the long and grueling days of summer band, let’s show our students that reality is nothing like reality TV and that the band room is a much more civilized place than Donald’s Board Room.
No offense intended and all politics aside, I would personally feel better about our world and our bands iif we traded the "Trump Bump" for the "Trump Dump.”