Casa de Weird (bunrab) wrote in community_band,
Casa de Weird

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You call it nagging; I call it organizing

This evening was the first rehearsal for the 2006-07 season of the Montgomery Village Community Band, and I seem to have been elected band president this year. For the most part, the president of this band doesn't have a whole lot to do other than make announcements each week. The Montgomery Village Foundation provides our budget, the conductor/music director makes all the decisions about what to play and many of the decisions about where to play (the rest of the decisions about where to play are either the MVF or completely ad hoc), and the section leaders do a bunch of the paperwork. But everyone needs a mission, so my mission as band president this year is two-fold: (1) asking the MVF to please put a “Caution: Step Down” sign on the door before someone breaks their neck leaving the building late at night when the parking lot lights are out, and (2) harrassing everybody in the band until they ALL have pencils in their folders.

What, you may ask, does that have to do with musicianship? With playing a band instrument? Well, the first one is obvious: someone with a broken neck, or even just a broken arm, ain't gonna play their instrument too well. Even someone who just turns and sprains their ankle is gonna be crankier than usual, and therefore not play as well. And (2) has a LOT to do with musicianship, especially in a band where more members are over 50 than under, where most people are working at least one full time job all day before coming to band rehearsal, which is to say, we all need a bit of exosomatic memory. When the conductor says let's make that line a crescendo and then a decrescendo - write it in! When we announce that next week's rehearsal is in a different location - write it down! When you miss an accidental - circle it! When someone announces a web site for some musical cause, write it down! It's a lot easier to write stuff down compulsively than it is to grow new neurons to remember more stuff without writing it down!

Exosomatic memory: that's squirrel_magnet's term for PDAs, address books, or even just pencil and paper. For those of you who don't recognize the word, the roots are soma, meaning body, and exo, meaning outside. That is, memory that occurs outside of the inside of your skull.
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