recently my squadron has received an intake of maybe about 6 new cadets. They have been here for over a month now and I have found out they play instruments and are able to read music. Our squadron doesnt have a band and we are thinking about becoming a drum section for the squadron. How would we go about learning this and what do we need to do from start?
I spoke to my Wing Bandmaster, who. Came down with the Wing instruments, and ran firstly an interest session for the squadron, and then a second session for just the really keen and interested members.
Later, it gave a push for my squadron to purchase its own instruments, and the squadron is forming its band.
Hope that helps.
If they are musical direct them at the wing band. Don’t dilute the Squadron Cadet Experience where you don’t have the specialist staff to deliver.
Not all cadets can do music, they can do everything else we offer.
People who really want to do music join a band, not cadets.
Music is all about signposting them to Wing / Corps activities.
How is forming a band ‘diluting the cadet experience’? From my personal experience, it adds to it. The concepts of military band history, band drill, band formations etc can really add value to the often ‘black-and-white’ experience.
But only if you have the staff to deliver it… but it remains inaccessible to some cadets who are not musically inclined.
What happens if you have 1 staff member who is musical, you spend thousands on music equipment, and they leave or move squadron?
I wouldn’t say it necessarily dilutes it - it just needs careful management - particularly if it’s starts overshadowing other elements of the cadet experience. However, without the specialist staff members in place - or the volunteers prepared to become said specialist - then it can be an uphill struggle to find momentum.
However, signposting to the specialist Wg staff member can definitely help get things going, provide some insight and gain a little bit of traction. We have some excellent musicians on our squadron who play at Sqn, Wg, Rg and Corp level. But we don’t have a band. We simply signpost upwards and onwards as it’s something we don’t have the capacity or capability to deliver on squadron - nor the staff willingness to develop and nurture it ourselves. It may change in the future - but right now, we’re happy to refer on - just as we do for all the other “more specialist” things across the RAFAC experience.
To be fair this happened at my Sqn.
What happens if you only have 1 RCO and you spend money on an Air Rifle Range? What happens if you spend thousands on AT kit and your qualified person leaves? What makes Bands any different?
Qualifications can be gained, a lot easier than music knowledge.
Can you direct me to the Sqn bandmaster course?
Ah, I see you’re an ‘anti-bandie’. One of many. I don’t see how the quality delivery of music by a competent individual can take away from the experience. And anyway, lots of wings do drumming courses, what’s to stop a staff member going along to pick it up so they can teach it? Wing/region MusOs are much more open and friendly than you may think, they are usually more than willing to offer advice, teaching and support for squadrons wanting to start a band.
I wouldnt say hes anti band…hes from a wing with a very active and successful wing band. What i think he is trying to sais that its very common for music training to just fizzle out at Sqn level and then it just stops. So unless you have the staff to train and grade whats the point of starting However its more proactive, efficent and managable at Wing Level. Wing band days etc
I also feel that blue music should be encouraged at Sqn level through music lessons outside of cadets, if the cadets so wish. If you have staff with the correct experience and quals to deliver a structures syllabus to get cadets to blue badge through the relevant gradings. Winner, knock yourself out.
However being at wing level you can centralise that resource allowing more cadets to have thay experience. You will get more impact in the music PTS by centralising training within a wing. Am i wrong in thinking you need to be in a wing band for bronze anyways?
I see entirely where you’re coming from.
If done properly, Sqn bands can be absolutely fantastic. If not, well the obvious is true. I think there needs to be more centralised training for staff whether this be at Wg level or not.
However I don’t think the blue badge should be pushed to be done outside of cadets. That kind of defeats the object. It would be very simple to run a weekend drumming course to get to blue standard - and if that was run locally but by, for example, the Wing MusO, it would provide a good solid foundation to build on for a successful Squadron band.
Either appropriate Wing representation or certified/assessed Grade 5 standard on an instrument.
So… My squadron has the start of a band, a group of cadets who are musically minded, are training others who can’t read music but can remember a tune.
It’s a good leadership task too. It’s allowing me to let senior cadets develop and train the future cadet group. As staff, I just monitor it.
It’s not perfect for all squadrons, but currently works for us.