How can I increase attitudes to band as an NCO?

So remembrance is coming up and our OC on our squadron has been wanting a full band with a minimum of 20 people playing since we are leading the remembrance parade this year after apparently 10 years (the sea cadets have taken it most years).
I really want this years remembrance to be the best it can be especially for our squadron however, some people don’t seem interested in being part of the band.
As the “lead bell lyre player” on the squadron I have been given the role to teach people on bell lyre, which is about 6 at most. We have currently practices 4 songs as a band and to make things easier for those who don’t know music, I have let each person choose 2 out of the 4 songs to focus on more. Our OC wants about 9 songs at a good standard by November.
Some of the cadets however are not interested in being in band or struggle a lot because they can’t read music. I have written the notes on the whiteboard so that it is easier for them to learn however I believe none of them will be able to learn all 9 songs by November. At most I am hoping for them to be confident with about 4 each by November but I am still not confident they will.
Any advice on how I can make this easier for the cadets to progress and have a better attitude about band while also being at a good standard by the time November hits?
My OC will not be on the squadron for a while and expects us to reach a standard which is good enough for remembrance.

I think your OC has been quite unreasonable. 2 months to teach complete beginners to be at a good parade standard isn’t very much, especially if those beginners are being voluntold.

I know that’s not overly helpful to you, though.

Biggest thing is to not stress. Worrying about it and starting a panic among your cadets will be distinctly unhelpful. Keep training as best you can and see where you get to.


Yeah everyone thinks it’s quite rushed. However my OC wanted to start weekly band nights a few months ago, before summer but it wasn’t as frequent as it will be now.
I was thinking about asking if we could reward those who take part in the band for remembrance a blue band badge since blue is usually at squadron level, so it shows that the cadets didn’t just play for nothing. Could that work for one solution?

I am not panicking loads right now. I set up a band google document so I can keep track of what songs we are progressing with, what ones we need to work on and who can play each song.

Blue badges are awarded solely on musical ability, so typically passing a recognized music board examination at grade 3 practical, or providing expert witness testimony (like a school music teacher) that they play an instrument to grade 3 standard. The third option is an assessment by a competent person (CFAV with appropriate qualifications or experience to conduct an assessment).

Performing in the way you’ve described wouldn’t hit any of these criteria. ACTO 123 details more on the criteria for musician badges.

I’d suggest you ask your sqn staff to put you in contact with your Wing Music Officer who can help provide support and further advice in this situation.

If your OC is so determined to have a band, why not collaborate with the local Sea Cadets to train the Air Cadets… Seems very short sighted to task a Cadet to teach others who have been voluntold and have no interest in learning.

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This is going to add pressure onto Cadets and you may start to see them less and less, especially as schools are back.

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Your OC is an idiot.

Firstly because it would not be possible, even with enough genuinely enthusiastic cadets, to produce the result he wants. Secondly, he’s attempting to pressurise people who have no interest whatsoever in band camp, and who can choose to simply absent themselves, into performing for his vanity progect. It never works. Never.

Your OC sounds like a bit of a throbber. People who have wildly unrealistic objectives, chosen for reasons of ego, rarely take bad news well. Fortunately as your OC isn’t there you can give someone else the joyous task (which they will probably enjoy), of bursting his balloon/weeing on his cornflakes: speak to whoever is deputising for him, tell them it’s not going to happen as you have neither the numbers, nor the attainment level, to complete the task.

They need a new plan, and one that doesn’t involve you. My advice would be to take a couple of weeks study leave to get into the swing of the new school year, and to ensure that this is all someone else’s problem - ideally it will be kicked off into the long grass where it will die a quiet and unlamented death, but if not, it won’t be your problem.

TL/DR: it’s unrealistic, it’s not going to happen. It’s not your problem.