When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor
We got a new symphonic band director this semester, and to say the transition has been smooth would be stretching it.
Now most of us don’t handle change well.
We might think we do. We might say we do. But if we’re honest, we know that change — in certain areas of our lives and in large doses — is unsettling.
I liked our former band director. He challenged our artistic sensitivity, drew out the best sound from a somewhat rag-tag group of about 50 players, and sold our concerts to happy audiences.
But after our first rehearsal under a new guy’s baton, I found myself dragging.
Nothing was the same. He didn’t warm us up the way our old director did. He wasn’t as organized or sure of himself. He wasn’t comfortable directing a group with students and community members, and he had no clue what level we could perform at.
So we spent two full rehearsals sight-reading — boring — and time was ticking away toward our first concert.
Complaining to others and jumping to the drastic “solution” of quitting band entirely didn’t get me far, so I sat down and vented my feelings in an email to our new director.
I let it “simmer” for nearly a week, rewriting it a half-dozen times every day until I got just the right balance of honesty, concern, and tact. I offered suggestions, like letting the full band vote on which pieces we wanted to play for our concert, and selecting pieces our paying audience would enjoy listening to. And I volunteered to help however I could to make the transition smoother.
Imagine my surprise when some of these things were implemented!
Three weeks in, and more community members have joined, we’ve zeroed in on our concert pieces, and I’m having fun once again.
And that’s one of the beautiful things about being in band.
If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown