SHORT STORY: Jerk music teacher

AzHeat

Platinum Member
If I were to use the same example in a work environment, a strong leader removes guesswork, no leader encourages self reliance and creativity and a weak leader showcases 50 different ways to brown nose and place blame.

For me it’s either lead or get out of the way. Nothing wrong with self reliance and creativity. You can have that with strong leadership as well, and a strong leader would recognize and maximize on that. Never seen weak leaders do anything, but hemorrhage good people.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If I were to use the same example in a work environment, a strong leader removes guesswork, no leader encourages self reliance and creativity and a weak leader showcases 50 different ways to brown nose and place blame.

For me it’s either lead or get out of the way. Nothing wrong with self reliance and creativity. You can have that with strong leadership as well, and a strong leader would recognize and maximize on that. Never seen weak leaders do anything, but hemorrhage good people.
That is spot on. When I took over speaker production, my boss just didn't care and couldn't make a decision. Everyone was always pissed off, and product completion was late every month. We were always being put down, and no one was happy. That was almost 2 years ago. Now everything is finished early, everyone is happy, and my workers would follow me into hell if need be. I am extremely organized and work with them as much as possible. It amazing how people respond when you appreciate them. It's like the difference between Lumberg from Office Space and Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. I never intended for it to be like that, but I lead by example, not do as I say not as I do. People really seem to respond to it well. And the really cool thing is, upper management leaves us alone. My now boss has told me "I don't care what you do as long as the work keeps getting done." It really makes going to work easy.
 
If I were to use the same example in a work environment, a strong leader removes guesswork, no leader encourages self reliance and creativity and a weak leader showcases 50 different ways to brown nose and place blame.

For me it’s either lead or get out of the way. Nothing wrong with self reliance and creativity. You can have that with strong leadership as well, and a strong leader would recognize and maximize on that. Never seen weak leaders do anything, but hemorrhage good people.
This guy was a good conductor, but not a very good leader, he shifted a lot of blame on his students that he should have taken.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
This guy was a good conductor, but not a very good leader, he shifted a lot of blame on his students that he should have taken.
That’s the difference with music I suppose. If he were coaching a football team, it wouldn’t matter how many donuts his players ate and how fat they got in the process. He’d be fired for not getting the team to a win.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Sorry, but I'm not drinking the Kool-aid here:

The teacher:
a) "cutting a drummer, from the ensemble because he couldn't play one song in enough time" --- he is the music director, thats his choice
b) he originally planned to not have drums in the ensemble ---- again, he is the director, thats his choice
c) ' heard he was a classical music elitist" ---- hearsay, and yes many of those around, and would be consistent with (b) no?
d) said "whoa, don't break the drum heads" ---- a teacher simply protecting school music equipment?
e) said "Ah rock, the genre of music that requires the least skill and finesse" ---- Ya I love rock music too, but its partly true, especially if (c) is true.

I agree with the points above about 'negotiating your way in life'. Bottom line is he is a teacher, has some qualifications, and some rights to make the decisions he had to do.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Sorry, but I'm not drinking the Kool-aid here:

The teacher:
a) "cutting a drummer, from the ensemble because he couldn't play one song in enough time" --- he is the music director, thats his choice
b) he originally planned to not have drums in the ensemble ---- again, he is the director, thats his choice
c) ' heard he was a classical music elitist" ---- hearsay, and yes many of those around, and would be consistent with (b) no?
d) said "whoa, don't break the drum heads" ---- a teacher simply protecting school music equipment?
e) said "Ah rock, the genre of music that requires the least skill and finesse" ---- Ya I love rock music too, but its partly true, especially if (c) is true.

I agree with the points above about 'negotiating your way in life'. Bottom line is he is a teacher, has some qualifications, and some rights to make the decisions he had to do.
Yes, I was thinking the same things. Thank you for saying it for me............


.
 
Sorry, but I'm not drinking the Kool-aid here:

The teacher:
a) "cutting a drummer, from the ensemble because he couldn't play one song in enough time" --- he is the music director, thats his choice
b) he originally planned to not have drums in the ensemble ---- again, he is the director, thats his choice
c) ' heard he was a classical music elitist" ---- hearsay, and yes many of those around, and would be consistent with (b) no?
d) said "whoa, don't break the drum heads" ---- a teacher simply protecting school music equipment?
e) said "Ah rock, the genre of music that requires the least skill and finesse" ---- Ya I love rock music too, but its partly true, especially if (c) is true.

I agree with the points above about 'negotiating your way in life'. Bottom line is he is a teacher, has some qualifications, and some rights to make the decisions he had to do.
1) he cut him not just from the performance, he cut him from the whole band even though he could play all the other songs
2) there have always been in the ensemble and Ronnie had to literally get on his knees and begged to let him play in the first place
3) Yes he was an elitist, and that made his students playing ever more harder, and I'm not saying having more expectations are bad, but he did make some decisions which were not good for the band
4) I wasn't even hitting them that hard and they were brand new
5) I agree on the finesse part, but not on the skill part

Yes he is a teacher but that does not qualify him to be mean to his students
 
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opentune

Platinum Member
Ok I hear ya.
Now, the hands and knees part....that seems awfully weird. Not something I want to picture.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
oh that was a mistake, i meant only knees. But it was still and interesting scene.
What I have learned as I’ve gotten older is that there are many idiots and jackasses in the world. Many of them are in positions of power. The system that put them in power is not capable of training them to NOT behave like idiots and jackasses. So they remain, for the most part, idiots and jackasses. They’re doing their best. They just don’t have the skills to improve themselves without help. You can choose to figure out exactly what they are wrong about, and then figure out how to teach it to them in a way they will absorb. Or you can just go live your life. Up to you.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I'm not trying to beat you up here, but here are some things to think about. If you want to respond, feel free to; however, you don't have to. My goal is that hopefully it makes you think a little.

So this year I start hearing that he is doing so pretty jerky things, like cutting my poor friend Ronnie, a drummer, from the ensemble because he couldn't play one song in enough time, and to add on, Ronnie had to beg him to let him play drums in the band in the first place because he originally planned to not have them in the ensemble.
So, there are no other reasons that he got cut? None? How many other points of view about this specific situation have you gotten besides that of Ronnie and friends? Have you asked the teacher about it? Is Ronnie a super-well-behaved student? Straight A's? Great attitude towards teachers and authority figures? I'm not saying he isn't. I simply don't know.

Among other things I also heard he was a classical music elitist.
Since apparently you are into rock and metal, have you ever found yourself uttering phrases that demean other genres?

the kit was open so I decided to jam out to some rock beats with Ronnie.
Did you ask permission to play them?

So the teacher, who just happened to be standing next to the kit. So when I start playing, he says "whoa, don't break the drum heads"
Are you paying for those heads and sticks? If not, could you afford to replace them if needed? I always consider this whenever I play someones instrument. If I could never afford to replace whatever it is I'm playing, I just don't play it.

then Ronnie tells him I'm a rock and metal drummer. And what he said next made me realize that everything that people had told me about him was true, he said "Ah rock, the genere of music that requires the least skill and finesse, the nuclear bomb of music."
So what? He doesn't like rock? Big deal. Let it go. If someone said something like this to me after hearing me play, I'd probably laugh a little and say, "You know? You're probably right! I'm not good enough to play jazz and/or classical music because I'm too much of a neanderthal." Heck, it may be interesting to have a conversation with him and ask him what's so great about classical music when compared rock.

So I'm sitting here on the drum throne thinking, "Excuse me, you are a conductor, you can wave your hands around and tell people what to do. Who the hell are you to critique my playing and my genre of music."
Who the hell were you to go start bashing on some drums that you don't even own while he's standing right next to him? (Not trying to be mean; just using your verbiage). Even if it were my own personal kit at my own gig, I'd never play them with someone standing next to them without at least a word of warning. I know you are venting here, and that's totally cool, but conducting is very complex.


After that I told my friends what had happened they filled me in on even more jerky things he did. I currently still go to the same school and he is still there. I could go on about what else he has done, but for the sake of time and the length of this post, I'm not.
I know you probably won't get this and may be dismissive, but you have no idea how hard teaching is and how difficult classroom management can be unless you have been put in that position. I'm not saying this guy is perfect by any stretch, but it's just hard being a teacher and trying to figure things out. I'd rather be a jerk to a kid and have him/her behave and learn than be a soft teacher and let a kid run all over me. Any day. All day. It's really difficult to find that balance between being an authority figure and being friendly. I have three college degrees, one of which qualifies me to teach high school English. Let me tell you that no one could pay me enough to do this.

Like I said, I'm not here to beat you up. I really hope that this works out. :)
 
I'm not trying to beat you up here, but here are some things to think about. If you want to respond, feel free to; however, you don't have to. My goal is that hopefully it makes you think a little.



So, there are no other reasons that he got cut? None? How many other points of view about this specific situation have you gotten besides that of Ronnie and friends? Have you asked the teacher about it? Is Ronnie a super-well-behaved student? Straight A's? Great attitude towards teachers and authority figures? I'm not saying he isn't. I simply don't know.


Since apparently you are into rock and metal, have you ever found yourself uttering phrases that demean other genres?

Did you ask permission to play them?



Are you paying for those heads and sticks? If not, could you afford to replace them if needed? I always consider this whenever I play someones instrument. If I could never afford to replace whatever it is I'm playing, I just don't play it.



So what? He doesn't like rock? Big deal. Let it go. If someone said something like this to me after hearing me play, I'd probably laugh a little and say, "You know? You're probably right! I'm not good enough to play jazz and/or classical music because I'm too much of a neanderthal." Heck, it may be interesting to have a conversation with him and ask him what's so great about classical music when compared rock.



Who the hell were you to go start bashing on some drums that you don't even own while he's standing right next to him? (Not trying to be mean; just using your verbiage). Even if it were my own personal kit at my own gig, I'd never play them with someone standing next to them without at least a word of warning. I know you are venting here, and that's totally cool, but conducting is very

I know you probably won't get this and may be dismissive, but you have no idea how hard teaching is and how difficult classroom management can be unless you have been put in that position. I'm not saying this guy is perfect by any stretch, but it's just hard being a teacher and trying to figure things out. I'd rather be a jerk to a kid and have him/her behave and learn than be a soft teacher and let a kid run all over me. Any day. All day. It's really difficult to find that balance between being an authority figure and being friendly. I have three college degrees, one of which qualifies me to teach high school English. Let me tell you that no one could pay me enough to do.
Like I said, I'm not here to beat you up. I really hope that this works out. :)
1.Yeah he is a pretty good kid, no issues with any teachers, no other reason he got cut other than he couldn’t play one song even though he could’ve improvised it.
2.No I’m pretty diverse in terms of what’s music I listen to, I mean yeah we all don’t like some songs but that’s just the way it is
3.Yes, we both asked the current jazz band drummer for the high school band if
we could play, and he let multiple people play before that and people even played before that when he was not there and he did not seem to care
4.Again, we asked and it was open to other students even before that
5.First of all I wasn’t hitting them that hard let alone hitting them at all
6.Ok you got me here
7.Again, we asked and it was open to other students even before that
8. I’m not saying he was a bad teacher but rather that he was not liked well among Students and teachers
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I used to think basically all teachers and adults were jerks and just mean for no reason. Then I hit about age 35 and realized I suddenly WAS an adult, and that a whole lot of kids saw ME the way I used to see the adults in MY life.

It wasn’t a good feeling.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
1.Yeah he is a pretty good kid, no issues with any teachers, no other reason he got cut other than he couldn’t play one song even though he could’ve improvised it.
2.No I’m pretty diverse in terms of what’s music I listen to, I mean yeah we all don’t like some songs but that’s just the way it is
3.Yes, we both asked the current jazz band drummer for the high school band if
we could play, and he let multiple people play before that and people even played before that when he was not there and he did not seem to care
4.Again, we asked and it was open to other students even before that
5.First of all I wasn’t hitting them that hard let alone hitting them at all
6.Ok you got me here
7.Again, we asked and it was open to other students even before that
8. I’m not saying he was a bad teacher but rather that he was not liked well among Students and teachers
I appreciate your responses!


I guess my conclusion about all of this discussion is that I always say that the worst part about playing music is that you have to play with other musicians. While a lot of them are super-nice, talented, and professional, many come with a wide variety of quirks, weird personalities, eccentricities, and idiosyncrasies. We are a weird, flaky bunch. I know this because I'm one of them.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I once attended a band director’s workshop led by Bobby Shew, former lead trumpet with the Maynard Ferguson big band.
He told us about his horrible band director at high school who never let him play trumpet, but eventually let him in the band on tuba. Basically the teacher did everything he could to block him and make it difficult. But Bobby had drive, so he found a way to secretly practice trumpet, got into college then played professional trumpet for forty years. The message to us band directors was that no matter what we did wrong, the students with drive will still find a way to succeed, so don’t stress about it too much.

Then the rest of the afternoon he showed us tricks and concepts to make us better directors....
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
My college story:

I was in a very popular, successful band in high school. I was the high-schooler, the other guys were college students, music majors, over 21. I made very good money with these guys ‘cuz we played weddings, bar mitzvahs, social parties, dances and a couple formal events. No bars or clubs ‘cuz I was under 21 and California law prohibits that age class into bars & clubs. For almost three years I enjoyed good times and good music with four guys who I looked up to.

Well, I think I’m hot stuff and go off to college at UC Santa Barbara. I’m gonna surf & drum and have a great life. I declare as a music major in “percussion performance”. I had no clue what this actually was. I showed up at the audition during the first week of classes and see a man, a woman and a piano in the room. “Where’s the drum kit?” With kindness, the man explained that the piano is a percussion instrument and all percussion majors must have rudimentary skills with that instrument. Yikes. Looks like I gotta change my major.

That night I audition for the UCSB Big Band drum “seat”. I’m gonna kill it. Get myself a killer drumming gig. Gonna surf & drum and have a great life. The line of auditioning musicians is 30+ people. The band is a typical big band: 4 horns, 4 sax, bass, guitar, piano, drums, vocals, & music director. The director has the band with its current line-up play a couple tunes so everyone understands what music is being played. The first tune is Straight No Chaser. Their drummer kills it. My mouth dries up. The next tune is a smokin’ hot number written by Stan Getz. I’m mesmerized. This band is hot, the drummer is hot, bassist has a pocket the size of Siberia. I’m beginning to realize I’m outta my league. These guys are reading their music while playing it. geez.

Then, for no reason, the guy in front of me turns to me and says, “These guys are good.” And he’s blind.

I ask him, “What are you auditioning for?”

“The drums”, he says.

I don’t say a word. I gotta watch this train wreck.

After about an hour, the drum seat is up for audition. The band director asks who’s next. Blind Guy raises his hand. Me being the cousin of a blind guy, I know what to do and offer to help him into the seat. So, we walk across the room together. He’s got his hand lightly on my shoulder and I tell him “on the left, step up on the riser, here’s the throne.” I hand him the sticks. He feels around, tells me to move a cymbal here, floor tom there. After a minute of fussing, Blind Guy thanks me and I step down behind the riser. Gotta watch the show.

The band director is not paying attention. The players are. After a minute of silence, Band Director looks up from his music folder and asks Blind Guy what tune he wants to play. “Straight No Chaser”, is his choice. Band Director counts off and—BAM—the tune is off like a rocket and Blind Guy is killing it. When the tune finishes the horn section & bassist applaud. Band Director still doesn’t know what’s going on, and asks Blind Guy for another choice. The Stan Getz smoker is chosen and—BAM—everyone locks in like they’ve toured the country for ten years. Band is killing it. Blind Guy is killing it. Feet are tapping all around the room. I’m way outta my league. Tune finishes and more applause. Band Director asks what’s going on. Bassist tells him, “He’s blind. He’s been playing from memory.” Band Director is stunned. I’m stunned. Others are stunned.

Band Director asks how Blind Guy learns tunes. “I listen to recordings”, he says. Band Director tells the room, “I have a very difficult decision to make.”

Blind Guy gets the gig. I declare a major in Mechanical Engineering ‘cuz, at least, I can do the math.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
If he's a conductor for a school band he will be playing about every genre, but what he said is a common opinion I hear from classical and jazz cats regarding rock (or classical dissing jazz). It isn't so much elitist as just their opinion-plenty of rockers would argue the opposite (as likely can't stand either). I've never begged for squat (beside my Dad would slap me silly). If I don't earn it I don't want it. Rejection, even getting the hell beat out of me, though painful has motivated to be better and try harder. Hell growing up I thought everyone was a moron. Now I realize everyone is a moron especially me. But as an educator sometimes it's "tough love"-if you can't cajole them into action you try and piss them off into it. That's what my professors did with me-I stayed pissed (after rejection, humiliation, and degradation)-graduated with distinction and had published 6 papers (I couldn't believe it-I'm lazy and a mediocre student generally). Funny all my mentors that, at the time, I hated for their berating and criticizing me I've gone back to thank them. Since I've had two students thank me for doing the same. Yeah sometimes we can be lazy and want the easy path so need someone to push us to find our potential.
 
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