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Marching band credit


Replies to: Marching band credit

  • eastcoascrazyeastcoascrazy Registered User Posts: 2,475 Senior Member
    grcxx3 , until a couple of years ago our symphonic wind ensemble (highest level band in the high school) students were required to be in the marching band. It all meshed together from August through November. Most of the band period during those months was devoted to marching band. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is a credited class. Marching Band met an additional 3 hours/week in the evenings.

    Several years ago, the band director decided to separate marching band from symphonic wind ensemble for several good reasons. 1.By linking them, it kept kids in the lower level band from participating in marching band. 2. There were excellent musicians who were dropping band altogether because the required fall emphasis on marching band (extra practice time, marching at half time for home football games, and all day Saturday participation in competitions) made participation in fall sports very difficult.

    Now, marching band is a purely extracurricular activity, open to any kid in any band level, with the color guard open to anyone in the school. They've increased participation in the marching band from 50 to 80 kids, all of whom want to be there.

    During the day, both bands are credited classes. Symphonic Wind Ensemble is available as a weighted or non weighted class, with some extra requirements for musicians taking it as an weighted class. Marching Band is not a credited activity. It meets only after school, at home football games and some competitions.

    And our JV and Varsity Athletes do not get PE credits. Everyone is required to take one year of PE/Health class.
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    eastcoastcrazy - sounds like your school made a good move since it increased the band numbers.

    But, so sorry, had to chuckle at the band numbers. My son's high school band has 280+ kids!!!! Okay - it's Texas! High school football - and bands - are BIG!!!!

    The band program is broken up into 5 different levels. Each level is in a different class and learns different concert music. But all 5 levels participate in marching band. For football games, all kids march. But for marching competitions, only 250-or so march.

    All the kids get credit for band (both in the fall for marching band and in the spring for concert band). There are some kids who are on the football team who opt out of fall (marching) band and just do spring (concert) band. And visa versa for spring sports, like baseball.

    I have to say, the band directors and athletic directors have always done a great job supporting those students who want to do both. I can't count the number of band members who show up at spring concerts in baseball uniforms rather than tuxes.....because they've just come from a game! It's great.

    Our kids also had to have 1.5 credits (now it's 1.0 credits) of PE + 1 semester of health. But, as I said, marching band and JV and V sports (because they meet as a class and earn credit) count for the PE credits (not health).
  • boysx3boysx3 Registered User Posts: 5,164 Senior Member
    at our HS, just about all the students take PE in summer school to free up room in their schedules during the school year for electives such as marching band or studio art, etc. There is no PE credit for sports, marching band, etc--and students need 2 PE credits
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    ^ Oh my. Your marching band is almost the entire size of our highschool!
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    boysx3 - in our district, students who want to do 4 years of band/orchestra/choir/drama or 4 years of sports - also have to take summer classes. My boys were lucky because they had a lot of extra credits when they transferred in from our overseas school.

    starbright - yeah...big school!!!! It was quite a shock to my boys, coming from a VERY small overseas school!
  • awkwardpenguin13awkwardpenguin13 Registered User Posts: 1,943 Senior Member
    I wish it did, but it definitely doesn't. At my school though, it takes over the music/art requirement...
  • AuspiciousAuspicious Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    In our big (4200 students) public high school, band is a credit course, all band members (360 students) are required to be in marching band, and all band members get a PE waiver during the fall semester due to the extra demands of the fall marching season.
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    Auspicious - same here. Are you in TX?
  • AuspiciousAuspicious Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    We're in Illinois. Big suburban Chicago high school.
  • eastcoascrazyeastcoascrazy Registered User Posts: 2,475 Senior Member
    grcxx3, Wow, you have a huge high school. While we have award winning bands, we don't have the numbers you have.

    Our band director is also very committed to the belief that "We are not Peabody Prep". All kids are able to participate fully in band and sports. It takes a lot of cooperation between the coaches and music department for that to happen. It takes trust for the director to be able to say, "As long as you are here and ready to play on the first downbeat, it's all good." We have our share of kids running from the end of lacrosse games to jazz band concerts, and kids juggling field hockey practice with marching band practice. Kudos to the kids, but major kudos to the adults who can accept that few kids are going to earn their livings in music performance, and few are going to play pro sports, so we need to allow them to flourish in an atmosphere that appreciates both.

    (And right about here is where I'm going to get flamed about the need for our kids to REALLY COMMIT to something at an early age, and how important that is in admittance to the "tippy top" colleges. Let it fly.)
  • herandhisMomherandhisMom Registered User Posts: 589 Member
    I really wish our school will give the band kids PE credit. But it doesn't and the PE requirement is set as stone.

    I heard that just starting from this year (my oldest just got into HS) that all students who want to do concert band are required to do marching band. Jazz band is different. Jazz band practices at 7am in the morning. My D. doesn't function well that early so she is not doing jazz band. Therefore if she wants to do band (so she is eligible to try out for All State) she has to do concert and marching band, which is a serious time commitment.

    My impression is our band teacher is very good, probably as good as eastcoascrazy's school's band director, in terms of working with students who have multiple activities. but I'm not sure, since our D. hasn't missed a single practice or band meet so far.
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Registered User Posts: 3,084 Senior Member
    No PE credit. Even school sports don't earn a student a PE credit. Oh, and PE is required every semester for all students in grades K-12. The the only way out of the PE requirement in high school is if a student fills every hour with academic classes AND participates in physically active school sponsored extracurriculars all year. So, dd2, who is in marching band (fall), cheer (winter), track (spring) and softball (summer) can take 7 classes. Somebody without the physical extracurriculars would get pulled from a class and put into PE. When dd1 was a level 8 gymnast, training 4 hours a day every day year round, she could not get a PE waiver because gymnastics was not a school sponsored event.
  • eastcoascrazyeastcoascrazy Registered User Posts: 2,475 Senior Member
    Herandhis, I've found that the key is to let the band director (and the coaches) know about other commitments way, way, way in advance, and to ask, very, very nicely for their cooperation in working together to make participation in both activities possible. Nobody is happy if your kid just doesn't show up for practice.

    We've always supplied coaches/band director with a full schedule of games and band competitions/performances, along with a promise that we would make sure our kids were where they needed to be, on time, and ready to participate. This has involved some madcap drives from games to competitions with kids changing in the back of the car from one uniform to the other, but it has worked.

    It also helps if the principal and athletic/sports director are fully supportive of that philosophy. And if you've got a coach or band director who is unwilling to be a bit flexible, this absolutely wouldn't work.

    (It also has helped that our school is just small enough that some of the most outstanding musicians are also excellent athletes. Under these circumstances it is in everyone's best interests to cooperate.)
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,121 Senior Member
    At our school, marching band is done AFTER school...how would that interfere with classes held during the school day?

    Our school does allow varsity athletes to be exempt from PE class during their sport season...but that is as far as it goes. Marching band is not considered a sport.
  • amandakayakamandakayak Registered User Posts: 2,423 Senior Member
    At our school, band is a class - 3 cr./yr. In the fall, you either do marching band or if you have a conflict (can't do summer band camp, too busy with other ECs in fall or simply don't want to) you do "tech band." Tech band practices music but doesn't perform. After Thanksgiving, Tech Band is dissolved (marching band continues until the football team is done) all students in band audition for the concert bands (there are 3). There are about 200 students who chose to do band and maybe 50 who do Tech. Noone gets out of PE.
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