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5 Tips for the First Day of Class

  1. Get to know the kids

  2. Cover Expectations & Guidelines

  3. Set Goals

  4. Plan for the Best

  5. Play music as soon as possible!


A great goal to have is to learn all of the kids names in the first week of school. Here are some tips to help you remember. Tell the kids, “ For the first week, anytime you have a question, tell me your name first.” Be sure to address them by name when you answer their questions. When first meeting the kids, ask them to tell you a cool fact about themselves. Often times, another piece of information can trigger your memory. Plus you will discover some cool things about your kids. Try an ice breaker.

Here’s a link to download a sample Band Camp Activities by Aaron Noë with three ideas to get you started.

"Every man I meet is in some way my superior." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Be sure to cover you expectations, guidelines and procedures for classroom participation on the first day. Reinforce the expectations you have for a successful band on Day 1. Create a student handbook which details your Guidelines & Expectations and include grading, calendar, course description. Include a page for parents and students to sign. This acknowledges they have received a copy and have read through it. You will find this beneficial when if issues arise later in the year.

"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways." ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Before classes begin, take time to think about the things you would like to accomplish this year. With your experienced students, get them involved in the process of developing ensemble goals. They surprise you with their insight. Begin by asking some simple questions: What were some of the highlights from last year? What are some things you wish you could ‘do over’? If you could make one thing better, what would it be?

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” ~Napoleon Hill


The great “Positive Thinker” Norman Vincent Peale once stated, “We tend to get what we expect." When we look at it that way, always expect the best. No matter where you teach or when you teach, kids are kids. The difference is the self discipline instilled by educators. Always expect the very best out of your students and have confidence they will accomplish it. I promise you will be surprised!



Don’t forget why your students signed up for your class. We have the luxury of teaching a class which students choose to be in! Try to get them playing their instruments or creating some type of music (body rhythms, singing, tapping, etc.) on the very first day. Establish from the very beginning the importance of creating music in your classroom!

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~Benjamin Franklin


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