Understand what being section leader means. Being a section leader is harder than being a non-section leader; not only do you have to worry about your music, but you have to worry about the music of your section. It also doesn't mean you get to be some dictator; you have to help your section. It's a lot like being an administrator on a website; you're a regular editor, but with a mop. You are there to serve the people in your section, not to rule over them.
Lead by example. Not only will this let your section know what to do, but it is also a very kind method of leadership. You were most likely chosen because of your playing or marching skills; now is your time to pass these on.
Get on friendly terms with your section. When you become friends with your section, they'll be more likely to listen to you, and you'll get a better feel of their playing ability.
Learn your music. As section leader, you're expected to know it before everyone else. If you don't know your music, how can you help others with their music?
Hold sectionals. Sectionals are time when your section is the focus, not the entire ensemble. Find the difficult passages and go over them with your section. Make sure your section knows exactly what they're trying to fix; if they don't know what they're trying to fix, it probably won't get fixed.
Help your section when they need it. Let them practice, but if you see someone struggling with a part or playing it wrong without realizing it, go and help them.
Hold your section to their promises. If someone said they'll learn a passage by next Tuesday, they better have it down when next Tuesday comes rolling by. If they don't, ask them why they didn't.
Be understanding. If someone can't make it to the sectional because their grandma died, don't hold that to him. People have lives outside of school and marching band.
Don't be afraid to goof around with your section, as long as they're behaving themselves. You're still a member of your section, and your extra authority doesn't mean you can't take part in the rest of the section's festivities. In fact, spending more time with your section only makes you a better leader.
Keep your section under control. This doesn't mean order them around, but when they get out of hand, let them know. If necessary, seek help from another section leader or the ensemble director. Remember, rehearsal time is limited and essential to the success of the whole ensemble. Keep your section quiet and focused so they don't miss important instruction.
Listen to both sides of a conflict. If there's a conflict between two sides, you will probably have to be the third party to step in and solve it. If it starts to get physical, keep them apart and tell someone to get help from an adult as soon as possible.
Be on the same page as your co-section leader, if you have one. If you're telling your section something completely different than the other section leader, it will only confuse your section.
Remember the team. No matter what goals you may have for your section, don't lose sight of what is best for the entire ensemble. Each section must work together to achieve what is best for the entire ensemble. Your music directors and drum majors goals should take priority over your own. Also, being a section leader is a privilege, not a right. Remember... with great power comes great responsibility, as said by Uncle Ben.
Always think about what you could do to improve yourself, you are not perfect. Make yourself approachable and ask what you need to do to improve your skills, or how you handle situations.
Admit that you are in the wrong sometimes. There is nothing more irritating than having a leader that thinks they are right about everything. You are human you make mistakes be a big enough person to admit your wrongs and move on.
Do not dwell on mistakes your section makes, address the issue quickly then move on. You know how teachers rant about how we are wasting time by talking, but the teacher rants for 20 minutes wasting everyones time? Don't be that leader, say what you have to say quickly.
Stay positive if you have a bad attitude the whole section will follow your lead. If your having a bad day tell your section and then push yourself to be positive. This will increase productivity and will keep your director happy.
For Marching Band section leader/drum major tryouts we have to write an essay in addition to everything else for the audition. I tend to have trouble starting an essay and finishing it and i might ramble or repeat things multiple times. So I'm here just asking for some feedback, comments, suggestions, critique. Thank You!
Please respond to the following. Attach additional pages if necessary.
Describe your past involvement/experience in marching band.
Explain why you are auditioning for this position.
What makes you the best candidate for this position?
My high school career and personal being can be defined by marching band. Being a member of the Delran High School Golden Regiment has taught me more about myself, respect for others, having fun, seriousness and about positive experiences more than anything else I have ever participated in, and I would love the opportunity and privilege to be a student leader for the 2012 "Golden Regiment" marching band season.
I have spent two years marching in the "Golden Regiment' and my senior year in high school will be my third, and sadly, last. When I think of marching band and my past experiences these few years, the main thing that comes to mind is the comradery that has been formed between all of the members of this band; which in some ways becomes our second family. I think of the lessons I have learned about being a part of a group and putting needs of others above yourself. I have been honored to have the extremely rewarding feeling that comes with being a part of a group; especially a group like our "golden machine" that plays music, performs a show and tells a story at the same as it tests an individual both mentally and physically. My years of marching on the filed as a bass drum and performing as a member of the pit percussion section have given me a new sense of pride that can not be earned any other way.
In my years of being a member of the percussion section of our marching band I've had student leaders that have helped me successfully get through my first year of band while improving as a musician, marcher and person. Section leaders, in my opinion, are the people of the closer group of musicians playing the same instrument that help motivate the members of the section. They are the people that inspire the rest of the section to play well, meet their personal expectations and ultimately, exceed them. I am auditioning for this position because I would like to join the legacy of extremely important and influential people on and off the field that inspire a section to perform to the best of their ability and beyond it.
A student leader should be a person who can lead by example as well as words, helps to reinforce instructions given by instructors, and exemplifies authority by using respect. I feel as if I am the best candidate for this position because I can do all of these things. [I've learned that true leadership requires action and example in addition to the words that come out of one's mouth and I know that I already and will continue to do this. (?)] A section leader needs to be reliable and dependable, honest, willing to go the extra mile to make a section the best that it can be, committed, personable, and always ready to do any and everything necessary to make a section and the band the best that it can be. I believe I possess these qualities and my willingness to use them makes me the best candidate for this position.
Marching band itself, the instructors and student leaders have had a huge impact on my life and have molded me into a better musician and human being, and I feel extremely grateful, honored and privileged to be a member of this ensemble, and I would love to be a drumline/percussion section leader for the 2012 "Golden Regiment" marching season at Delran High School.
Notes: I didn't want to make it too long, as it was for student leadership and not an English class, but please be tough. I really want this to be stellar. Thank you sooooo much for reading!
I don't think DEFINED is the right word to use there at the beginning. Those things are not defined by band. They might be comprised entirely of activities associated with marching band... but that would be a little hyperbolic. But still, it is okay to say they are comprised entirely of activities associated with marching band, or you can say they are focused more on marching band practice than anything else.
...exemplifies authority by using respect---I don't know what this part means. I think maybe you can explain it in a clearer way.
Honestly, I think this part is too obvious. What you are saying is true, but it is just too common, a simple discussion of what leadership means. So... I think you have to write something that is unique because of the way it reflects your unique vision and life situation. Your unique story makes it possible to have a very unique theme for this essay.
Marching band itself, the instructors and student leaders have had a huge impact on my life and have molded me into a better musician and human being, and I feel extremely grateful, honored and privileged to be--I think this part at the end is great.