Unit 12: Dealing With a Changing World

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This chapter deals head-on with the issue of change. Nobody likes change but it is a critical element to ensuring that your group continues to move forward.

If you know me, then you know that I am a creature if habit. I am no more qualified to offer advice on change than I am on how to be a Calvin Klein underwear model. I take comfort in knowing that my surroundings are of my own making and are just as I left them. I order the same thing time and time again when I visit my favorite restaurants. I buy the same tennis shoes over and over, and believe it or not, I wore the same type of clothing to rehearsal so often that one Halloween my entire band showed up dressed like me. I am not what anyone would describe as a change agent. I am laughing out loud and I LOVE this paragraph.

For me, change brings about the fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and a general sense of being uncomfortable. It is hard knowing that what brought you success in the past will not necessarily bring similar results in the future. Despite my emotional attachment to yesteryear, my intellect knows that if I repeat the same behaviors as last year, not only will my score not be the same, but it will more than likely yield less positive results. This means that more often than not, my intellect overrides my instinct and I find myself moving forward, wobble in hand and a quivering mass of insecurity.

If you are like me, chances are that you find comfort in repetition. Music groups use repetition as a teaching tool more than any other curricular area. In music, we thrive on the building of past successes and repetition, and yet no other area in the public school system has seen such a revolution of change as your group has. To the point, change is not only good, but required for success.

Below you will find some materials, hints, thoughts, and suggestions on how to approach the issue of personal growth. Not every approach will work for every person or situation, but you should be able to find enough ideas and techniques to aid you in the process. Before we begin, ask yourself the following questions:

• Am I a change agent or afraid of change?

• How much comfort do I take in rituals and patterns?

• When has my ego kept me from making a change?

• Am I better making small changes first or am I able to take the big plunge and change all at once?

• What are some areas of personal behavior that I have successfully changed in the past?

Now let’s take a look at change as it relates to your group…On a separate piece of paper, answer the following questions.

List three concrete things that you would not want to change your program:

List three concrete things that you would like to see changed about your program:

If you are in a group that is in the midst of a director change, you will want to pat particularly close attention to this unit.

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