Taking a ‘rest’: Band director reflects on helping students find the music


LOCAL band director David Rodgers is not a lover of the “band geek” stereotype.

“I retain indicating this to my young children when we chat to children about it: ‘Last time I checked, I’m not a geek. I’m a very good individual, and I’m fairly musical, suitable? And there’s a distinction,’” he stated.

Nevertheless, Rodgers has read the phrase several moments in excess of his 30-moreover decades of teaching. Friday marked his very last working day as director of bands at Columbus East Large School and Central Middle School prior to going on to retirement. Casey Mitchell has been hired as his successor.

Rodgers’ educating job spans 34 yrs, with the last 22 taking position in the Bartholomew Consolidated University Corp. He was in the beginning employed at East, with his purpose at Central included afterwards on.

Prior to that, he labored at North Decatur Jr./Sr. Significant Faculty, as perfectly as Triton Central High Faculty and Triton Central Middle University.

Rodgers credited his high university and center university directors with serving to foster his really like of band. His moms and dads also liked new music and gave him piano lessons.

“Music was early in my lifetime and usually,” he explained. “And I discovered something that I was good at. … I imagine at the close of my sophomore yr of superior college, I resolved that I was heading to go after a degree in music, and I actually needed to go the IU School of Audio. And I labored my tail off my junior and senior many years.”

He also observed that there was a “wonderful selection of professors and conductors and musicians” at Indiana College Bloomington.

When asked what manufactured him choose to go into tunes education, Rodgers explained he enjoys “the challenge of making songs with pupils and inspiring them to be the greatest that they can be.”

“I know that sounds variety of corny,” he admitted. “And it sounds cliché. But it is my work to be this sort of architect, and I can mold and make issues with sections and items. … We’re attempting to place a puzzle together, correct? All the parts match beautifully. We have acquired this gorgeous seem, and it goes beautifully good. And there are situations where by the obstacle is to make it sound excellent and to make some advancement, to do a thing each working day to make it much better.”

When questioned what he designs to do in retirement, Rodgers quipped, “Learn how to perform golf.”

He’s also been asked to participate in in some ensembles and will most likely go on to give some personal lessons, as properly as some “private function and judging.” He may also “dabble” in staying a tour manual and is specific he’s not accomplished teaching yet, even if it is not full-time any more.

“First buy of organization is to get my knee replaced and get my overall health below handle,” he added. “I had a stroke past June, and aspect of the cause I’m stepping down when I am now is since physically I’m not 100% ready to do what I want to do to do in equally of these positions.”

Rodgers explained it is hard to phase down following putting 22 several years of his everyday living into directing the two bands, but he realized it was time.

In reflecting on what it indicates to be a band member, the retiring director mentioned that persons in the audience at a concert normally do not grasp all of the work that goes into a superior overall performance.

“It offers individuals children a sense of accomplishment,” he mentioned. “It provides them a perception of delight in what they do. And it seriously gives them these techniques … not to point out the really hard operate, leadership and the organizational skills it usually takes to carve out a time to have to walk into a exercise area and exercise each when in a while, ideal, or apply each individual day. It’s a discipline.”

Some learners have grow to be band administrators, academics or expert musicians, stated Rodgers. Other individuals have long gone into STEM fields or personal their individual small business. A few of East’s top 10 students in the Course of 2022 are band learners, together with valedictorian Jenna Boewe.

To Rodgers, their achievements go beyond the label of “geek.”

“It’s like, end stereotyping the persons listed here and fully grasp that we’re musicians,” he said. “And sure, we might be a very little weird. And I’ll confess to that, a little little bit. But that’s variety of what musicians are, appropriate? We have obtained creative things that we check out to do every single day in course. And hopefully, down the line, an individual may possibly have some capabilities instilled — like I said, you do not have to play. You just have to just go there and do anything with the skills you may have figured out in class with me.”


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