Band Directors should not tell whole bands they played horrible at a preformance.
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Band directors should be able to criticize their performers if they are not playing at an acceptable level. Misleading the musicians by telling them they performed well when they did not will only reinforce their mediocre performances, and they will not have any reason to try to improve or fix their mistakes, because they believe they have made none.
A band director's job is to provide guidance to the musicians, and the only way this can be accomplished is through honestly about what the skills of the musicians are. To willfully act as though a poor performance was anything but that is an intentional lie, and undermines the ability of the band as a whole to succeed.
Indeed, it is the job of the judge to judge a band. But it is the job of the director to provide instruction and direction to improve a band's performance outside the judging stage. The only way they can do so is to be honest with their musicians about what their weaknesses are and how to improve them, which involves directly or indirectly passing judgement on their current level.
Research shows that "constructive criticism" can be a useful tool for offering effective guidance, and can provide more satisfaction to those being directed, as they feel their director is making a legitimate effort to offer help. Also, a majority of scholars in the field of social work support the use of criticism when used appropriately, as the best way to supervise is to point out "both competencies and deficiencies".
My opponent states that good musicians will strive to improve on their own. While this may be true in some cases, it is a broad generalization. Some people need proper direction or coaching to advance to the best of their abilities. To deny this is to essentially claim that a band director is not truly needed for a band. Furthermore, self motivated musicians described by my opponent would likely not be playing badly and therefore not be criticized if personal initiative is enough on its own, so there would be no conflict.
Also, my opponent claims that students should be able to tell if they played badly, however, I disagree with this. When playing in a large group, it is difficult to accurately hear what the performance as a whole sounds like, as you are dominated by the section you are in. People in the brass section will likely hear the brass instruments louder than others and therefore not be able to tell what the woodwinds or percussion sounds like, at least not the same as an audience would. Because of this, what sounds good to an individual performer does not necessarily translate to good playing by the band, since its possible their performance is not meshing well with the other sections. This is where a director, who is separated and can hear all sections equally, has a better perspective and can offer insight as to how the band as a whole is doing. The director should not be restricted because he can offer valuable suggestions if allowed the chance.
thetallest1 forfeited this round.
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