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Why do you want to be Drum Major and why do you deserve this opportunity?

tuedearerbluejay 1 / 3 2  
Apr 27, 2018   #1

Drum Major Application

Katherine H-Grade 11
Can attend Band Camp 2018
Flute section- Three years

Why do you want to be Drum Major and why do you deserve this opportunity?
What characteristic(s) of a leader do you admire?
What would you like o see the Groves Marching Band accomplish next year?

Whenever I'm in the car with my dad, we always talk to each other about stories and such. It's one of the things that has built who I am; I've always been a big music fan since I play piano outside of school and my dad plays percussion. So we had a lot to talk about. And one of the big things he used to talk to me about before I went to Groves, was about him being in marching band. Some of his current friends are still from his band and it's from there that he decided he wanted to play percussion in his career. I heard about a lot of times he did things with the people involved in his band. That was very inspiring to me: especially since I knew I'd have the marching band option when I would eventually go to high school.

When I got there, I was really shy and nervous. Mostly because I missed band camp. It took me a very long time to be able to warm up to all the people there: all very nice and welcoming. Three particular people struck me that year as people who I admired and still do: My section leader, Sarah; the trumpet section leader, Allison; and my BBBS, Charlotte. The three of these people were among the first to show me that they weren't kids, much like who I'd normally interacted with in eighth grade, they knew what was going on and how to deal with people and things, and they'd reach out to me.

During that time I realized that Charlotte was the drum major and I thought it was very impressive to see her up there as a highly influential figure leading all the other kids. It looked pretty awesome. Simple intent, I wanted to emit that kind of aura, so I went for drum major that year with a lot of doubt of getting the position. As expected, I didn't end up getting the position, but I still wanted to go for it the next year.

And so it went, me trying to adjust myself (Not to change who I am, but to stretch my abilities) to fit the criteria of which was needed to be a drum major. In my mind I recall myself trying to talk to people more at the start of the year, a little awkward. I still am now. I had some combined class with freshman and I tried to befriend them and help where they needed with items such as showing them where things are or telling them about how some aspect of the school operates. At the end of the year I'm still relatively quiet by most people's standards.

I go for drum major again, thinking I have a better shot. Second time, I don't get it again, and it struck me hard since there were only three people who applied and I was the odd ball out. I kept contemplating "What is it that I lack" and "What is it that I needed to do to get there". I didn't think I'd apply again for a long time after that event because it must be something that I simply don't have the capacity or ability to do. It caused a lot of frustration, a lot more than it should have probably.

After I cooled my head, I wanted to spite myself and prove that I had the ability and potential to be a drum major- adjust quickly to unexpected events and quickly learn what needs to be done for that situation (and be prepared for any surprises); hold mutual respect for my peers; have dedication; be able to produce good results; motivate others; use my prior experience; be enthusiastic; reach out to others ; be clear with communication; be confident;and be empathetic to peers; . It took me a long time to realize those skills previous band leaders had.

This leads into the next topic of what I want to see the band accomplish next year. Organization. I talked to a number of students and many of them would agree with the fact it was pretty chaotic and people didn't know what was going on. It can be a fairly simple fix though- for whatever the case is find out what information people need to hear and make sure everyone can find out somehow: be it telling everyone when they're in the room; emails; or telling section leaders to inform students; or just repeating yourself.

Another thing is that I'd like being able to march more difficult drills as a group- a set normalcy so that we're used to it and in the future we can learn those drills more easily. An example of that was this year, and it took us a long time to learn. The heart and the diagonal lines in the second song were likely the most difficult drills.

And lastly, I want to bring more members into the band. I'm not exactly sure why there are fewer members in our band than in other schools, however, making more showcases to younger students may make them interesting in joining in future years.

Leadership position(s) held in other clubs/groups/organizations. Etc.?
None, however I cooperate well with people and take charge when necessary.

If there's one thing I'll take away from applying three times, is that I've gained a lot of experience doing this and have no regrets for shooting high,

Thank you for reading

Holt - / 7,529 2001  
Apr 28, 2018   #2
Katherine, there is a lack of personal connection with your desire to become a Drum Major. This reads more like a personal reflection essay rather than an explanation of why you want to become a Drum Major. There is nothing in your essay that will distinguish you as a person who deserves the opportunity related to becoming a drum major. You are constantly reflecting on your failure to become a drum major rather than explaining how you worked towards developing your skills as a percussionist. There is no ardent desire represented that would show a true dedication to your ambition. Additionally, thinking that someone looked "cool" as a drum major does not qualify as a representation of characteristics you admire in a leader. Think of the leadership skills of a band leader, how he makes those different instruments come together to sound flawless and easy on the ears instead of like cats screeching in a fight. That is what a band leader is all about. Frankly speaking, the current presentation of your essay is quite problematic because it lacks heart and vision. You need to make the reader feel that you have a deep connection with drums and your desire to become a drum major. That feeling just isn't coming across in this paper right now. Please consider writing a totally new essay based on my comments and observations in order to strengthen the content of your essay.
OP tuedearerbluejay 1 / 3 2  
May 3, 2018   #3
@Holt I've revised/ completely retyped the essay. I apologize for the unclear prompt.


Why do you want to be Drum Major and why do you deserve this opportunity?
What would you like to see the Groves Marching Band accomplish next year?

I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to answer these questions over that past few years in little bits in pieces. A lot like a topic that revisits your mind often. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt strongly about it ultimately leading me to think about a lot the things that run across similar lines: Those things being, why it is I feel so strongly about the role, what it is about the band I enjoy, and how I can help the team (primarily).

I figured out that, personally, the role was a strong driver in my personal development. It motivated me to speak up at times, and pay attention to what was going on around me. And even though I on the quieter spectrum of students, I hear a lot of things that people say. Naturally, it made me curious and want to understand these situations/opinions better and so I talked about all these topics with my peers every now and then. One of those big concerns was how chaotic it was during marching season. A lot of people were confused at times at what was going on and when things were happening. I hope that I can find out what information my peers need at the given time and clearly communicate to that through them whether that's by quieting the room and making sure everyone hears, informing section leaders, or my telling other students to tell other students about what needs to be said.

The second thing that I talked about with some students was the marching drill this year. It was agreeably more difficult to learn, yet fun. I think that a lot of students enjoyed the challenge and I would want it to be a set normalcy that we are able to march more difficult drills and learn them more easily. Part of allowing this to happen would start with motivating other students to want to march these drills- easily said and done because when I talk to students one on one, I find out what motivates them individually and how it will benefit them.

The third and largest concern I've heard among this year's seniors, was the attitude of freshmen students. They felt that at a lot of times, they didn't take things seriously enough which took away from the entire section. I get it-freshman are coming out of a completely different environment and they haven't adjusted to the new environment yet. Though I'm not sure how close sections are as a whole, based on experience, I've seen that the closer freshman are to older students, the more "motivated" they are and they're more likely to participate with the group.

I'm gonna make a jump back to the first question about why I might deserve this opportunity- three core reasons: I've tried for this opportunity twice and failed, and went back and thought about what it is I need to develop or that I lack for the role; I'm trainable; and

Have the ability to motivate/ inspire others to get them and the team where it wants and should be.
Characteristic(s) of a leader you admire.
The ability to adapt to the (band) group's needs and desires. To be able to fulfill the needs of a group; you need to know what's going on. What's happening in the sub-groups (sections)? How does x, y, and z work? What should x, y, z be doing? Thorough understanding comes with experience and exposure to a various situations or the sort and clear ideas of what x, y, and z should be which coincides with the ability to meet the group's desire (whatever it may be).

Leadership position(s) you have held in other clubs/groups/organizations, etc ...

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