As a percussion instructor, nothing is more frustrating than spending hours planning out a rehearsal only to show up and find out that some of your key players are not in attendance. It’s also frustrating for the line because when new material is introduced, it now has to be taught twice due to the missing members, effectively wasting valuable rehearsal time. But we all have lives and need to miss a rehearsal from time to time. So what is the solution?
Communication. Players should ALWAYS inform an instructor and the line (usually reporting to a section leader) well in advance or as soon as possible. Being sick is one thing, you may not be able to inform anyone until the day of, when you figure out that you are ill, but giving the instructor a heads up is very important anyway. Missing for other engagements happens as well, but a week’s advance notice should be given. Why inform everyone so far ahead?
This gives the line and the instructor ample time to gauge where the group is with learning material and allows them to tailor the rehearsal most effectively as not to waste any time. This is great for everyone because it maximizes rehearsal time and allows you to handle whatever business you may have. And anyone who has planned for a drumline/band before knows that using your time wisely is key to having a successful season. So if you’re going to miss rehearsal, give your line the best chance at being successful, and inform your instructor & section leader well in advance.