Director vs. Tech

by J.D.

Often times band directors hire percussion instructors under the guise of being a “Percussion Technician,” but many of these instructors find themselves doing the work of a Percussion Director. There is a huge difference in technician pay and director pay, and it’s time that we start doing these young, talented individuals more justice. Stop hiring Percussion Directors as Techs, and pay them what they are worth. The unfortunate thing is that many of these young people are so new to the game that they do not know there is a difference between the two. Here is the difference between a Director and a Tech:

Percussion Technician – Takes direction & executes tasks associated with related goals, Teaches ensemble technique, Teaches ensemble material, Maintains the daily regiment, Reports inappropriate actions needing disciplinary attention, Sub-section & full ensemble instruction, Aides in continuing appropriate culture for the ensemble, and Guidance of students.

Percussion Director – Establishes a vision for the ensemble, Defines ensemble technique, Creates & curates ensemble material, Establishes a daily regiment, Establishes & delivers appropriate disciplinary actions, Scheduling, Budgeting, Full ensemble instruction, Establishing an appropriate ensemble culture, and Guidance of technicians & students.

Some bands only have Percussion Technicians, and some bands just have a lone Percussion Director that does it all, and some bands utilize both; but there is definitely a clear separation between these 2 job descriptions. It is entirely up to the Band Director how the overall program is run, and he/she has the final say; but being ‘in the know’ about these differences can certainly be a piece of helpful information for all new percussion instructors. And certainly we want to encourage all Band Directors to do what is right by the individuals that they hire. Teach on, in truth and honesty!

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