Now that I’ve been teaching a number of years, I find myself wrestling with the issue of the re-using concert selections.
As a composer/arranger, I really enjoy finding well-written pieces that work well for elementary students. There’s so much great stuff out there that I’m sure I could go through my whole career without getting to play/teach/conduct everything I want to. However, as the years go by, I’m finding more and more material I can’t bear to see filed away indefinitely.
One of my colleagues has told me he has a 5-year rotation of concert selections. Essentially, he already knows what his groups will play at each concert for the rest of his career. When he first told me this, it seemed shocking. But that was several years ago, and now that I’ve been at it a while, I have a little more understanding of his approach.
So at this point I intend to do a little of both; I’ll try out some of the unfamiliar music which is likely to be successful, while at the same time bringing back into the rotation some of those gems which worked so well in the past.
How about you? If you’ve been teaching a while, what are your thoughts about re-using music? If you’re relatively new to teaching, are you finding material you intend to use again?