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Good Bandstand Behavior: Discipline, Focus, Respect

How to encourage and enforce professional behavior on the bandstand

Paul Carr leading his Jazz Academy Orchestra for article on bandstand behavior
Paul Carr leading his Jazz Academy Orchestra

If the students in his rehearsal room at Camden’s Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy start to get restless, unruly or unfocused, Jamal Dickerson simply points to an empty spot on the wall. The average observer might search in vain for the object of Dickerson’s gesture, but his students know exactly what he’s pointing out, as vivid in their minds as if it were etched in stone.

“There’s an unwritten rule on the wall that no one can see except the students and I,” says Dickerson, who’s been the Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Teacher at the New Jersey middle and high school for over 15 years. “It says: ‘It’s not about music; it’s about life.’”

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