When one attends a George N. Parks Drum Major Academy® they are told from the very beginning to avoid evaluating while learning. In other words, do not pass judgment on the material being presented. Rather, “take it all in” and process it once you return home. “We don’t do it like that in our band” is the usual, almost immediate, response of many inner voices…..well of course you don’t! If you did, you would be in MY band!!
All of that aside, not only is it important to allow the information to settle, it is important to not wait too long before one undergoes a “debriefing” of sorts. This is true not only for the students, but also for those of us who are the clinicians! One of the things that has made DMA stand the test of time for over 40 years (Mr. Parks was teaching his approach and philosophy before he founded the company) is the constant and continuous re-evaluation of what we teach and HOW we teach it. To the passerby, some things many not appear to have changed that much. To the staff–holy cow! We are always looking for just the right way to reach as many students as possible while maintaing the fundamental philosophy and principles established by Mr. Parks…..meaning, we are doing EXACTLY what he did after every single workshop: carefully evaluating and making adjustments!
As I think back on the week I spent with almost 100 students at EKU, I am already making some alterations to how I will present material at my next location in Illinois. I will share these observations and thoughts with the rest of the lead clinicians so that EVERY workshop stays the same course! No matter which location you attend, you are guaranteed the same outstanding experience that has made DMA what it is today.
So, back to my notes and outlines….and onward!