Managing Communication Overhead with a Rehearsal Schedule

Having a lot of staff members can be great! But, only if you communicate effectively…

For every staff member you add you add a little Communication Overhead. Meaning that for every staff member you add you have to pay a little time in communication in order to receive quality work from them. If it is just you, zero time communicating. If you add a staff member, you should be communicating with them about plans for the rehearsal and goals for the group. If you add two, that’s even MORE time and so on…

For this reason Josh Kaufman in The Personal MBA suggests that you limit staff to between three and eight people. Any more than that and you spend a considerable amount of time communicating and it begins to detract from the effectiveness of the team. People get confused and work against one another, or they simply don’t know what to do so they don’t contribute.

For indoor drumline and marching band I follow his advice and limit the staff to two people in the fall and eight (the max) for indoor.

In addition, almost every rehearsal since spring 2014 I’ve posted a schedule like this in an area that can be seen by students and staff.

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I usually spend no more than 10-15 minutes creating and posting it and it communicates to EVERYONE what the plan for the day is. I try to get it up an hour in advance so that staff members who find themselves in charge of running part of rehearsal can plan. I also encourage staff autonomy by not telling them EXACTLY what to do all the time. Notice the Pit has a lot of music time scheduled, but I don’t say exactly what to spend it on. I do this because I trust my staff and I want them to know that. No one feels trusted and valued if you micromanage them. Conversely, if they ask me what I’d like them to work on, I always have an answered prepared to supplement the plan in the schedule.

I first saw one of these posted by Rhythm X and thought, “They know what they’re doing. I’ll give it a shot.”

I haven’t been disappointed! Try it out with your group and let me know what you think.

 

 

2018 Recap

I’m very grateful for another active year around byHerndon!

Here’s some of what went on:

  • The North Gwinnett Middle School Percussion Ensemble performed Begin Transmission at the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference.

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  • I had two new pieces published through Tapspace:
    • Song Without Words for percussion ensemble
    • Great and Small for solo keyboard percussion with audio accompaniment
    • Another piece was also accepted for publication so stay tuned for more info on that later…

Happy New Year!

2017 Recap

I’m happy to report another exciting year in the world of byHerndon!

  • All The Trees Clap Their Hands  was premiered by the Milton High School Indoor Drumline and received a shout out from Chad Floyd who composed “Summer Treehouse” which was featured in the show as source music.

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  • The Tipping Point (performed by the Milton High School Marching Band) was selected as a BOA Powder Springs 3rd Place Finalist
  • I had three new pieces published by Tapspace:
  • Toboggan was performed by the Creekland Middle School Percussion Ensemble at the University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival

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  • Begin Transmission was performed by the Vandegrift High School Percussion Ensemble at the Midwest Clinic

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I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who has shared my work with your students and audiences this year and the happiest of New Years to everyone.

Looking forward to 2018!

Toboggan From Above

Continuing a five-year tradition, the 9th Grade Percussion class worked up Toboggan after the Fall Concert to perform at the Winter Concert.

They only had a week to do this! It’s a good example of how “easier” pieces can be appropriate for more advanced ensembles if the timeframe is short.

I was able to catch it from the catwalk in the auditorium.

Enjoy!