Professional Journal Article Review : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Donna Frederickson April, 1999 UMD, International Falls Cohort Professional Journal Article Review: Journal: Vocalease, Volume 4, number 2, March 1999 Article: "Share the Load" by Pat Carlson and Brian Bambauer, pp. 8+ > >

Most band and choir organizations deal with, generally, a large group of students and thus, a slate of officers and responsible students with leadership qualities people is needed. What this article gave were leadership qualities to look for in the student, as well as myself, and more ideas for committees or job titles to increase student involvement and ownership in the organization. If the new positions and leadership methods work, there should be a reduction in duties for the director. In other words, "share the load" of the multitude of tasks with the students. I have a slate of officers in my choirs, but the article gave me additional ideas. >

By involving the student in leadership roles, the student will gain leadership skills, responsibility, conversational tact, organizational skills, and experience in interpersonal relationships. All of these assets are beneficial for students to learn before they graduate from high school. Reports and surveys have shown that musical organizations can be just as strong in developing leadership qualities in youth as athletic organizations and student government. The main premise is that students gain leadership and organizational skills whenever and wherever they can. >

The article states that there are four leadership types: indifferent, laissez-faire, authoritarian and authoritative. These traits can be seen in the director, coach or organization as well as the students. The ideal leadership trait to possess, as the article states, is the authoritative. That type of person has limits and control, but encourages communication and independence. The authoritative type of leadership has an approachable manner, stimulates questions and conversations and shows honest interest in the welfare of others. A director must remember that the leadership qualities desired in the organization and students must first be modeled by him or her in order to achieve them in the students. >

The article went on to state some ideas to develop student leadership in music organizations. Directors want the organization to flourish, grow and develop quality. So, in order to achieve student commitment to those goals, the student needs to feel a sense of ownership in the group. How do we develop this sense of ownership and responsibility and then good student leaders? We should mentally know what we want in a student leader and identify those students who may or do possess those qualities, recruit, enable students to do their task, evaluate their job performance, praise their accomplishment of the task and reward them. >

The last part of the article offered suggestions for other jobs that could be effective in an music organization and involved more students than the normal offices of president, vice president, secretary and treasure. Some of the additional positions mentioned in the article were librarian, stagehand, journalist, artist, photographer, student director, teacher's aide, social chairman, fundraiser, section leader, peer mentor and parent booster liaison. In a large organization, the addition of more positions, and if each would have their own committee of workers, would certainly involve more students in the organization and give a larger number of students the feeling of ownership in the unit. >

Fostering student leadership is beneficial to the teacher, director or coach as well as the student. The student will benefit by developing the leadership talents involved and, thus, hopefully leave more time for the teacher, director or coach to benefit by having more time to develop the quality of their program. The old idea of sharing once again reigns. The students are sharing the responsibility and ownership of the organization and the students share the rewards and praise of a quality organization with the director, parents, administration and public. The communication among the students is better. The article states that a mutual respect for each other's strengths and talents will grow. And isn't that what we as teachers are hoping for in our students? These leadership qualities learned will stay with the student a lifetime. Educators want their students to possess these qualities and skills before they graduate and enter the world, and, hopefully, these students will be able to make this world a kinder, gentler and more responsible and understanding world society.

-- Anonymous, April 25, 1999

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