TME Podcast Season 4, Ep. 1: Reflecting on the Band Director Podium Personality

Description: What is your band director podium personality? The very second you step on the podium are your students stationed and ready for the slightest non-visual cue for immediate music making? Do you have a more relaxed, and laid back demeanor? Or does it seem like every time you stand on that 1 foot high podium you seem to be transparent and the only way you can seem to get the attention of your students and pull things together is to become that drill sergeant you always dreaded becoming? Worry not because we are going to reflect on the great insights that Ray Cramer has included in his collaborated book, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, volume 3 about the band director podium personality.

Concert Elements


Band Director as the Conductor

      • Walk with a bounce in one’s step. Portray yourself as confident and poised to depict a perception of positive control.

  • Make eye-contact with the audience. Set the scene and let your audience know that you appreciate their attendance and support.

  • Recognize your student musicians by having them stand. They should face their bodies toward the audience and smile.

  • Show appreciation of your student musician by shaking the hand of your concertmaster or concertmistress.

Student Musicians

  • Allow warm-up time for the entire band

  • Use the same warm-up and tuning procedure you use in a regular rehearsal

  • Keep your ensemble focused but without tension

  • Make sure members don’t have a lot of free time just before entering the stage

  • Don’t allow your student members to sit on stage prior to its start time for a prolonged period of time. This creates unneeded stress and tension.

  • As a band director, help your students feel at ease by displaying confidence and having a goal driven, positive attitude in the warm-up room.

  • Minimize the time between when it takes to acknowledge the audience till the opening downbeat.

  • Provide the band a confident smile before you give the downbeat.

  • Continue to maintain eye-contact with the band throughout the first phrase of the music.

  • In your mind visualize, sing or hum the opening phrase to yourself before you give the downbeat.

The Personality as a Gateway to Productivity



Work Ethic


Verbal Communication


Emotional Perspective

Positive Action Through Personality



Non-Verbal Communication


Face and Eyes