WHY PERFORMING ENSEMBLES REQUIRE ATTENDANCE AT PERFORMANCES
1. The opportunity to perform for a public audience is an integral part of the curriculum that cannot be taught, provided or experienced during the school day. For those who are not present to perform, the educational condition presented in a performance can not be effectively recreated at a future time. Having a student play the concert or marching music AFTER the performance may measure student's ability to play correct notes and rhythms, but is otherwise useless.
Missed completely in the measurement is the ability to control and develop skills such as balance, blend, intonation, adjustment to an audience, recovery from nervous anxiety and adjustments to one's own and other's mistakes.
2.PERFORMANCES ARE EXAMS! This is the means with which we have music teachers measure and evaluate the group performance class. If we as music educators compromise this requirement, it merely serves to chip away at the importance of not only the individual but the worthiness of our content area.
Teachers want each performance to be at its best; failure to insist on full attendance hampers the ability of the entire group. It also makes for easy perception that it is only "extra-curricular" and not really that important. Extracurricular applies to those activities not taught during the school day... Such as clubs and sporting activities
3.In most regular classrooms, student's ability to perform, as well as the success of the overall class performance, it's not usually damaged by a single student absence. In fact, a better student-teacher ratio exists if fewer students are in the classroom.
In music ensembles however, a single absence impairs the other students' ability, morale, and group reputation. When only one person is missing it does affect balance, blend, intonation and technical proficiency.
To preserve the quality of the performance, the morale of the entire ensemble, and the dignity and integrity of the educational values, attendance must be required.
4. If a student is absent without cause and no penalty/punishment is given, morale and dedication of the other ensemble members will decrease. This, of course, leads to many other problems including more absenteeism.