Stosh: I feel your pain, so to speak.
I have gained a bit of reputation herebouts as "the" Bugling MBC. I am always surprised if not disappointed by the Scouts that sign up and arrive (1) without a horn (the listed prerequisites always mention that) (2) bring one but can't even make a buzz with it (what's a horn for?) (3) haven't even SEEN the MBBook (that is mentioned in my prerequisites too) but have printed out the MBWorksheet but not even looked at or filled it out (4) think the Bugle was invented during the American Revolution (had a Scout say that this past weekend) or some such (5) I tell them they do not have to memorize the calls (altho most do learn them by "ear" ) but can read the chart. And then , even if they are in the school band or town orchestra, can't read music! The look on their face, as if, "you mean this is music?" (6) I have had Scouts actually admit they came expecting to have the Blue Card signed off for merely coming and listening to me talk and/or play.
And then, I meet the Scout who has practiced, has played at camp, knows why Tattoo is different from Taps, realizes that a silver/chrome trumpet mouthpiece is better than the poor brass mouth piece that came with the bugle. I had a 6th grade Scout that played cello (!) and wanted to play trumpet. He was good. Knew both bass clef and treble clef. After an hour , his tone was better than the kid that played (so he said) in his 5th grade band.
Last MBDay, I had two sessions scheduled, 5 Scouts in each, morning and afternoon. Three showed up in the morning, two in the afternoon. Ten paid the fee, five didn't come. Oh well.
The morning three: two had horns , one "oh, I forgot". Only one could make a good tone, much less play any calls. The third "borrowed mine, and had a good tone, but hadn't practiced any of the calls. We practiced, I demo'd. Bugle only has five, maybe six or seven (if you are really good) notes in it's scale. We sat and talked about philosophy (what is music? What does it MEAN to "EARN" a Merit Badge?), history (ancient Romans, etc. How Taps was created), actually making money as a bugler (Bugles across America), care and cleaning, how to make the tones, why bugles are useful, how they might even go to camp and get PAID to be there if they can play. I demo'd the calls and techniques, played my CD (available from , ahem, Scoutstuff) and gave'm small partials . Call me when you are ready to play the calls, I'm available.
Afternoon pair were better "prepared". We did all the talking as I described above. One had a trumpet, one a real bugle , both could "buzz" and make some of the scale. Both played in school bands . We worked and number two convinced me he could, if he wished, read the music and play the calls. He had played at summer camp for his Troop. He needed more practice and to develop his stamina. Number one had a better tone, but struggled to make the full five notes. He needed to hear the calls and connect the notes he heard with the black dots on the page. Both had written new calls , (req. #2B), this is good! Neither had the note from their SM about serving as Troop Bugler. Number two's SM later sent me an email attesting to number two's Bugling service.
I signed off on #2, gave #1 a partial .
And, yes, if I sign a partial, some do call me back to demonstrate the calls. I will meet them at their Troop meetings and listen to them.
And that's what Scouter dot com is really for: venting and sharing success stories.
See you on the trail.
Edited by SSScout, 22 February 2017 - 11:28 AM.