Joe Tornello, Band Director, Buford Middle School
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
To convince the students that hard work, dedication, discipline and commitment are the keys to success, not only in the Buford Band, but also in all areas of the student’s life.
The musical challenge of my job is to instill in every student that the fundamentals come first and it takes time to develop these skills. In a world where students want everything to happen quickly, they soon realize that proper musical training takes time and practice.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
Most people do not comprehend the time and effort students at Buford put in on a daily basis to reach the level of success that they achieve when they perform. The program is very unique in that we spend the bulk of the daily teaching time training and reviewing the fundamentals of learning to play an instrument, which in turn allows our students to perform a variety of music and at a very high level.
What outside experience prepared you best to become a teacher?
Looking back after 34 years, I realize that the band directors from the third grade on had a huge effect on me. I also had the opportunity the be a member of a volunteer fire department band in Long Island, New York for over 10 years, which taught me the structure and discipline that is needed to have a successful program. Finally, having the opportunity to be an assistant to my older brother for over 30 years, who also had a successful program, has to be what prepared me the most.