Every band will always face this fact : Freshmen are not properly trained! You will always get those people that aren't motivated to do anything.
Whats the solution? Motivate them.
- Show them whats up. Let them know that this can be fun and serious. If they see the serious side of it only, it's going to motivate them further to slack off. Let them know that what they are doing is useless, and only hurts the band. One person slacking off affects the entire band.
- Guide them. Maybe they are shy, and don't feel confident in front of all these upperclassmen. Make them feel comfortable, being in band is like being in a family! Spending some bonding time with your section is crucial to making everyone feel comfortable. Once he feels that way, he might be motivated to do much better. Show him or her that this stuff is school pride, and makes them a better person overall! Help this person out, with lessons, playing, or whatever!
- Get a Peer! It's good that you've talked to the director. I hope the director took some steps to solve the issue. Sometimes, it's better to go to your peers before going to the director. I see that you tried to talk to the Pit Captain, but to no avail. I hate to say, but it seems that right there is a root cause to some problems. When the leader figure (Captains, leaders, DM's) does not attempt to lead the band, it's a sign of laziness, weakness, and apathy - which passes down to the section, or band members. This could be another cause to this freshman's laziness. I would think about approaching your Drum Major to get some help. The Drum Major is a person who motivates their band, so he or she should help.
- Keep at it. Keep trying to help this freshmen get it! Since it's their first year, after weeks of being told that what they are doing is wrong, they should shape up soon, and finally pay attention! The key is to not give up, and keep getting at this guy! Remember not to be rude, mean, or anything like that. A good leader is someone who can convey his/her message in a powerful AND understandable way. Yelling at this person will not solve anything.
I hope my comments help you and your Pit/Band. You can let me know how it goes! I wish you luck.
Granada H.S Asst. Drum Major 2008-2010
Drum Major Instructor