Many students complain about learning drill, but few go out and develop their own alternate system. High school senior Kevin Karol created the Marcher’s Directional Set System (MDSS) to give his band and others a different way to learn drill.
“A lot of time would be wasted on people missing pages or not having their location memorized,” Karol says. “You can explain the new system and do five sets within five minutes.”
The MDSS tells you the location of your spot and also focuses on the angle and number of steps needed between sets. “It gives you a general feel, rather than just looking at each set; it’s much more helpful,” Karol says. “It’s a process of working through from the marcher’s perspective instead of the director’s perspective, so that by the time you get to the end, you haven’t forgotten the beginning.”
Karol studies at High Technology High School, a magnet school in Lincroft, N.J., which gave him the programming skills to create the MDSS computer program. Since the magnet school has no music program, he marches at the nearby Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.
“Our band implemented it and liked it a lot; it’s increased effi ciency by as much as eight times,” Karol says. “People were asking for it, so I decided to put it on the Internet. Now people all over the world can use it to make their practices more effective.”