You may be reading this because you’re charged with attracting the brightest and best to your music program. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
When the writer of this post was in school, the band program was considered the “easy way out” by some of my fellows. But high school music programs can be the source of much delight for students and parents alike, when well-administered. A key component of that administrative imperative is student recruitment.
It’s not enough to be on the curriculum. As a music teacher, you’re in the business of promoting program benefits to students and parents who may not be sure that music is the right way to go. It’s up to you to do more than talk about those benefits. You need to show them what you’ve got that they need.
With the advent of social media, it’s never been easier to engage with your community. If you’re a savvy music teacher, you’ll be taking as many opportunities as you can to show your community the work of the marching or jazz band, orchestra or choir. Local parades and community events are great showcases. So are school events like sports games, pep rallies, and open houses.
Videos of your performance groups, news about what they’re doing in class and where they’re performing next connect other students, parents and the community with how great your music program is. It’s like “show and tell”, only on the internet!
Involving students in the school art department is another way to build bridges between the greater educational institution and your program. Why not have a contest that challenges students to create a logo, event posters or a brochure for the program? Involving others in your promotional efforts raises awareness and creates goodwill.
If anyone knows where the talent’s at, it’s your fellow teachers. Your school is brimming with talented students who aren’t quite sure what to do with their gifts. They may have beautiful voices, or the gift of writing words and music. Maintaining strong relationships with other teachers creates a permanent pipeline to the best and brightest you’re seeking for your program.
Communicating with other teachers is just another way of keeping the lines of communication open. Supported by your efforts on platforms like Facebook, open communication supports your recruitment efforts.
School and community events are great showcases for your music program, but creating your own events is a powerful tool, also. Have a willing group of choir students sing their fellows to school before the first bell. Set the Jazz Band up in the cafeteria to offer students a little music with their lunch.
The element of surprise with pop up events like these is a motivating influence that can pique the interest of the hidden talent your program needs. Be creative. You are, after all, an artist and recruiting students for music programs is an art form.
Peak Performance Tours has been creating unique performance opportunities for music students for over 20 years. Contact us.