Savvy music educators know that getting students signed up for their program is a critical part of the job. If your program isn’t growing, it isn’t thriving. Having a great recruitment and retention strategy not only keeps your ensembles sounding great, but also helps expand your budget, secure support from the community, and show value to administrators.
This time of year many of us are gearing up for recruitment of our new beginner musicians. Running recruitment can be time-consuming and a little overwhelming amidst everything else the busy director has to do. But of all the non-teaching responsibilities required of the band or orchestra director, recruitment is most worthy of every ounce of energy we put into it.
Nothing is more important to the success of our music programs than retaining the students who are already enrolled – particularly the beginners. We have to teach the beginners as if they have a scheduled performance at Carnegie Hall. In my previous post, I shared the S.M.A.R.T. approach to retention – i.e.
Once students are in your program, it’s vital that you retain them. Retention starts with our very beginning-level students and it is vital that we focus on keeping them once they have started in the program.
There are five pillars to effective music ensemble student retention and I offer an acronym to help remember them by.
A great recruitment strategy is key to keeping your program healthy and maintaining or increasing enrollment. Equally important is to retain the students you already have. Making sure that kids don’t run off for a shiny new elective is just as important as getting them in your door in the first place.
I have spent most of my research career examining the challenges faced by beginning music teachers and exploring strategies such as mentoring and induction to support new teachers (Conway, 2015). The studies in this area are consistent in documenting common novice teacher challenges such as classroom management, scheduling and resources, and the feeling of being silenced.
Your local music store can help you fix more than a broken clarinet. Learning to work effectively with your local retailer can help drive recruitment, offer networking opportunities, and make managing your budget easier.
In this episode of the Music Ed Mentor Podcast, I interview Cris Behrens of Summerhays Music.
Whether you’re a veteran educator or just beginning your career, there are many music teacher resources available to help you excel. Below we’ve compiled some of our favorites to make them easy for everyone to find.
These resources include blogs to follow, newsletters to read, podcasts to listen to, and much more.
One of the most exciting and important events in the life of a prospective band student is when he or she selects the instrument they are going to play. There are many factors that influence a student’s decision such as the availability of an instrument. These include the popularity of an instrument, parental preference, peer pressure, perceived musical opportunities, and band director needs and suggestions.
[Editor’s Note: Last week Glenn Pohland shared some great tips on how to increase your concert attendance and expand community awareness of your program. Today we’re sharing the story of two directors who accomplished both goals with their holiday concert. Hopefully you can apply some of their ideas to benefit your program and community awareness, too.]
We wanted to do something special for last year’s December concert.