If customer service is important to a company, the question to ask is:
What problems are we trying to solve for our customers?
To answer that question, student event producers have to walk in the shoes of band, orchestra, and choir directors. At Forum Festivals, here’s what we’re seeing.
- Financial – Yep, no question about it. If you are teaching students and wanting to introduce them to live performances and adjudicated opportunities, then raising funds definitely figurs into your daily concerns.
- Recruitment – Perhaps more than any other subject, teachers in the arts have to think about how to recruit new students and motivate current students. Why should this difficult? Because kids have a huge desire to participate in music, theatre, and arts, but the many pressures and choices they face can make it difficult. So, how do you keep the party going?
- Maintaining excellence – You didn’t go into teaching music to teach mediocre performing ensembles. You are hoping to showcase your excellent ensemble. But how do you motivate your students to commit to a successful outcome?
- What is my purpose? I’ve stood at many a Music Ed conference chatting with music educators who are struggling with the everyday-ness of their interactions with administrators, parents, and students. You were a person who loved music, loved young musicians, and wanted to share the enthusiasm. But did you realize how difficult it was going to be to stay focused and enthusiastic about your vocation?
So, what kinds of suggestions and tools can we offer you?
- Promote Advocacy – helping to promote YOUR program to YOUR community and administration will help you with a couple of things. If your group can perform for local civic organizations, fast food restaurant openings, or before City Council or Chamber meetings, you’ll not only gain exposure within the community, you may also garner a few bucks towards your fundraising goal.
- Embrace a little fun in your schedule. Your program is competing against a host of other enticements for your students – sports, video gaming, social lives, or just plain apathy. Nothing breeds success like success! Plan a trip that incorporates educational elements but also some time for your group to develop a little camaraderie and have some good fun! Word gets out that the music department gets to go somewhere and have some awesome experiences and …tah dah! Your program grows!
- Keep your own learning going! Students want to be part of a successful program. They don’t want you to help them be just mediocre. Instead, they are counting on you to be excellent, too! An adjudicated festival offers a key here: we put college and professional adjudicators in front of your ensemble. They have things to say that teach, motivate, and offer you more tools for your own tool kit. At Forum Festivals, we encourage your students to see and hear other student ensembles at festival. Learning happens and, what do you know? It is enjoyable! Performing AND listening – it’s just so important!
- Do what it takes to cultivate your purpose. Getting outside of yourself and your classroom would be a great place to start! Chances are your own great memories of music studies include a trip with your music class, a performance that had a big impact, or an encouraging word from another director, music student, or music professional. Don’t forget about these moments and strive to create those memories for your students. Networking at festival pertains to you as well – let college level adjudicators and other directors get to know you and your talents as an outstanding music educator. Learning how other ensembles do it is another part of your learning process.
At Forum Festivals, brainstorming with you to plan a great experience for your students is a very enjoyable part of our purpose. In our own toolbox, we have lots of ideas for…
- Inexpensive overnight trips.
- Theme park choices that include performance or workshop options.
- Performing outside the festival.
- Destinations throughout the country with many cool things to put in front of your students.
- How to feed and water your herd! We can suggest lots of ideas for inexpensive meals.
- Shaking up your program – that is, doing something different or outside the box to stimulate your students’ interests.
- Fundraising options – there are millions of ideas here. Note: Forum has a longstanding scholarship program for returning schools.
Customer service is not just a phrase to us – it’s our goal to provide the best service you will experience. Feel free to call us to discuss your individual needs for your school. We’re happy to hear your challenges and we’re dedicated to finding some solutions that fits your program! We’d love to welcome you and your students to a Forum Music Festival! Give us a call at 1-888-76-FORUM.