Contributions by Dr. David Betancourt and Peter Fournier
Each year around this time, as we are neck deep in Festivals across the state, we realize that you also are neck deep – in festivals, performances, exams, and prepping for your next school year. Recruitment is a vital part of your prep each year and programs falter and fail without proper investment in recruitment. We thought it might be helpful to get some advice on recruiting for your music program from experienced music educators – the people who are adjudicating for you at our festivals. We’ve compiled these thoughts and will offer a short blog series over the next few weeks.
- Collaborate and work with your sister schools and across the grades
- Start in the fall with inviting the middle school band to attend a home football game at the local or home stadium. Late Oct./Nov. may be the best time for the high school to perform their field show in a special performance for them at half time. Prior to the start of the game or following the field show, the middle school band joins the high school playing the “Fight Song” and/or pep piece for the parents, administrators , etc
- Take a few student leaders to the JHS and show the video of their performance, followed up later in December (before they start signing up for their HS courses) and have the high school students talk about the band camp, the field show, travel opportunities, performing while marching down Main St. at Disneyland, in parades, and often at various community festivals.
- Organize concerts between elementary, middle school, and high schools in your district
- Invite the middle school students to visit your campus by inviting them to perform at your pre-festival concert, spring concert, or host an ensemble or solo festival.
- If your high school has an orientation assembly, make sure to take the Jazz Ensemble and small ensemble to talk to and play for all the incoming 8th graders.
- Guest conduct each other’s bands (within your district)
- Switch roles for a day (with admin permission)
Watch our blog for additional recruiting suggestions from additional outstanding music professionals.