With school rolling on, this year is unlike any other. Despite the challenges, the positive impact of music on your students will be as profound as ever. Here are some recruitment, retention, and success tips to help your students have a gratifying and memorable year.
The tendency with distance learning is to try to replicate what we were able to do in the live classroom. Take this "opportunity" to shift gears and share your passion! This is an excellent time to share your favorite music, play recordings for your students, and have them share music with each other, exposing them to sounds that might re-invigorate their interest in music. While we want to keep them playing as much as possible, it might be a listening session that helps them imagine and re-define their future. Carve out 3-5 minutes of time per week to guide them through a video or audio recording that helps them keep their eyes on the horizon — and this will help you keep your program geared towards the future!
Just because this year has brought some challenges doesn't mean there aren't great ways to celebrate those special moments. This year, we are rolling out the Virtual First Performance National Day of Celebration to assist you in providing beginning students with that exciting, first concert experience, whether teaching in person, hybrid, or fully remote. This year's virtual event features an introduction by Joe Lamond, President and CEO of NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants. Marcia Neel, President of Music Education Consultants, Inc., serves as the emcee, and Dr. Charlie Menghini, President Emeritus of VanderCook College of Music, serves as conductor.
The event has been posted on YouTube so that your students can play along karaoke-style whenever you feel they are ready! Additional collateral material can be accessed here, including a Certificate of Advancement that can be easily modified for each participant is also available for you to provide to each student to mark this very special occasion. All of this is provided at no cost to you or your students. Remember, there is only one First Performance for each beginner, so check out our trailer and share it with your students and their parents to generate their level of excitement for practicing and participating in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
A simple thank you goes a long way! A director recently shared with us that he had his 9th grade students make a 15-second thank you video using Flipgrid for their former middle school band teachers. They combined the videos and shared them with their respective teachers as a way to show their gratitude. The best part was seeing and hearing how excited and truly thankful the students were for their former teachers. Helping students remember to say thank you is an important life skill, and this particular activity helps bring teachers together to know that everyone is important in every stage of the learning process. Middle school teachers, thank those elementary teachers... high school teachers, thank those middle school teachers!
We hope you and your students continue staying safe and finding meaningful ways to make music this semester. Things will get better!
The Music Achievement Council