Plan a get-together for your students — with or without performances. At the high school level, your student leaders can probably do this with a little guidance. At the middle school level, ask for parents to help. Be sure to think about food, games, and other activities as well as what kind of performances you'll feature (sectional work and/or full ensemble). It may also be fun to have students create section posters and have incoming students pair up with older students.
Consider planning a side-by-side rehearsal with your incoming class and returning students. You can also spend some time having older students share what they enjoy about your class (and school) with new students. If you haven't yet, start building out your calendar with concerts, contests, and other important dates for the upcoming school year and share it with parents. It's never too early to get students excited about the coming school year!
Be sure to relax and enjoy your time away from the classroom. You put a ton of work into your program during the school year, so be sure to take time for yourself. If you're itching to jump back in, you can always attend a summer convention, workshop, or refresher class. Whether you take time to just relax or spend time on personal/professional development, your students will benefit!
This month's MSFQ tips come from Yamaha Master Educator and retired director of bands at Hill Country Middle School Cheryl Floyd.
Standing for "More to Start, Fewer to Quit," MSFQ is an open-source, monthly newsletter brought to you by the Music Achievement Council.