Ted Brown Music Educational Services

More to Start, Fewer to Quit! - November 2023

This month's MSFQ tips come from Marcia Neel, Music Achievement Council Education Advisor and Senior Director of Education for Yamaha Corporation of America.

Recruitment Tip

It’s amazing how quickly February will arrive, and this is often the month when students will be signing up for the courses they will be taking the following school year. This is why it’s important that all recruiting activities are getting organized / finalized prior to the holiday break. Whether it’s scheduling performances for the feeder schools or having this year’s beginners making recruitment posters, it’s time to get started if you haven’t already. Choose a digital poster format and get a fun, digital photo of each beginner to insert into the poster. Ask each to also provide a short statement stating why students should sign up for your ensemble class. (EX: Join orchestra and make new, cool friends! Band is a blast!) Provide digital copies to be included in the feeder school e-news or on their websites as a rotating slide show. Print out copies of the finished posters and put them up at feeder schools — particularly in the home school of the student featured in the poster!

Retention Tip

Participating in a project that gives back to the greater community is a great way to build the culture within the ensemble and this type of collective action contributes significantly to retention. Work with your student leaders to organize a “We Love Our Teachers and Staff” luncheon on Valentine’s Day. Check with a local Italian restaurant to discover if special pricing might be available for this particular event. Make it extra special by using tablecloths along with an appropriate centerpiece or candle. Your students can provide the entertainment while simultaneously exhibiting their musical gifts. This will go a long way to “make nice” with everyone at the school as well as give the students the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Success Tips

November is a good time to start making up your holiday gift list. Take a few moments to think about who in your school has helped make your job a bit easier this year; support staff? counselors? administrators? fellow faculty members? Baked goods make a super gift this time of year and can be easily personalized if ordered ahead of time. Does your supervisor play golf? Order customed-decorated cookies with a golf theme. It may take a bit of homework, but you’ll be surprised to see how the recipient will be touched by the fact that you were thoughtful enough to customize a simple gift in such a meaningful way.

Wishing you and your students a wonderful holiday season!

Marcia M. Neel
Music Achievement Council Education Advisor
Senior Director of Education, Yamaha Corporation of America