TME Podcast Season 2, Ep. 7: Successful Student Recruitment for Beginning Music Programs

Description: The key to any successful music program is to have students. In turn, a successful recruitment campaign is vital to building an active beginning music program. A recruitment informational meeting is essential. For a music director to have a successful music producing school, he or she must use effective recruitment strategies and be a great salesperson as well as a musician. Attained goals are met as a result of quality recruitment preparation.

Recruitment Preparation

Instrument Demonstration

Approaches to Instrument Demonstration

Music Selection for the Demonstration

Recruitment Letter

In this letter include:

  • Description of the music program

    • Frequency of classes and rehearsal

    • The student make up of the class

    • Goals

    • Performances

    • Opportunities

  • Clearly detail about the instrument rental process

  • Discuss the scheduled recruitment informational meeting

  • If you choose, include a portion of the form to be returned

Schedule Parent Informational Meeting

Aptitude Testing

Create an Exciting Atmosphere

The Big Event

Include the following in the assembly:

  • Introduce yourself

  • Concisely discuss your music program

    • 1) Identify that their child is eligible to join the music program

    • No tuition charge/ Music method books provided

    • No music experience is necessary

    • Classes are held during the school day

    • Rent Instruments at a low cost

  • Perform: Instrument demonstration

Electrify Your Audience

By this time, students will be begging to volunteer.

  • At this point, pass out the informational pack. Be sure to go over the key points and to give the packet to their parents.

  • Tell students that there is a parent's informational meeting and materials are available then.

  • Answer a limited number of student questions. Theses may include:

    • How much do the items cost?

    • What if I want to quit?

    • Can you play in the band and orchestra?

    • What if I can't read music?

  • Next, under supervision, pass around instruments

Children love to touch and see instruments up close. I recommend passing around instruments. Remove items such as mouthpieces and reeds to avoid having them damaged or lost.

Visit Classrooms for Follow-up

Be Seen

Additional Recruitment Strategies

There are a variety of recruitment strategies that can be used to encourage greater participation in your music program. Recruitment preparation will significantly improve your success. For that reason, the following recruitment strategies will benefit your efforts.

  • Provide 5th-12th-grade variations of class schedules of how students can take music+athletics+required academic courses.

  • Invite an upper-level music program to perform fun music for the student recruitment event. Have a couple well spoke student leaders speak to the group to make a connection.

  • Inform potential music students that they will be able to perform with the 12th students at the end of the year pyramid concert.

  • Invite all students that are apart of the music program who attended every performance to a couple of social events at the end of the year.

  • Bring student-athletes from the high school to talk to students about being in music and athletics.

Sell Your Program to Your Audience

  • Even more, educate students and parents with an attractive brochure that includes photos and benefits of being in music programs.

  • Have current band students write letters to students, or classes of students, interested in joining the music program.

  • Have current and past music students talk with the potential music students that were from the same feeder school. The presenter receives great pride to the presenter, and children are receptive to this.

  • Display a wall of fame with pictures of students who receive 100s on music tests.

  • Maintain an advocacy website with materials and information. The website shows the value of participation and that the program is in a music producing school.

  • Students who are from financially depressed families will receive every opportunity to perform and be successful in music is possible.

  • Build relationships. Make a regular effort show you care and be seen in music producing school activities.

  • Have each potential music student invite a friend that would be a good fit for joining a music program. The music program meets all of the guests and speaks about their music program.

  • Use social media, like Instagram. Document several pictures a week what a music producing school looks like.

  • Place student recruitment posters and fliers in the hallway about how great the music program is.

Final Thoughts