If you are a secondary music teacher you know that the fever pitch of recruiting is about to hit. You also know that young people along with their parents, armed with very little information, are about to make BIG decisions about their future.
Many students have a smoldering fire of doubt: "I wanna try something new in high school." It's important to be aggressive in putting this fire out before it gets out of control.
Let me be clear. This is not a “I smell burnt toast” situation, this is a “I’M ON FIRE… STOP, DROP, and ENROLL” situation.
There is nothing more important during the next six weeks than recruiting. Better enrollment is paramount to everything you and your program are trying to achieve, both musically and otherwise. Want better clarinets (and who doesn’t)? Enroll more kids! Want more staffing? Enroll more kids! Want a better budget? Enroll more kids!
Enrollment is the panacea to virtually every problem you face, so STOP what you are doing, DROP everything else, and do something to ENROLL more kids!
Listed below are some quick tips and ideas for putting out the fire efficiently and effectively.
Don't be embarrassed
Don’t ever be embarrassed to sell yourself and your program. If you believe in what you do and the benefit it has for someone, you should never shy away from who you are and what your program offers.
Recruiting is not an "event"
Recruitment is an ongoing campaign. They say it takes seven contacts to get someone to pull the trigger on a decision. Just doing a concert, a classroom visit, or sending a mailing is NOT ENOUGH! Make it a goal to contact a student/family member in seven different ways prior to the decision point.
Don't forget the parent
Recruit the parent as strongly as you recruit the child. Students may want to take or not take your class, but then again, they also want to stay up until two o’clock texting their friends. The parents are the real decision makers when it comes to scheduling, so don’t forget to recruit them also.
Use every weapon at your disposal
Work with your feeder teachers, student leaders, and parents to have multiple points and ways of contact with every possible student and his or her family. Use students to recruit students and parents to recruit parents. Use every tool at your disposal and every opportunity to make your case of why music is important to their future development.
Don't forget to re-recruit the kids you already have
In pursuit of new members, sometimes we forget to re-recruit the kids we already have! It's natural for them to feel some element of "been there/done that" and it's important that you remind them what music has done for them and how it has impacted them.
Listen, we know that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it so WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK. We have everything you need to recruit and retain your students at Stay in Music and it’s FREE, easy to use, and is sure to have an impact on your enrollment. All you have to do is point, click, print, and show! Let us do what we do best, so you can do what you do best, TEACH!
These materials that are individually adapted for band, orchestra, and choir. So, be sure to share them with all of your middle and high school colleagues!
Remember, for the next six weeks, your job is to STOP, DROP and ENROLL… After all, being a great teacher to an empty chair doesn't do anybody any good.
Have a great week!