top of page

Exploring Careers in Music Helps Student Retention [Look Into the Future]

retention tips for keeping students in your music program

careers in music poster

1. As the school year comes to a close, use a portion of your ensemble class time to explore careers and opportunities in music that may be more unfamiliar to your students. Jobs as performers or teachers are often the first two that come to mind, but there are a plethora of other avenues that may be attractive to the different types of students that populate your ensembles. This exploration can happen in class through guests and media, or it can happen in the real world through field trips to places like music dealers, instrument repair shops, concert halls, and recording studios. You never know what aspect of music is going to hook a student for life. By expanding the types of and opportunities in music that they are exposed to, you may be able to keep a student engaged that has not formed a more immediate connection to our traditional practices. Even if they do not see themselves as a band or orchestra performer or teacher, performing in band or orchestra may be the path to their post-high school music plans!

2. 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!

3. Record your students early and often both individually and in ensemble settings. It is especially important to record your students when they sightread a new piece of music. Then in a month or so, record them again. Then play the latest recording and the first recording. Letting them hear the progress will send a strong message of how much their hard work is paying off. Do the same thing the class session after your performance. Play the performance recording and then play that recording you made the first time they played the work. Be ready for a lot of laughter, giggles, smiles and a whole roomful of personal pride for a job well done.

Want some one on one guidance with your retention efforts?

We're here to help. Call, text, or email our Ed Services team today


These retention tips are written by various authors and are compiled from "More to Start, Fewer to Quit" a recruitment, retention, and success newsletter brought to you by The Music Achievement Council and Instrumental Music Center.


bottom of page