This month's MSFQ tips come from Dr. Angela Ammerman, author of The Music Teacher's Guide to Engaging English Language Learners, President of the Virginia String Teachers Association, and Adjunct Professor of Music Education at George Mason University.
Recruitment is seriously my favorite thing to do — and, actually, the summertime is a beautiful time to get organized to recruit more students than ever! This month, consider the following activities in order to build your program and gain stability in your position:
Summer Camps — Make a list of summer camps nearby and reach out to the directors to see if you can volunteer for an hour or two with the students in these camps. This is a great way to not only build a relationship with the students who may end up in your program, but can also help bolster your relationship with your teacher colleagues.
Build a Recruitment Calendar — Set up a Google Doc and simply select one task to do each month of the school year in order to reach out to potential students. You can start this month by reaching out to your feeder program to get a list of names you will be looking for on your rosters.
Get Social — Do you have a social media page for your ensemble? This is one of the best ways to gain visibility and to encourage other families to participate in your group. Check out @musicteachersguide on Instagram for more ways to reach your families on social media!
Even though I know you should absolutely take time this summer to relax and forget about work, do try to reach out to your students once every few weeks or so to keep your ensemble on their mind. Here are a few quick tips for reaching them:
Practice Tips — Send your students a few practice tips and maybe even a 1-minute video of you practicing to encourage them and to model how to practice efficiently.
Favorite Websites — Email your students a quick list of websites or groups to follow on social media in order to continue to maintain their interest (Hello, Twoset Violins!).
30-Day Practice Challenge — Send the Practice Challenge below to your students and offer some kind of silly prize if they check off every single box.
Spend this summer relaxing and recuperating — your mental and physical health is more important than any book club or training you could possibly do. As much as I would love to share with you all the tips in the world about “achieving success,” I truly believe that my best piece of advice for this month is to focus on you and give yourself the time that we so desperately need over the summer. I actually have a 30-Day Teacher Challenge for you as well. See how much you can cross off of this graphic to work toward your own summer of rest and relaxation!
Have a wonderful and relaxing summer break!
Angela Ammerman, PhD
President, Virginia String Teachers Association
Adjunct Professor of Music Education, George Mason University