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More to Start Fewer to Quit - Issue 26

more to start fewer to quit recruiting and retention ideas & tips for music educators

This month's MSFQ tips come from David F. Eccles, Orchestra Program and Upper School Director, The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia.


Orchestra Signing Day

In this season of sports and academic committing events, create your own Orchestra Signing Day for incoming students. A quick visit to spring rehearsals with cool welcome certificates, welcome letters from student orchestra leadership, and some orchestra swag will show future students that they are entering a dynamic and welcoming organization.


Vision Box

Begin by having your students write a reflection on the things that they've accomplished this year. The reflections don't have to be in full sentences they could be a simple bulleted list or marked list. On another card or sheet of paper, have them write stream-of-consciousness notes to themselves about their technical, social, or leadership goals for orchestra next year. Next, have them put this written reflection in the Vision Box. Create a ritual of storing those goals away over the summer in a safe place so that they can be ready to be read by the students when they return in the fall.


If you’re like me, your music library can be the bane of your existence. Make sure your music library is clean and organized to begin the next year. Students are hungry for community service hours this time of year. Consider offering those students in your program the opportunity to earn community service time by helping you organize the music library.

Wishing you and your students all the best!

David F. Eccles (he/him/his)

The Lovett School

Upper School Orchestra Director

Orchestra Program Director

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