Welcome back to your Post-Pandemic Planning Guide to bring back music to your school. Your program may have paid a toll this past year, but we’ve got your back and are going to walk beside you, step-by-step, in bringing back the music!
This week, we’re focused on setting the table for credible, impactful conversations with your building principal, school board members, and elementary school teachers. It’s important that we proactively share information with key decision-makers to ensure our program’s voice is heard throughout the spring and the entire decision-making process.
LET’S TALK MINIMIZING RISK IN MUSIC
There is still a great deal of concern relating to the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, so it's important that we are prepared to address this head-on. Fortunately, there are significant studies underway that directly address how to minimize risk in the music classroom. Here are the key takeaways from the most recent findings in a long and abbreviated format.
It's important we use the appropriate vocabulary when communicating these findings. These measures do not make music “safe”, but rather, “significantly reduce risk,” in some cases by up to 90%. We want to ensure that we are communicating this information accurately.
We also want to communicate this information to our key decision-makers in an easy-to-follow format, so that they can make the best decision possible. Don’t assume they know what you know! Here is an email template you can use to communicate this important information about safety measures to your decision-makers.
GOAL: GET YOUR COMMUNITY INVOLVED
It's vitally important that our community supports the arts, and who better to lead this charge than music teachers? The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) recently launched an initiative called “ARTS ARE EDUCATION”. You can find the press release for this initiative here. This is an easy, turn-key way to share the importance of music with your community and gather support.
Get your community involved:
Take the ARTS ARE EDUCATION Pledge. Click here to do so.
Ask parents to take the ARTS ARE EDUCATION pledge.
Involve your building administration and build support for the arts by making them aware of this initiative. Here is an email template you can use to open the conversation.
Request time (or enlist a few passionate band parents!) to speak to your school board about the importance of music education and ask them to support the ARTS ARE EDUCATION initiative by signing the pledge.
Budget decisions are already underway. Parents asking the school board to pledge support of the arts makes music a budgetary priority.
RECRUITING TIP: IT’S ELEMENTARY
Recruiting can never start too early, and elementary school music teachers are a great ally in this activity. Here are some things to do now to kick-off recruiting alongside your elementary school teacher:
Begin collecting student testimonials to share later with prospective students at the elementary school. Current students can use Flipgrid or another recording software to record a few lines about why they joined band, orchestra or choir. Here’s an example.
Arrange with the teachers of the elementary programs to meet with their classes via Google Meet or other platforms to provide an engaging session on “exciting music opportunities at the middle school.” This would be a great time to share videos of current high school or middle school students having fun making music! For now, just get a date set. We will send some content ideas in our next blast, but here’s a