POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING GUIDE FOR MUSIC EDUCATORS

 

Korg Education is proud to partner with the MusicEdNow team to provide these Post-Pandemic Planning Guides. Each volume includes valuable resources to help music educators bring back music to schools.

We understand that music programs may have taken a toll this past year and rebuilding will be challenging, but you are not alone. We are here to walk beside you and help you every step of the way to bring back the music.

These guides all have a singular focus: Rebooting and reinvigorating your recruitment and retention efforts. Every two weeks we will provide a new volume with goals, ideas, action items, checklists, and advocacy materials that you can use to get your administration, staff and, most importantly, prospective students excited about music making.

 

Let's get started!

Each guide is sequential so start with Session 1 to take advantage of all the resources...

 

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

 

 

 

SESSION 1

Goal: Lay the Groundwork

This session is all about laying the groundwork. Our goal is to uncover any roadblocks that might present themselves later in the spring and to ensure that music has a voice at the table as plans are made for 2021-22. Have you considered these items to prepare for the fall?

  • Touch base with your building administrator or principal to determine your teaching schedule for the coming school year as well as what needs to happen to have a successful recruiting season. Here is an email template to kick off that conversation and checklist of items to consider to ensure you are prepared for this conversation.
  • Remember: When framing your conversation with your administrator, be sure to present your solutions in the context of what’s best for the students.
  • You may need to remind your administrator why music is a crucial part of the curriculum. Here is an example of a presentation successfully used by teachers in Lincoln, NE to ensure continued support of music programs.

 

Recruiting Tip: Prep Now

We all know recruiting is 24/7, but it is more important than ever to be focused, organized and proactive. We’ll provide a recruiting tip or action item in every email to help and inspire you. Our tip this month is: 

  • Start collecting written and virtual testimonials from your parents and students about the importance of music in their lives. These can be outstanding materials to help you recruit later in the semester. Here is a sample email letter you can use to collect these testimonials.

 

Resource Roundup

If you are looking for some more resources to help you with these conversations and to-do items, here are a few you might consider:

 

 

 

 

SESSION 2

Welcome back to your Post-Pandemic Planning Guide to bring back music to your school. Your program most likely 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!

 

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 aleady underway. Parents asking the school board to pledge support of the arts makes music a budgetary priority!

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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 platform 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 sneak peek of some great ideas if you’d like to get started.

 

 

 

 

SESSION 3

Welcome back to your Post-pandemic Planning Guide! We hope you’ve found the first two editions helpful and you are taking positive action to build toward a strong fall 2021. We’ve got your back and are going to walk beside you, step-by-step, in bringing back the music!

This week, we have three big areas of focus: engaging another key stakeholder - your counselors, continuing to build momentum in our recruiting efforts and incorporating activities specifically designed to retain our beginning students.

 

GOAL: TAP IN TO YOUR COUNSELOR

In Volume 1, we outlined a conversation with your building principal that will help you plan for the coming year. (If you missed those resources, they can be found here.) This week, we turn our attention to having a similar conversation with our school counselor to determine how we can best partner with them to increase student enrollment.

Important things to consider:

  1. Don’t wait for the counselor to reach out to you: a proactive conversation will determine if there have been procedural or date changes relating to signing up students.

  2. Plan ahead for the conversation. A planned conversation can help you identify any new “landmines” for this fall. Here is a list of considerations to prepare for your meeting.

 

RECRUITING TIP: IT’S ELEMENTARY!

In our last session, we encouraged everyone to set a date to speak with students at their elementary school or feeder programs. If you have not already done so, be sure to set up a time.

If it's time for you to speak, here are 8 Tips for Recruiting you can use, whether the students are participating virtually or in person.

 

RETENTION TIP: GET S.M.A.R.T.

While it's great that we are getting a jump-start on recruiting for next fall, don’t overlook the importance of retaining the students already in our program. Here is a great resource that provides a “S.M.A.R.T. approach” to retaining the beginners presently enrolled in your program.

DON’T FORGET

If you haven’t started yet, now is the time to collect testimonials from your parents and students for use later in the spring for recruiting. Session 1 had a template email/letter you can send home to encourage students and parents to share their experiences.

 

RESOURCE ROUND-UP

It’s easy to get focused on the challenges we face, but here’s a reminder of 5 good things that came out of 2020.

Need a digital recruiting idea? Here is a Recruiting Slideshow that can be used in-person or online!

 

Step-by-step, we are going to get back to making music, together! In case you missed Session 1 or Session 2 of the Post-Pandemic Planning Guide, it can be found here!

P.S. - Perhaps you have some thoughts on how we can improve these blasts, awesome content that’s helped you, or want to share what you are doing now to prepare for Fall 2021. Drop us a line here - we’d love to hear from you!