Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Recruiting is the MOST important thing you do as a music teacher!

Recruiting is the MOST important thing you do as a music teacher!

If you are a music teacher in any capacity where your class is an elective, then recruiting is possibly the single most important responsibility that you have as a music educator. Teaching music is incredibly important and, as we have all come to discover in the last 3 months, vital (along with the other arts) to sustaining our soul as we move through difficult times. If you are a fabulous educator, but you don’t have students to educate…..do you see where I am going here? Every time an administrator considers cutting back on a music class, every time a guidance counselor moves someone into “Tech Ed” instead of your class, every time a parent asks, “what is this good for anyway?” You can overcome nearly all of it with a recruiting program that excites students and encourages them to get themselves into YOUR music program!

So get cracking! Here are six ways that you can up your recruiting game. How do you recruit? What works for you? Let’s start the discussion and help each other out.



With all of the craziness that COVID-19 has brought to school districts and their calendars, making sure your plans are known to your administrators is absolutely critical. Whatever plan you have formulated to recruit this fall, reach out NOW to your admins and get them into the loop. They can help you get the resources you need to make recruiting a success.

If you will normally travel to schools to recruit, contact those administrators and their music teachers now as well. You may not be able to visit in person, but you may be able to set up remote sessions. In any case, not communicating with the schools involved will lead to disaster in the fall.

If you have not already, please reach out NOW to everyone that will be involved: principals, admins, cooperating teachers, custodial staff to get them involved in your plan. Once you are all on the same team, your chances of success increase exponentially!


Now that you have chatted with your admin, and gotten their blessing to recruit this fall, you have to get on the calendar. School calendars fill up incredibly quickly, and with all of the additional uncertainty that COVID-19 had brought to our lives, there is little doubt that they will get all the more crowded! Whether you will be able to recruit in-person or virtually, you need to select the times and dates now, and get on the master calendar. There are several dates that you will want to make sure are secured:

·         Date(s) of the in-school / virtual presentation for EACH school you will visit

·         Date that you will need a response from each student as to whether they will join your program

·         Date and location of your parent meeting, either virtual or in-person

If you are not on the calendar, you don’t exist! Make sure you are there!


As you continue to plan your recruiting for the fall, hopefully you will be fortunate enough to be able to recruit in person. If you are able to do so, I highly recommend that you use student performers to demonstrate the individual instruments. As music teachers there are some instruments that we are just better at than others! 😁 It is a great idea to use student to demonstrate these instruments for a couple of reasons:

·         They are probably more proficient on the instrument than you are. After all, they play it every single day!

·         They will be thrilled to be entrusted with such an important function. It is a great way to reward you high performers.

·         The students that you are recruiting will be better able to relate to the students demonstrating the instruments. After all, your students were recruits themselves just last year! Many of the students that you are recruiting will know your performers. It creates a more relatable demonstration and will increase participation in your program.

If you are going to use student performers, reach out to them and their parents now to secure their participation and permission. Send them some music you would like them to work on. You’ll have a fabulous demonstration! 🎻🎺🎷


Now that you have your admin on board, your dates set, and your student performers all lined up, it’s time to get your stuff together!

Seriously. Get your stuff together.

Start gathering your materials now. You will need more stuff than you think you will need, especially if you are taking the show on the road! πŸš—πŸš— Some things that you will need are:

·         Instruments 🎻🎻

·         Instrument stands

·         Student information cards

·         Letters to send home to parents

·         Posters promoting your program

·         And many more. Here is a pretty comprehensive list of items you may need: https://bit.ly/recruit_checklist

Be Prepared!


Now it’s time to start preparing for your presentation. You have a lot of material to deliver in a very short time. When I have recruited I have had as much as 50 minutes and as little as 25 minutes! You still have to get ALL of the information out there. I highly recommend developing a script and practice, practice, practice!!! You would never give a concert without hours of rehearsal to make sure that it’s right. This is no different! Develop a script and put in the time to get it right. It will make a HUGE difference in the outcome! Here is a good example of a script that I have used many times: https://bit.ly/recruiting_script


Recruiting is arguably the most important thing that you do you to sustain your program. After all, you won’t have anyone to teach music to if there is no one in your class. Believe me when I tell you that this is YOUR responsibility. Your administration, your guidance department, and your students’ parents may all be very supportive, but recruiting into your program is all on you.

Because of this, I recommend calling in the professionals to help: your local school music dealer. Your dealer is often the best resource for recruiting. It’s in their best interest, just like you, for you to have a robust instrumental music program. Often, an educational representative will recruit for 10-20 programs each and every year. Multiply that by 10-20 years of experience (or more!) and you can quickly see that your local ed rep may have recruited successfully over 100 times! It’s not unusual for a good ed rep to do more recruiting in one or two years than an educator does in their entire career.

Many of our dealers are also excellent recruiters! I encourage you to reach out to them today. Also, please leave a note in the comments and we can connect you to your local ed rep.

Happy Recruiting!! May you have an incredibly successful 2020-21 school year!


No comments:

Post a Comment