This month’s MSFQ tips come from Yamaha Master Educator and retired director of bands at Hill Country Middle School Cheryl Floyd.
Welcome to Back to School across the country! While most directors have already screened students for instrument assignments, perhaps some do that at the very start of school. If so, take a moment to assess your instrumentation and engage older students who play those much needed instruments to perform for younger classes.
One of the best ways to retain your students is to give them opportunities for public performance. Students could perform the school song, fight song, and other pep tunes at school events. Include band, choir, and orchestra students to build your musical community.
If you haven’t yet, consider scheduling a First Performance National Day of Celebration Demonstration Concert for your beginners. Provided by the Music Achievement Council, the The First Performance National Day of Celebration Toolkit has all of the materials needed for a successful 25-minute program.
Take the time to make certain all of your program dates are on the school calendar and that you have tried to avoid major conflicts with other student groups. Also, don’t forget to set aside time for yourself. Freddie Martin once suggested to write “SOMETHING” on your calendar one weekend every month — that way, when someone asks you to do “something” on that weekend, you already have the date saved.
Wishing you and your students a wonderful school year ahead!
Hill Country Middle School
Director of Bands, retired
Yamaha Master Educator
Leander ISD Flute Instructor