Music and the arts are an important part of a balanced education. Exercising the creative part of one's brain can turn students into happy, productive, well-rounded members of society. However, marching band enrollment has fallen in recent years. Luckily, there are steps teachers can take to solve this problem. Here are four tips to help band teachers get students excited to join the school marching band:
1. Give a small sample concert during orientation.
Most schools hold an orientation for incoming students at the beginning of the school year, and extracurricular activities may be introduced during this time. Ask the school's administration if it would be possible for the band to put on a small concert during orientation. Playing a single song can make marching band come alive to new students. It can pique their interest, which can lead to greater enrollment in the coming year.
2. Do team-building activities.
While band students are ultimately part of the band due to love of music, team-building activities can help draw them closer together. Once a month, hold a small mixer for band students in the band room after school. This doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. A bowl of punch and a bag of chips will give students the chance to hang out and chat, while growing closer to their fellow marching band teammates.
3. Hold fundraisers.
Marching band is more fun when it's experienced to its full potential. That means going on trips, performing in uniforms, and attending all of the home team's football games. Unfortunately, all of those things cost money that may not be in the band's budget. Supplement the band budget by holding fundraisers throughout the year. Car washes are a popular option, and Christmas offers the opportunity to sell cookies or other small items as gifts. Students will appreciate the opportunities that come from their fundraising efforts even more when they helped to raise the money themselves.
4. Play modern and original songs.
Most students enjoy music, but it may not be the same sort of music their parents like. Modern students are immersed in pop music, which means they may not feel a connection to the works of older composers. Capture their attention by enlisting the help of a marching band arrangement service. An arranger can help you create scores for recent hits, which can increase students' engagement in the pieces. They'll be thrilled to play band covers of their favorite hit songs as well as new, original compositions.