The benefits of strong music programs take longer to manifest than the tenure of an upwardly mobile administrator or elected official. It is crucial to decode how decisions for your school are made and by whom. Decision-makers are anyone with authority over resources—funding, staffing, time. They can include counselors, assistant principals and those that build the master schedule, principals, central office staff, and school board members. What is happening in your community to advance the stature of music education in the eyes of the decision-maker?
Students are the most fundamental part of any scholastic music program. For many students, time spent around music is the most important part of the school day. While there are many factors that influence the size and make-up of school music programs, recruitment and retention plans can have an immense impact on the stability and longevity of a program. Programs that show achievement in this category demonstrate a commitment to building and sustaining a high-quality school music program.
The students who participate in a school music program are members of a larger community, and engaging with the local community can be incredibly beneficial to any scholastic organization. Community engagement efforts can be powerful tools for demonstrating the value of a quality music program and connecting people through music, and any form of community engagement can build support and influence. Achievement in this category demonstrates a commitment to establishing school music programs as integral parts of their communities.
For many scholastic music programs, advocating for your program often means advertising. Marketing and promotion of your program can help build attendance at events and expand your program’s presence in the community. The visibility of a school music program can benefit its advocacy efforts and help strengthen relationships with sponsors and community partners. Achievement in this category demonstrates a commitment to increasing the visibility of high-quality music programs.
Many scholastic music programs rely on strong parent and booster networks in order to function effectively. Programs of all shapes and sizes benefit from additional support, and parents and boosters can often assist music programs by supporting administrative efforts, volunteering at events, and in a variety of other ways. Achievement in this category demonstrates a commitment to developing an engaged and supportive network of volunteers for your organization.
In many schools across the country, music programs could not function without consistent fundraising. Various fundraisers and sponsorship programs have been used by many programs in order to improve the quality of the materials and the learning environments afforded to their students. Achievement in this category demonstrates the understanding that creative and active fundraising benefits both individual students and entire programs.