Making the jump between middle school and high school can be a fun and exciting time for students. However, it can also be a time when many students decide to end their musical studies. It is important that directors, parents, and administrators take advantage of this exciting time while also creating a plan to minimize attrition in hopes that all students will continue their musical studies into high school and beyond.
Some things directors can do to help ease the transition from middle school to high school include:
- Host concerts with both the middle school and high school so that parents and students can see and support the other ensembles.
- Encourage a "band director swap" on certain days or team teach when available so that students are comfortable with the high school director.
- Host a parents night with parents from both the middle school and high school.
- Meet with administrators and counselors to avoid any potential scheduling conflicts that might prevent students from remaining in band.
The best resource for increasing retention between Middle School and High School is the Music Achievement Council's "Bridging the Gap". This is a free resource and can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking the link above.