Music Directors' Resources

We're privileged to work with the finest music educators in the Mid-South, and we especially enjoy facilitating your exchanges of best practices, teaching techniques, organizational methods, and inspirational ideas.

This section is a collection of teaching ideas and techniques gathered from or kindly donated by you and your colleagues.

Many have been tested and refined through years of teaching experience. They are provided in the belief that giving our students an outstanding music education is the ultimate goal for all of us.

If you have thoughts, ideas, articles, videos or suggestions to contribute to this site, we'd love to hear from you. Working together, we can make our Mid-South music programs and bands the example for the entire nation.

Recruiting

Beginning band students are the lifeblood of every music program. Effective recruiting, as much as anything a band or music director can do, determines the future success of the band program.

Expecting students to sign up for band by themselves or relying on a general announcement, or even a note to parents simply doesn't work – it's a proven formula for a dwindling band program. Students don't know enough about band to decide whether they want to join. They have to be shown the band, told about its activities and benefits and convinved they can be successful members. Doing this takes a plan and well thought out execution.

At Amro, our recruiting program was developed and fine-tuned by some of the area's most successful band directors. You only get one chance per year to recruit new band members. We can help you create the most of that opportunity. 

Retention

Beginners are often drawn to the band by the prospect of getting a shiny, new instrument and being able to play some of the music they recognize and enjoy. Within the first few weeks the newness of the instrument wears off and the beginner realizes that a lot of work is required to play. At that point, all the skills and tools of a talented director are needed to hold the student's interest.

The time between the first and fourth months is the most important for beginners. During these months, a director must be inventive to maintain enthusiasm and keep the students motivated to practice. After about the fourth month, beginners have learned to play enough to make it enjoyable and fun.

Our retention program offers many ideas and materials you can use during that critical period to increase retention. Among the items you might find useful are notes and letters to send home to parents, a progress report, achievement certificates and a fun beginner's concert invitation.

Instruments

School bands wouldn't exist today if students had to buy instruments just to try band. Instument rental programs allow beginners to try band with a good quality instrument at a minimal cost. If the beginner enjoys band and wants to continue, the rent paid counts toward the purchase of the instrument. Almost all schools have an organized instrument rental program each fall.

Providing good quality instruments for your program is essential for a good band. We offer rentals, bidding and step-up programs to properly equip your program with the best quality instruments at an affordable, budget-friendly rate.

Advocacy

Those of us who have enjoyed an education in music are aware of its many benefits. Besides musical abilities, and a lifelong appreciation for music, music education develops creativity, responsibility, discipline, perseverance, dependability, composure, pride in results and many more benefits that affect us well in our adult lives. In short, music education provides excellent preparation for life, which ultimately is the goal of our educational system.

Being an advocate in the face of budget cuts, scheduling trends and public apathy is not an easy task, although a necessary one. If your music program faces threats in staffing, funding or scheduling we have resources to help you. The most effective defense for a music program is creating the organization and support before the threats develop.

Resources

In an effort to keep you up to date on the latest trends in music programming, we offer a variety of resources. If you need additional assistance or have a specific problem, we'd be happy to help you advocate, plan or execute a solution.

In addition to helping music directors with their needs, we have several ongoing efforts that help keep you inspired and informed. Take a look at any of our resource pages for more information.