Now that you’ve piqued their interest and convinced them they could play, it’s time to invite them to join. In this step you’ll choose the students you want, recruit good students who didn’t express interest, create invitations, and award the invitations in class.
Schedule: 2 weeks (if possible) before the class sign-up date
Choose Your Beginners
Talk to the teachers of the beginners’ grades and find out which students would make good ensemble members, making notes on the aptitude survey forms.
Separate the survey forms into four piles: those who want to be in your class, those who said they'd like more information, those who checked they don't want to be in band or orchestra but would make good members, and those who won’t be in your class.
Recruit the good students who didn’t express interest by calling them out of class. Tell them they’ve been “recommended for music class,” and because they have good grades and did well on the aptitude survey, you’d really like to have them.
Contact the students who want more information either at school or at home by phone. They can almost always be won over with a little personal attention.
Based on the responses you gather, sort all the survey forms into two stacks — those who want to be in band or orchestra and those who don't.
With the assistance of upper-level music students, create an "invitation" for each student who wants to be in your ensemble. The invitation is a packet of information that includes a letter to the parents, FAQs about the program, 5 Reasons to Be in Music, and an announcement of the Instrument Showcase Night if you're planning one. Put each invitation in an envelope and write the student’s name and homeroom on the outside.
Go back to the students’ classrooms, congratulate those who “made the band,” and pass out their invitations. Explain that the invitation is an honor and an achievement, and you are looking forward to working with them. Tell them what’s in the envelope and encourage them to return the form on the required date. Some directors encourage the return of the form by having an after-school pizza party for those who return the form by a certain date.
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