By Dr. Kirk D. Moss, PH.D.
When it comes to string playing and teaching, I believe that having more string players is a good thing! To reach that goal, think of recruiting string students as a way of life throughout the year rather than a single event held once per year.
Research suggests that students make their decisions to join orchestra based on reasons over which most teachers have control. The importance of the sound and appearance of the recruiting demonstration group, the influence of the teacher, and the perception of fun are primary reasons why many students choose to participate in orchestra.
In addition to the window when students can sign up for orchestra, plan activities for younger students, too. I call this timeframe the Pre-Recruiting phase, and it can happen one or two years prior to when students and parents need to make a choice about joining.
Create ways to integrate string playing into the classrooms of elementary teachers through presentations that feature: “sound and science,” music and cultures,” or other curricular themes. Also, have discussions with the general music teacher about ways that you or your students might serve as resources.
By teaching strings to more students, you can make a difference in as many lives as possible!
What are some of your favorite recruiting tips?