Music is designed to be enjoyed by an audience and to be shared with others. We need to promote our music programs in the school and community, because they could be overlooked in the everyday shuffle of school life. There is a lot of time for promoting music outside of the one or two concerts you might perform in a school year!
Some things that I’ve done with success:
ü T-shirts! They identify my choral group within the school and unify my musical group.
ü School Newsletter Updates Just a quick blurb in the monthly newsletter helps everyone keep up with our musical activities.
ü Holiday Caroling I have done this with my groups at a local mall, or my personal favorite; simply caroling outside as the buses drop the students off at school first thing in the morning. The students eyes just light up when they are greeted in this way! I treat the chorus students to hot chocolate to warm up afterwards, and they bring cookies to share. This is a TERRIFIC way to start the day before holiday vacation!
ü Mystery Singers This one has been a huge hit! Some years ago my school unearthed a time capsule from twenty years prior. Among the contents was a copy of a school song written by a former music teacher. My principal wanted to revive use of the song, and with a little thinking on my part (and borrowing from the “Mystery Reader” concept)…Mystery Singers were born! Each Friday morning a student volunteer sings the school song on the announcements, and the students enjoy guessing who the Mystery Singer of the day might have been. The Mystery Singer volunteer also has a choice to give me a clue to their identity that I share with all students on my bulletin board during the week. It is really a simple concept that really generates a lot of excitement about music, and it’s really unbelievable that I have student volunteers galore who just can’t wait to be the next Mystery Singer!
ü Photography While I am by no means a great photographer, I do really enjoy taking pictures, and I like to use them to enhance my music program. I take individual shots of each chorus student and arrange them into a composite poster that I display along with the school year and music or production performed that year. All students love to look back at the past year’s pictures. Another great tool is animoto.com, which is a super easy and fun way to make videos with your pictures. Here is an example of a video I forwarded to parents after our holiday caroling:
What are some of the ways you promote music? If you are not working in the field just yet, what are some of your ideas?