New School Year’s Resolution
The start of a new school year brings renewed excitement and enthusiasm, and for a few music educators, gratitude that their employment in this wonderful field will continue for another year. And with the new year come new goals and ambitions. To catalogue the direction in which music educators are hoping to take their programs for the next nine or so months, SBO sent out this reader survey, which reveals that in this profession, fall really is a season of optimism and rededicated focus.
What are your resolutions for the new school year?
Increase number of students in the music program 21%
- Implement new technology 16%
- Tackle more challenging repertoire 16%
- Work on new compositions with my ensembles 14%
- Start new or alternative student ensembles 12%
- Produce recordings of my ensembles 9%
- Follow through on more exciting and adventurous travel plans 5%
- Simply keep my program afloat for another year 4%
- Other 3%
“Last year, we noticed that many students didn’t get the chance to have much time playing individually, so I want to give the students the opportunity to perform more literature to aid them in their musical development.”
Northside Middle School
“Three years ago we added sixth grade to our school, which had consisted of just seventh and eighth graders. That first class of sixth graders is now going to be the eighth graders and the first group of third-year band musicians we have ever had. That very fact has forced us to add a more advanced ensemble to our curriculum and we will be performing more challenging literature.”
White Station Middle School
“I will continue to try to make the program indispensable by attracting large numbers of students and providing an outstanding educational experience for them. Everything else is out of my control.”
Windsor Middle School
How do you plan to achieve these goals?
“To improve our instrumentation, we will continue to do work in recruiting proper numbers in sections based on a future ensemble. In addition to recruitment, I think that I need to work on retention and successful experiences in those sections that seem to be dealing with unusual attrition.”
Stevens High School
Rapid City, S.D.
“We always approach each year looking for ways we can improve the quality of the students’ experience. We always start with a set of goals and then work out the details for each goal so that we have a plan for how we will reach them.”
Raymond W. Thomas
North Forsyth High School
“It will be a challenge to use only the music we have in-house as our entire budget for everything was cut to $0.”
Pennridge School District
Is your administration on board with your projects?
“To date, our superintendent has cut supplies and increased class sizes rather than cut our instrumental music program. While scheduling remains a problem due to the pressure of state mandated testing, we continue to offer a well balanced selection of performing ensembles. This is due in part to the state’s school choice option, which allows students to matriculate to the school of their choice. To prevent our student population from seeking an education at other local public or charter schools, our superintendent has decided to protect the district’s programs that set it apart from the others. That is why she is •on board.’
Mattacheese Middle School
West Yarmouth, Mass.
“My district has agreed to buy me the technology I need to add a music technology course to the curriculum. I will also use it with my other •traditional’ courses.”
Jason E. June
Somerset Area Junior/Senior High School
Do you anticipate your budget being:
Do you anticipate the number of students in your program:
Additional thoughts on the new school year?
“We opened the doors of the school three years ago. The spring before the doors, opened I was hired as the band director. At that time, I created a 10-year plan to add classes, staff, and travel, and we are pretty much staying on track. The only way we are behind is from the staffing perspective. Due to the financial situation the government in California has left us in, we will be about two teachers short from where I would have liked to have been and from what the other schools in our district have. Still, it is an exciting time for us. We will have our first marching band this year, as well as take our first out of town overnight trips. I am really excited.”
Clovis North Educational Center
“After close to 40 years of teaching only strings, this year I have been assigned classroom general music! Wish me luck!”
Susan H. Liss
John Jay Middle School
Cross River, N.Y.
“Lots of challenges to motivate both kids and parents to buy into what we do and to make it fun and exciting so that others in the area take notice so that we can become a well known, well run, and wonderful performing group!”
Middle Creek High School
“We are always looking to improve as performers and as teachers. We have been adding elements to our teaching strategies each year since I have been here and that has helped our students perform better.”
Cuero High School
“Another year, a new job and a refreshed attitude. I feel good about it.”
Raleigh High School
“In many ways, this will be a challenging year for all of us, but also one of opportunity. Those willing to seek out opportunity will have a good year.”
Santana High School