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More to Start, Fewer to Quick (February 2024)

This month's MSFQ comes from Yamaha Master Educator and retired director of bands at Hill Country Middle School Cheryl Floyd.


If your school doesn't already, consider hosting an Electives Fair — a night where parents and students can visit their upcoming middle school or high school and browse the various electives your school offers. Use this opportunity to highlight the great experiences in your program with pictures, videos, and posters. You can also invite current students (and their parents) to share their experiences and the positive impact music has had on them. The key here is to reinforce the tremendous benefits of staying in music as those incoming students transition into their new school.


Empowering your current students is one of the most powerful ways to keep them in your program. There are lots of big and small ways to get your students more involved in your rehearsals, and the impact of those opportunities will add a new, positive dimension to their experience in music.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Have students lead warm-ups or scale drills
  • Take turns having students conduct and ask them to share what they heard
  • Designate students to lead program projects
  • Create and rotate program, classroom, and concert jobs for students
    • Section leader
    • Music librarian
    • Concert assistant
    • Publicity coordinator
    • Program historian
    • Recruitment assistant
  • If appropriate, identify opportunities for older students to coach younger, less-experienced students and nurture peer mentor relationships.

The more students are vested in your program and culture, the more they'll get out of their music experience.


Relationships are such an important part of everything we do as music educators, and nurturing them can be a key for personal and professional growth. If you have time, offer to travel to an assessment or contest performance with a younger or less-experienced teacher. Your support will show that you care and can help forge meaningful relationships between you both — as people and between your programs.


Check below to see if the Music Achievement Council team is presenting one of our engaging sessions at a conference near you.

Massachusetts MEA, Worcester, MA
5 S.M.A.R.T. Ideas to RETAIN THIS YEAR'S Beginners: a Primer for High School and Middle School Directors
March 22nd
1:00 PM
Hilton Garden AB

Pennsylvania MEA, Erie, PA
Keynote: But for Music Education
April 18th
9:00 AM
Bayfront Convention Center

5 S.M.A.R.T. Ideas to RETAIN THIS YEAR'S Beginners: a Primer for High School and Middle School Directors
April 18th
1:30 PM
Bayfront Convention Center

Wishing you and your students all the best!

Cheryl Floyd
Hill Country Middle School
Director of Bands, retired
Yamaha Master Educator
Music Consultant
Leander ISD Flute Instructor

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