Category: Tips & Tricks

Braces: What Every Band Parent Should Know

Today’s guest post is by Donna Schwartz, a veteran music educator. Today she answers a common question: “My Child Has (or is getting) Braces; Can She Still Play Her Band Instrument?”

So, is it hopeless if your child is getting braces? Absolutely not! Braces today are SOOOOO much different than 10, 15 even 20 years ago. Find out what’s changed and what it means for your child.

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Why Is This Mom So Excited About AMP?

This guest post is written by Sue Reid, a Forest Park H.S. band parent. She writes:

“As the years pass and my children transition from elementary, to middle, to high school and now college, I have become more and more appreciative of the enormous contribution music has made to their growth. Our whole family has gained so much through our experiences with music in our schools, and I have been looking for some sort of group to join that would advocate for these music programs.… That is why I was so excited to find out about the National Association of Music Parents (AMP), and why I immediately joined.”

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Thanks So Mulch: Vandegrift Has This Fundraiser in the Bag

In the springtime, birds begin to sing, flowers begin to bloom, and self-respecting suburban gardeners everywhere begin to spread mulch.

The band boosters at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas, led by band dads Kirk Gravely and Kip DeGilio, saw an opportunity.

Why not sell and deliver bags of mulch to local homeowners?

Originally inspired by a Boy Scout fundraiser, they needed to scale up. WAY up, as it turned out. Where the Boy Scout sale had resulted in one and a half tractor-trailers filled with bags of mulch, they now had 18 tractor-trailers filling parking lots all over town!

We caught up with them to find out just how they pulled it off for the second year in a row.

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Make the Most of Music Lessons: Find Your Child’s Perfect Teacher Online

Today’s blog post comes from Phil Amalong of The Zoen.

As a professional performer and music educator, I’ve heard endless variations on the above statements. I’m somehow seen as the proper confessor for these personal divulgences—after performances, at events and gatherings, in everyday interactions with people. Many “I only wish…” stories and sadly, much regret. I find myself offering encouragement: “It’s never too late…” and “You’re here at this concert—thank you, we need great audiences,” both sentiments I strongly believe are true.

In hearing these “I wish” stories, I’m reminded of and grateful for the wonderful music teachers I was fortunate to have. I can see how they shaped my future in profound ways, taught me to have discipline in learning to play and love music and opened many possibilities in my life.

What should we do when we want to provide our children with the benefits and lifelong joys that private music lessons offer? After all, we’re really busy. It’s yet another activity and expense to fit into our shrinking week and budget. We wonder if our children will appreciate the lessons. We wonder: how can we find the teacher who’s going to be the perfect fit and will really help our kids “get it?”

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A Students’ Guide to Music Education Advocacy

Today’s post is by sophomore Mackenzie Keith at Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Georgia. Upon hearing about proposed fine arts budget cuts, she grabbed her smartphone and a few friends, and got right to work. To anyone who thinks that something similar is happening to your programs, speak up and speak out! There’s nothing more powerful than the students’ opinion.

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What Every Music Booster Group Should Know About Tracking Money

Today’s guest post is by Courtney Beard of Vivace Productions. The idea of keeping real financial records may intimidate some booster organizations, but you don’t need a CPA within your ranks to implement of simple bookkeeping and reporting procedures, paving the way for greater efficiently and responsible decision making. Find out how a single, SIMPLE, financial report will help keep you on the right track.

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59 Fundraising Ideas for your Music Booster Group

Fundraising is a fact of life for most music booster organizations. Everyone is always looking for a newer, better, easier way to raise the money their child’s music program needs. While not an exhaustive list, I hope this post may be a great way to spark your own imagination. Consider your program’s unique situation, and choose the best fundraisers for your group.

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SET A GOAL: 8 Worthy Goals for Music Parents

January is a time for clean slates and fresh beginnings. Marching season is over, the holidays are past, and bowl games are behind us. This year, my first resolution is to get the Christmas tree put away before St. Patrick’s Day. (Actually not kidding. Sigh.) After that, though, what comes next?

“Resolution” is really just a fancy way of announcing that you’re planning to commit to an intention to better yourself or the world around you. In other words, to “set a goal.”

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