Collaboration in the Schools – Collaboration is a positive keyword in the education community. Further, people are coming together to meet the goals of the greater good. Solutions are found to problems when individuals share their skills and experiences. In music education, collaboration has the ability to produce great works of art. As a result, positive collaborative has short and long term benefits.
Music programs that collaborate have an aspirational benefit. Students and teachers get involved because it not only teaches or produces some sort of product but is also it is a group they’d want to belong to. Moreover, benefits include improving students musical skills, reinforcing interpersonal relationships, and providing positive leadership opportunities. You as the educator can increase the longevity of student involvement, develop stronger student relationships, increase program numbers, and generally improve program culture.
You, as the music educator, possess the collaborative spirit that sometimes must be reverse engineered. Since you have a “big picture” vision of what you want your program to look like, envision the ideal program situation. What are the variances between the ideal and current situations? List these. Phrases these types variances into questions. This allows us to focus on collaborative activities that are more purposeful.
Pose a Question
Above all, you know your program best. Take a moment to pose questions that could involve a collaborative solution. For example, possible music program questions may include:
- How can you allocate more tubas or Basses for your program?
- Where can the resources be found to upgrade our drumline?
- Can you build stronger relationships with your staff, students, future students, and parents?
- What can you do to get more students into honor bands, choirs, and orchestras?
- Are there ways to get our spring trip overseas to be more affordable?
- Can we get more recognition for your music program?
- How can you educate and advocate music education practices in your school?
- What are the best ways you can recruit more students into your music program?
- How can you retain more students in your music program?
- Can you build strong student leadership?
- How can you have students feel like they have ownership within the program?
These questions pose opportunities for collaboration. That is to say, how do you plan to take advantage of this opportunity?
Opportunities to Collaborate
In addition, there are a few avenues for collaboration that a music educator may be interested in taking (maybe more.)
- Firstly, you can collaborate within a single ensemble.
- Collaborate across a music department. An example would include a high school musical.
- Collaborate vertically with the high school, middle school, and elementary programs. Many schools put on a pyramid concert.
- Collaborate with your music program and a community event.
- Collaborate by participating in a district or regional activities.
Collaboration in the Schools
Regardless of what type of activity you choose to collaborate, be sure to communicate with other potential collaborators early. Above all, identify and agree upon the goals of the event. Logistically, is everything feasible? Are all students in a position to benefit?
To sum up, you, as a music educator, can influence and empower collaboration. Likewise, the value and benefits you provide to your students are limited only to your creativity. Furthermore, each scenario is unique in its own right. How you measure the activity’s success is based on your goals. Consequently, you are the key to unlocking and creating experiences students will remember for a lifetime.