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How to Create the Ideal Middle School After School Band Program

band recruitment


Do you want to start or improve an after school band program for middle school students? If so, you are not alone. Many music education teachers recognize the benefits of offering band as an extracurricular activity for young musicians. Band can help students develop musical skills, social skills, self-esteem, and academic performance as well as assist in band recruitment. However, creating a successful band program is not easy. It requires careful planning, organization, and management. In this blog post, we will share with you five main points that you should consider when creating the ideal middle school after school band program. These are:

  • The goals and objectives of your program
  • The recruitment and retention of students
  • The selection and arrangement of music
  • The rehearsal and performance schedule
  • The evaluation and feedback of your music education program

By following these tips, you will be able to design and implement a band program that meets the needs and interests of your students, and that fosters a positive and productive musical environment. Let’s get started!

band recruitment

The Goals and Objectives of Your Program

The first step in creating a band program is to define the goals and objectives of your program. What do you want your students to learn and achieve through band? How will you measure their progress and success? How will you align your program with the school curriculum and standards? These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself before you start your program. Your goals and objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, a SMART goal could be: “By the end of the school year, 80% of the band students will be able to play a grade 2 concert band piece with accuracy and expression.” Having clear and realistic goals and objectives will help you plan your program, communicate your expectations, and evaluate your outcomes.

The Recruitment and Retention of Students

The second step in creating a band program is to recruit and retain students. How will you attract and motivate students to join and stay in your band? Will you ensure that your band is diverse and inclusive? How will you balance the needs and abilities of different students? These are some of the challenges that you will face when running a band program. To overcome these challenges, you should use a variety of strategies, such as:

  • Promoting your program through flyers, posters, announcements, social media, and word-of-mouth
  • Hosting an orientation session or an open house for interested students and parents
  • Providing instruments and materials for students who cannot afford them
  • Offering incentives and rewards for students who attend rehearsals and perform well
  • Creating a positive and supportive band culture that celebrates diversity and teamwork
  • Providing individual and group instruction, coaching, and mentoring for students of different levels
  • Encouraging student input and feedback on the program

By using these strategies, you will be able to recruit and retain students who are enthusiastic and committed to your band program.

Music Education and Music Educator and band recruitment

The Selection and Arrangement of Music

The third step in creating a band program is to select and arrange music. What kind of music will you play in your band? How will you choose music that is appropriate and appealing for your students? How will you adapt music to fit your band size and instrumentation? These are some of the questions that you should consider when selecting and arranging music for your band. Your music selection and arrangement should be based on several factors, such as:

  • The goals and objectives of your program
  • The level and interest of your students
  • The availability and quality of your instruments
  • The budget and resources of your program
  • The theme and purpose of your performances
  • The feedback and suggestions of your students

By considering these factors, you will be able to select and arrange music that is suitable and engaging for your band.

The Rehearsal and Performance Schedule

The fourth step in creating a band program is to plan your rehearsal and performance schedule. How often and how long will you rehearse with your band? Will you organize and manage your rehearsals? How will you prepare and execute your performances? These are some of the aspects that you should plan and coordinate when scheduling your band activities. Your rehearsal and performance schedule should be consistent, realistic, and flexible. For example, you could follow these guidelines:

  • Rehearse at least once a week for an hour or more
  • Divide your rehearsal time into warm-up, skill development, and repertoire practice
  • Use a variety of methods and techniques to teach and rehearse music, such as modeling, demonstration, explanation, repetition, and feedback
  • Establish and enforce rules and expectations for rehearsal behavior and etiquette
  • Perform at least once a semester for an audience, such as a school assembly, a concert, or a community event
  • Plan and rehearse your performance program in advance, including the order, transitions, and announcements of the pieces
  • Check and prepare your instruments, equipment, and materials for the performance
  • Arrive early and set up your stage and sound system
  • Perform with confidence, expression, and professionalism

By following these guidelines, you will be able to run your rehearsals and performances smoothly and effectively.

The Evaluation and Feedback of Your Program

The fifth and final step in creating a band program is to evaluate and provide feedback on your program. How will you assess the progress and achievement of your students? Will you collect and analyze data on your program? How will you use the results to improve your program? These are some of the tasks that you should perform to evaluate and provide feedback on your program. Your evaluation and feedback should be ongoing, comprehensive, and constructive. For example, you could use these methods:

  • Use formal and informal assessments, such as quizzes, tests, rubrics, checklists, and portfolios, to measure the musical knowledge, skills, and attitudes of your students
  • Use surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observations to gather feedback from your students, parents, colleagues, and administrators on your program
  • Use charts, graphs, tables, and reports to organize and present your data on your program
  • Use the data to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your program, and to set goals and action plans for improvement
  • Share your findings and recommendations with your stakeholders, and solicit their input and support for your program

By using these methods, you will be able to evaluate and provide feedback on your program, and to make informed decisions for its enhancement.


In conclusion, creating the ideal middle school after school band program is a rewarding and challenging endeavor. It requires careful planning, organization, and management of various aspects, such as the goals and objectives, the recruitment and retention, the selection and arrangement, the rehearsal and performance, and the evaluation and feedback of your program. By following the tips that we have shared in this blog post, you will be able to create a band program that meets the needs and interests of your students, and that fosters a positive and productive musical environment. We hope that you have found this blog post after school band programs helpful and informative, and that you will apply these tips to your own band program. Thank you for reading, and happy banding!

Works Cited

  • Abril, C. R., & Gault, B. M. (Eds.). (2016). Teaching general music: Approaches, issues, and viewpoints. Oxford University Press.
  • Bates, V. C. (2019). Music education for social change: Constructing an activist music education. Routledge.
  • Boonshaft, P. (2012). Teaching music with passion, purpose, and promise. Meredith Music.
  • Phillips, K. H. (2014). Teaching kids to sing. Cengage Learning.
  • Reimer, B. (2003). A philosophy of music education: Advancing the vision. Prentice Hall.
Bill Stevens is a husband, music educator, blogger, and advocating lover of the arts. He currently teaches middle school band in Northern Virginia and lives in beautiful Leesburg, Virginia, U.S.A. He is the founder of the website “Band Buzz” and his mission is to provide educators with the resources that help strengthen their professional lives. Stevens grew up in a middle-class family in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area where his world revolved around his family. He attended Quartz High School in southern California and during his tenure, he joined the school’s band, where his first band director, John McQuilkin, became one of his most highly influential teachers. In 1997, Stevens decided to attend Louisiana State University as a music education major. He actively participated in the LSU Tiger Band and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. After completing his degree, Stevens started teaching as a band director in a small rural community located in North West Louisiana. As time and experience drew on, Stevens made life choices that lead him to teach in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Manassas, Virginia. He added two masters degrees, one in Music Education and the other in Management. His passion for learning grew, and he finally found the woman of his dreams, whom he now calls his wife. Stevens’ mission is to provide educators, students, and lifelong learners with the resources that help strengthen their professional lives. He encourages people to subscribe to his blog and join in the conversation. If anyone has questions about a particular subject or would like him to elaborate on a topic, they can email him at [support@bandbuzz.org](mailto:support@bandbuzz.org). In conclusion, Bill Stevens is a passionate music educator who believes in the power of innovation, content, and collaboration.

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