Orchestra recruitment is one of the most important tasks for orchestra directors. Are you looking for ideas to make the recruitment presentation fun and engaging? Projecting a feeling of confidence and fun during a recruiting session or presentation is THE secret to getting students interested in your program.
Here are some ideas to start. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for exact scripts
Treat the recruiting presentation as a concert performance! Think about the importance of recruiting for your program and don’t underestimate this event. Really rehearse it with the students! Let me say it again…rehearse with your students! This will affect the energy level of your own students presenting. Your own students will then influence the potential ones positively. The difference between shy students and confident students can be the difference from recruiting small numbers to having a large program. Children are incredibly intuitive. They feel the energy and enthusiasm in adults and older students much more than they internalize what the adult is saying. They will go by that feeling and most will make a decision based on it.
How many of us have asked students to speak in front of a crowd? They are enthusiastic to do it, but when they actually get the microphone get very shy about it. It happens to everyone. Now imagine having a students play a concert without practicing and rehearsing…this would be a laughter moment for any music teacher. So why do we put so much into the music preparation but then expect our students to simply “be good at” everything else? The way we rehearse every aspect of a music performance, we must also rehearse every aspect of a recruiting presentation.
Feeling of personal touch!
Have students smile and if possible get closer to the students. Making the incoming students comfortable with you as a teacher as well as the students in your program can do wonders in recruiting. Again if a student talks about your music program, rehearse it. Make sure that they are able to convey their message with fun and enthusiasm as opposed to being shy and nervous on stage.
Many students feel apprehensive about going to a new school. This is very natural. Providing a sense of security and feeling that the students will be supported in your program can be a good way to make others pay attention to your music class. This is what distinguishes a music program from the core classes. It is important that this is expressed in a recruiting presentation.
You can enhance that idea by having your students talk about the program with a message that focuses on the support and team work students experience in your music class.
Getting recruitment ideas directly from the students!
Often the students will give you the best recruiting ideas based on your school and dynamics within the school community. They know the younger kids, know they act and what they would like. Your own students can give you the best advice about scheduling a recruiting presentation. Simply asking them “What do you think we can do to grab the younger students’ attention” could start a discussion and a plethora of ideas. Come up with ideas as a class, talk to them and listen to their opinions. If your own students are excited about the presentation, this will excite the incoming students as well. If your own students do not feel strongly about the message they are conveying, it will be very difficult to convey that message to the younger students as well! Get more ideas about scheduling an exciting presentation here.
What to say at a recruitment presentation
- When preparing what to say to the students in a recruiting presentation, try to use key phrases that younger students like and will be drawn to. These are: Fun, Trips, Support, Friends.
- Have students be funny. Here is a video script of two of my students practicing their recruitment presentation.
- Have students introduce themselves, their instrument and what elementary school they attended. Then have them play a short bit from a popular or movie song. Here is a video example of one of my students practicing for that. Have 4 students do that with all four instruments and you have the bigger portion of your recruiting script.