If you’re new to the field (and even if you’re not-so-new), knowing where to turn for guidance in organizing and administrating your band program can be quite a challenge. Colleges and universities do a nice job with field experience placements, educational theory, and instrument and performance pedagogy, but those of us who spent time teaching know that practical experience in dealing with administration, booster organizations, legal issues, forms, parental notices, and other day-to-day business of running an instrumental program often happens on-the-job with a very steep learning curve.
Stanton’s recommends the following resources for directors searching for practical hints and guidance (and even some form and letter templates) to better administrate your programs. They cover everything from the pedagogical to the practical and are so helpful that many of us wish we had them when we were in the classroom.
Teaching Band and Orchestra addresses every area of professional life for band directors at the beginning and secondary levels. With almost 40 years of instrumental teaching experience as a guide, Dr. Lynn Cooper covers recruiting and retention, creating lesson plans, assessment, curriculum development, selecting literature, running effective rehearsals, organizing concerts, and more. In addition, Dr. Cooper discusses, in detail, the administrative aspects of teaching music from the job search, to fundraising, to motivating students. Included are sample letters, forms, and bookkeeping charts as well as lists of suggested literature.
Dr. Shelley Jagow‘s Developing the Complete Band Program is a unique resource for both novice and experienced band directors, gathering effective teaching tools from the best in the field. It includes more than 40 chapters on curriculum, historical perspective of North American wind bands, the anatomy of music making, and motivation. The sections on program organization and administrative leadership include assessment, rehearsal planning, repertoire selection, auditions, seating, recruiting and retention, budget planning, booster groups, advocacy, time management, copyright laws, and classroom management and discipline. A Mac/PC enabled DVD is also available featuring rehearsal videos as well as course activity forms, letter templates, and resources as referenced in the book. Letter templates include more than 20 sample letters on topics from recruitment to assessment; resources provide entries for locating clinicians, artists, publishers, and professional organizations; finding school grants; evaluating facilities; determining balanced instrumentation for any size group with an interactive calculator; and more.
Habits of a Successful Band Director: Pitfalls and Solutions by Scott Rush is designed with the novice band director in mind. Included in its 10 chapters are sections addressing classroom organization and management, working with parents and colleagues, the importance of the warm-up, rehearsal strategies, selecting high-quality literature, and student leadership. The appendices provide valuable outlines and reproducible forms such as medical releases and pitch tendency charts.