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feature Establishing a Music Parents’ Organization


The Path to Success in Supporting Your Program H. Robert Dittmer, West Bend


T


“To be, or not to be: that is the ques- tion.” Though William Shakespeare’s famous line from Hamlet was not spoken in regards to forming a music parents’ organization in the 21st


century, it serves


as a good starting point. The initial con- sideration should center on a few issues that music staff in your school can answer: do you need assistance in support of your concerts and other activities; would your program benefit from better communica- tions; are fundraisers taking too much time out of your schedule; do you need help in organizing travel with your groups; is music advocacy becoming more necessary within your school and community; would you like help in audience development for


your concerts? If you answer yes to two or more of those questions, perhaps it is time to organize a music parents’ organization for your program or the entire music de- partment at your school.


Getting Started


The next steps include deciding if you need separate parent groups for each area in your music department: band, choir or orchestra. That decision is usually made based on how large and active your programs are and if you share numerous common students (and consequently, parents). Then, there is the need to find a name for this new group. The use of the term “booster” is commonly associated


with bands and carries a fundraising and travel support connotation though it is still widely used. Most groups using that nomenclature have, however, become much more all-encompassing in their mis- sion. Other frequently used titles for music parents’ groups include “association” and “organization,” i.e. Central High School Music Parents Association. One final


Be the Grand Champion of Summer at the Wisconsin State Fair


Be a part of the partnership between two Wisconsin traditions!


Wisconsin School Music Association and Wisconsin State Fair Announce the


WSMA World Music Showcase August 10, 2012


State Fair Park • West Allis, Wisconsin For more information, please contact Tim Wurgler: twurgler@wsmamusic.org 18 January 2012


See the digital online version of this article for links to sample handbooks and bylaws of parent organizations.


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