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jazz education

supply a possible grantee, a budget and how the experience of a specific guest art- ist will positively impact our students and community, he can take it from there and craft a grant proposal. We are fortunate in Southern Wisconsin to have the Madison Jazz Society and others who have made it their mission to support students and jazz education. There are also county granting agencies, music companies, seed money from the band boosters, concert receipts and private foundations that are resources as well. We have a yearly dance that helps support our jazz ensemble activities.

Parents are also helpful at designing and distributing posters, writing press releases, creating programs, printing tick- ets, soliciting support, sending out email information, calling radio stations and posting announcements on local television and cable television outlets. Working on projects to support students often brings parents closer together. Be sure that there is a sense of community inherent in the

way you engage your parents. If done right, often lifelong friendships will result and support for your program in your com- munity will grow.

Important Note: The more that people are involved in a project, the more they are invested in the success of the program. Even if you could handle all of the duties listed in this article, it may not be the best thing to do as not as many folks would be invested in the project – word of mouth and attendance may not be optimized. You can generate a buzz of excitement over an event with the help of those involved – the more worker bees in the hive, the louder the buzz!

Communicate Often

Keep the help coming by communicating often. Designate a lead person for a project and meet with them to ensure you are on the same page. Also, keep all members of the organization informed. Email is a very effective tool if not overused.

Let’s Get Them Involved

We are fortunate to live in a state with so many jazz resources that are willing to help. Any college jazz instructor in our state would be willing to give a helping hand. From Superior to Parkside, Green Bay to Platteville and all places in between we have great college jazz educators who are very giving and knowledgeable. Utilize your colleagues, local musicians and other acquaintances to help as well. Parents are the key to doing what you cannot. Parents are great resources and they are willing to invest in the education of their sons and daughters. They will enhance the quality of the band program. If you can answer the question “How can I help?” then you will be on the way to building a successful community in your school.

Steve Sveum is band director at Sun Prairie High School. Email:

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