R ECR UITMENT AND RETENTION OF BEGINNING INSTRUMENTAL STUDENTS IN AN URBAN SETTING BY KATHERINE KOLAN SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE: DR. DALE BAZAN, CHAIR DR. WILLIAM BAUER, MEMBER A CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF MUSIC IN MUSIC EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2016
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 2 Abstract The pu rpose of this capstone project wa s to determine if there are recruitment and retention techniques suggested in the literature that could contribute to higher enrollment in urban i nstrumental programs. T he author will suggest specific strategies urban music teachers can implement to help build a more robust instrument al program including ways to find funding, practice strategies and parental involvement techniques Finally, appendic es in this document include a (a) Year Long Recruitment and Retention Schedule (Appendix A), to be used as a guide for planning purposes, (b) Parental Involvement Incentive Certificate (Appendix B), to help encourage parental involvement, (c) Breakfast an d Practice Flier (Appendix C), to help promote a well rounded practice environment, (d) Instrumental Selection Form (Appendix D), to assist students and instrumental teachers in the selection process, (e) Instrumental Selection Flier (Appendix E) to inform parents of the programs offered and encourage students to sample the different instruments offered, (f) Sample Practice Log (Appendix F), to assist students with guided practice. Keywords: urban music, instrumental music, recruitment, retention
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 3 Recr uitment and Retention of Beginning Instrumental Students in an Urban Setting Mixon (2005) stated "for several of his students, instrumental music motivated them to come to school and gave them something to look forward to" (p.21). Students enrolled in sch ool instrumental groups enjoy the advantages of musical study, group learning, cooperative effort toward specific goals, and opportunities to encounter challenges and overcome them (Ester & Turner, 2009). Students learn how t o be part of an ensemble, to ta ke care of an instrument, and about being responsible for remembering their instrument on le sson days. H ow to practice independently and to self assess themselves are other valuable skills that students develop while playing an instrument. Students likewise gain many life skills when involved in instrumental music. Given the many reported benefits, it would be ideal if all students had access to music programs and the opportunity to learn an instrument. Many educators graduate from college envisioning they will get a job in a modern and well funded suburban school district never considering what it would be like to teach in an urban school district. To be specific, urban in this paper means a metropolitan area with a significantly diverse population, high minority representation and low socioeconomic status. Urban is certainly not a pejorative term, yet such schools present several challenges in reaching the ideals of music education. Many of the unique demands and issues that urban teacher s face on a daily basis are rarely discussed. It is difficult finding strategies to combat some of these iss ues due to the lack of resources dedicated to urban schools. Thus it is challenging to develop methods to improve and gr ow urban music programs and therefore, many urban instrumental programs continue to flounder.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 4 Purpose of the Project The purpose of this project was to review the literature on recruitment and retention, with a focus on urban school settings. Quest ions that were explored include : 1. What recruitment techniques may contribute to higher enrollment in urban instrumental programs? 2. What methods can be used to create and promote a positive learning environment for students? 3. What role might repertoire, practice, and social rewards play in e ffective recruitment and retention? After synthesizing the literature, a yearlong model was proposed to promote and support growth in the urban instrumental program in which I teach. Review of Literature Defining "Urban" T here is no clear definition of urban ; the dictionary simply defines urban as "of or relating to cities and the people who live in them" (Merriam Webster, 2016). In the education world an urban school district is most frequently viewed as being negative an d an undesirabl e place to teach due to the low socioeconomic status (SES) of students and the plethora of behavioral issues. Singer (1996) defined the urban schools as being oversized schools that are poorly funded with a large quantity of racial ly diverse students from low socioeconomic status (SES) and high poverty backgrounds. Watson (2007) investigated how teacher s view and def ine what makes a school "urban." The most common characteristics that teacher s noted were: majority of students are non white, is located in a city, has a variety of income levels and has a low SES population (p. 30).
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 5 According to Fitzpartick (2011), teachers perceive urban as being the opposite of suburban, meaning that while urban schools are believed to be comprise d pr imarily of students of color and students from low SES, suburban schools are perceived as being primarily white and middle class. Differences Between Suburban and Urban Challenges Teaching in low income, urban, multicultural schools is different from te aching in suburban settings, which have more homogeneous student populations, more parental support and more stable student populations (Erskine Cullen & Sinclair, 1996, p. 1) Gehrke (2005) noted how urban schools typically have fewer resource s and face challenges that are much different from the ir suburban counterparts. Lack of resourc es and funding are common obstacles that urban districts are notorious for being faced with. T here are also many other issues t hat these districts contend with T eachers are faced with a plethora of issues ranging from poverty, violence, cultural diversity and a multitude of languages (Erskine Cullen & Sinclair, 1996). Today, one out of four American children attends school in an urban district and one out of eve ry six American children lives in poverty (Gehrke, 2005, p. 14). With such vast numbers of students attending urban schools, one would assume that teache r preparation programs would address the needs of these students. Urban t eachers felt their pre servic e education prepared them for teaching the "idea l students and left them unprepared for the reality of urban schools, where most of the students do not conform to the ideal ( Fiese & Decarbo, 1995, p. 28). Timmons (2010) researched teacher preparation for teaching in urban school s reporting that many teachers noted that there was a lack of preparation to deal with real life urban issues in teacher preparation courses.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 6 She also noted the teacher s felt a need for more practical and hand s on learning for a truly efficient teacher preparation program (p.111). Learning to teach in urban schools is a complicated process, particularly when prospective teach ers come from class backgrounds that differ from that of their stu dents (Schu ltz, Jones Walker & Chikkatur, 2008). Regardless of the v ast number of challenges related to teaching in an urban district, there are also numerous rewards and successes (Bernard, 2010). Specific Issues That Persist in Urban Instrumental Programs Fitzpatrick (2011) stated many times, that urban music programs lack the resources to provide students with the same opportunities as their peers in better resourced settings. Resources and funding are major issues for urban music programs, but are not th e only issue s at hand Creating a program that piques the interest of the student s is another major dilemma for urban schools. After securing instruments and recruiting students into the program, the next hurdle is getting students to practice and to thriv e in the instrumental program. Urban i nstrumental programs are riddled with a plethora of issues including funding and a lack of parental support (Mixon, 2005). "Urban schools have the highest percentage of at risk students, the most pervasive problems, a nd extraordinary negative publicity" (Kindall Smith, 2004, p. 42). Music teachers working in urban schools face a range of challenges consisting of poor funding, lack of materials and little parental support (Renfro, 2003). Many teachers feel that they ar e musically prepared to teach in a n urban district, but ill equipped for the reality of the se types of districts (Fiese & DeCarbo, 1995). Exclusive of the aforementioned factors constructing a program of significance, in any district takes time, effort and planning.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 7 Funding Disparities in Urban Schools Urban districts are often inadequately funded and often have an inventory of older instruments (Mixon, 2005). Expand ing an instrumental program in these districts can be challenging, with little to no funding and students that move around every few months. The scarcity of instruments, textbooks, and other resources; a lack of parental and administrative support; and difficulties with classroom management are just a few of the issues that confront music teachers who work in urban communities (Bernard, 2010). Inadequate funding is, and ha s been, one of the most pressing issues for band directors (Costa Giomi & Chappell, 2007). Funding appears to be a monumental factor in urban district s. Overall, the three most commonly mentioned needs were financial support/increased funding (20% of all responses), repair and purchase of instruments (15%), and administrative support (13%) (Fitzpatrick, 2011). According to Albert's (2006) study on band recruitment in low socioeconomic school districts: participants believed that having instruments on hand for students to use is crucial for student participation. The teachers indicated that over 75% of students in their programs use school owned instrume nts, many of them donations. Mr. Mundy and Ms. Getty's district hold two "Instrument Round Up Nights" for anyone in the area to make an instrument donation in return for a charitable tax deduction (p. 62). Teachers in urban schools can find it challenging to recruit and retain students in instrumental music electives because typically these schools enroll greater proportions of minority students, students from single parent or single guardian homes, and students from lower SES families who may not be able t o afford the expenses associated with
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 8 instrumental instruction (Kinney, 2010 ). Ester and Turner (2009) worried that lack of financial support in lower income students will result in the benefits of in strumental music study becoming limited to more affluent members of society. Costa Giomi and Chappell (2007) note d based on their research, that urban schools with a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students had less access to funds and that parent involvement with fundraising was low. Urban music programs need financial support, and yet continue to be a major challenge for most teachers (Fitzpatrick, 2011). Kinney (2010) found lower SES was not a factor in initial recruitment of students, though it can contribute to a lack of retention of students i n a program. Costa Giomi and Chappel (2007) noticed a 50% decline in band participation in lower SES schools compared to high SES schools in the same district, t hus s uggesting, that schools with high SES have the ability to offer more incentives for stu dents to join and stay in instrumental music programs when there is greater access to more robust funding. Budget concerns are at the top of many m usic educators' lists of concerns especially in urban districts (Renfro, 2003). Kay (1995) suggested a need for schools with a high population of lower SES families provide school loaner instruments to stude nts. Mixon (2005) also suggested that schools with high poverty levels need to provide musical instruments for students and that active waiting list s for instruments can actually allow more students to experience instrumental music as students drop out and thus not losing student volume Fitzpatrick (2011) found in schools where over 90% of students require school owned instruments, that a full instr ument inventory is a way to ensure all students have access to instruments. Ester and Turner (2009) state d that data from their study indicates that lower income
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 9 students playing school instruments demonstrated equal achievement to all other instrumental students (p. 68). With limited funding and supplies, finding instruments to loan to s tudents can become a nearly insurmountable task for urban teachers. Though, with a little searching, teachers can creatively find ways to acquire instruments through gran t writing and partnerships with other organizations (Mixon, 2005). Differences between Recruitment and Retention Recruiting students i nto the program is another essential factor in growing an instrumental program. Issues of recruiting, continuing involveme nt, and student attrition are of special interest to the instrumental music teacher, because most band and orchestra programs in United States public schools are elective (Gamin, 2005). The proactive director will begin planning, early in the year, an effi cient and effective recruiting process (Bazan & Bayl ey, 2009). Jagow (2005) suggested that instrumental students are best rec ruited in the spring for the following f all. Instrument demonstration assemblies, creating an appealing band image, hosting all district concerts, enlisting help from high school students, and making the program fit what the community needs, are different recruitment styles suggested in intervie ws conducted by Sussman (2012). Also, academic achievement played a significant role in predicting initial enrollment and retention (Kinney, 2010). Relationships are important to people who live in po verty (Mixon, 2005). Having respectable relationships w ith students and their families can help begin the recruiting process, as students will be more comfortable with joining and continuing in the program ( Albert, 2006; Mixon, 2005). Kay (1995) also suggested that students seem to be attracted to instrumental programs taught by warm, friendly and enthusiastic teachers.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 10 Creating a positive relationship with students, with safe spaces, and a feeling of family contributes to students wanting to join, and in turn, remain in instrumental programs (Albert, 2006). Urban schools typically have high numbers of students that are at risk, with living environments and behavior that are unstable (Mixon, 2005). Establishing a classroom dynamic that has set rules and a caring heart makes students feel safe in the classroom Creating an environment where students succeed is another important factor when building an instrumental program. Lehmann, Sloboda, and Woody (20 07) noted the importance of bo th intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: Intrinsic motivation comes from the acti vity itself and the enjoyment experienced from engaging in it. In general, people make music because of the enjoyment and fulfillment they get from doing it. However, because acquiring musical skills takes much time and effort, developing musicians also rely on extrinsic motivation, or secondary nonmusical rewards that come with musical participation (p.44). Boren (2012) reported several studies have found a link between student reports of self efficacy and a vari ety of measures of achievement. Unfortunately, many students who need assistance fail to seek the help they need due to their insec urities (Gordon, 2012). Perhaps most importantly, teachers can strive to engineer events to provide the students with the genuine experience of the importance of effort, the rewards of beautiful playing, and the satisfaction of self expression ( Smith, 2003). Jagow (2005) felt it is the teachers' job to ignite the student's interest with many positive aspects of becoming a member of
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 11 the instrumental program. The social rewards of band membership seem to be strong motivators for students (Kay, 1995). Helping steer students to ward finding the best instrument fit also helps aid in recruitment and retention. Choosing an initial band instrument traditionally has been a fundamental and critical process for beginning instrumental music students within schools throughout the United States (Payne, 2014). Bayley (2004) researched how teachers help guide students to pick appropriate instruments. He also states that some teachers may limit the number of inst ruments to choose from, giving more structure to the process, and improvement in communication with stude nts and parents, as ways to assist students in choosing the appropriate inst rument and thus aid in retention. In one study Martignetti (1965) reported that: "twenty two (67%) children liked the instrument upon which they were taking lessons. The remaining thirteen (33%) students replied that they did not like the instrument upon which they were taking music lessons" (p. 181). One technique to consider involves demonstrations to pre band students by live model instrumentalists, particularly gender atypical instrumentalists, which can downplay the novelty factor and gender stereoty pes attached to specific instruments (Bazan, 2005). Family and famous artists can not only im pact a student's cho ice of instrument, but may also influence their timbre preference (Kuhlman, 2005). Students can get lured into playing an instrument based on how shiny it is or peer influence; helping select instruments best suited for the child is an important part of instrumental music. Having elaborate instrumental demonstrations can be overwhelming for students; age appropriate demonstrations, where student s get to view and hear easily recognizable music, is more helpful when recruiting young students (Sussman, 2012).
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 12 Bayley (2004) suggests more frequent instrument demonstrations, increased communication between elementary and middle school instrumental stud ents, and involving the local music store as ways to help increase enrollment and retention. Affording students an opportunity to try the different instruments will give the teacher the chance to match students with the most appropriate instrument for each student (Bazan, 2005). Students need opportunities to feel excited about instrumental music to feel successful (Sussman, 2012). Creating opportunities for students to help make choices in their program helps empower them to take responsibility, thus comp elling them to continue with the program (Albert, 2006). Giving s tudents incentives to play, including solo and performing opportunities, assists in creating interest and desire to be in a program (Smith, 2003). Involving students in how the program is run creates an ensemble that everyone wants to be a part of. Many teachers in urban districts have found that involving students in the decision making process helps the teacher understand the level at which students are c omfortable playing (Fiese & DeCarbo, 1995). There are many ways to create a successful environment where students feel confident t o achieve. Jagow (2005) suggested carefully selecting beginning band music to allow for immediate success for young students. An instrumental program does not nee d to be performing the most difficult literature to represent a quality program (Jagow, 2005). Fitzpatrick (2011) also suggested finding music that students can relate to, as an important factor for urban schools. Many urban students are not interested in itially in playing songs that they are unfamiliar with; choosing music with which students can identify is an important factor when teaching urban students.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 13 Need for Parental Involvement Parental involvement is a key difference between urban and suburban districts, in the suburban setting, parents are able and willing to make sure their child succeeds at a musical instrument (Renfro, 2003). "Most parents, regardless of socioeconomic status, love their children and want them to do well academically" (Mixon 2005, p. 21). Gamin (2005) found that peer and parental involvement play a large role in a student's success in an instrumental music program. Sichicitsa's (2004) research indicated that students received encouragement from their parents (p. 36). For urb an students to perform to their fullest potential continual parental and guardian involvement is key (Trotman, 2001). Parental involvement of urban parents may be low, but Trotman (2001) warns not to judge or criticize these parents, but work on activit ies to help serve these children in an effort to increase involvement. Though, Jeynes (2005) suggests that parents that are highly motivated and involved with their child's education also have the drive to pursue a higher SES level and that SES probably re flects certain aspects of parental involvement. Parental involvement is an important factor in building a strong program, especially in an urban district, though parents in this type of district do not necessarily understand how to be involved. Increasing parental contact and special events, paired with resources to help educate parents on how to be involved, can provide for increased involvement ov er time (Johnson, 1997). Identifying ways to involve parents doesn't have to take a considerable amount of tim e, but needs to happen on a continuous and regular basis. Instrument Practice Deficiencies Daily instrumental practice on his/her instrument is crucial to developing and learning how to play an instrument (Bartel, 200 8). Sichivitsa (2004) suggested that
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 14 involving parents in various musical activities with their children could improve students' attitudes toward music and enhance their motivation in music. That being said, urban educators are faced with a major lack in parental involvement and support; tho ugh learning an instrument does require regular effort outside of the classroom (Bartel, 2008). Kay (1995) discovered, in research involving struggling Hispanic students, that this type of student benefited from extra tutoring sessions and supervised pract ice time. Sichivista (2004) suggested inviting parents to practice and perform with their children to support their child's music learning experience. This might not be an achievable goal in urban schools, but there might be ways to modify these suggestion s to help support urban students in their goals to excel in instrumental music. Motivating students to strive to practice is a topic music teachers spend considerable time pondering (Pike 2014). Bernard (2010) explained that many people have the misconcep tion that urban students are not capable of learning like their peers in more affluent areas, but this is not the case. Just like any student, learning how to practice is part of learning an instrument. Through research, Gamin (2005) found that if a studen t perceives practice and learning to play an instrument as being too difficult, they are much more likely to drop out. Giving students ample performance opportunities helps stimulate and entice practice and thus, student improvement (S mith, 2003). Bartel ( 2008) noted that giving students choices in what they practice evokes ownership and increased motivation to practice. Many urban students live in chaotic and unstable living environments that are not conducive to regular practice (Mixon, 2005). As stated in the previous section, urban students generally lack h ighly involved parents; therefore many students do not have an
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 15 adult at home to help supervise practice time. Prichard (2012) and Oare (2011) suggest ed giving students practice strategies, and modelin g good practice techniques regularly during lessons and ensemble time. Hewitt (2001) suggested that it is important to provide time, opportunity and the proper structure to formally reflect on specific individual or group work as a way to improve self eva luating techniques. Adult guided supervision, especially for younger students, helps promote effective practice skills (Oare, 2011). Beginning band students find engaging in group practice sessions to be extremely enjoyable (Kay, 1995). Giving students tim e to practice at school for even very short amounts of time can make a great difference in student success (Mixon, 2005). Application s of the L iterature to Music Teaching Bazan and Bayley (2009) suggest that teachers proactively start planning early in the school year to ensure efficient and effective recruiting and retention processes. For most teachers, recruiting is not a quick and easy process, because they want to ensure programs are as robust as possible. Urban music teachers encounter many hurdles when planning for a rich program where there are funding deficits both district wide and within the student population, as well as, lack of parental and administrative support. Creativity and persistence are necessary when working on building an urban instrumental program that will benefit many students in the long run In this section of the paper recommendations derived from my examination of the literature will be presented on how to recruit and retain students in an urban instrumental program Here in f unding issues and methods will be addressed which will help heighten interest in band with a budget friendly mindset. There are certain recruitment, retention, funding and parental
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 16 involvement practices that are val uable in any band program. However, these become particularly crucial to the success of an urban program. Finding Funding for Urban Programs Funding is the backbone to most instrumental programs, from purchasing music and equipment to trips and festivals. According to Costa Giomi and Chappel's (2007) study on characteristics of band programs in urban school districts: It isn't surprising that all high economic status or low minority representation schools reported an increase in student participation given the privileged resources of their band program. These schools have more financial support because of their higher program fees, more external funding, and more successful fundraisers. As a result, they can provide financial aid to students who could not af ford the expenses associated with participation in band and couldn't otherwise join the program (p. 15). That considered, urban music educators in districts with high percentages of low SES students, commonly do not have the funds at their disposal to prov ide instruments, music, equipment and travel opportunities to their students It is an inherent part of the urban music teacher's job to find ways to obtain funding in a school that has no budget for instrumental music. Fitzpatrick (2011), Kay (1995) and Mixon (2005) concur that providing students with instruments is a necessity for urban instrumental programs. As far as finding instruments for students, there are many creative ways to acquire a stock of school instruments for student use. For example, t here are usually a few grants available for the
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 17 purchase or donation of instruments. For instance Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation 1 VH1 Save the Music 2 and NAMM Foundation 3 are all large organizations that take special interest in bringing quality music e ducation to urban districts by providing instruments and equipment to well deserving programs. In large urban districts there is usually a person employed by the district whose entire job responsibility is finding and writing grant applications to these di fferent foundations in order to procure materials, or raise capital, for the district. Because applying for large grants might seem overwhelming and a little cumbersome at the onset there are many other ways to build a sizable inventory of instruments. Donorschoose.org is an excellent place to consider to get instruments and equipment f unded. Because this site operates throughout the year there are no deadlines for submission of applications Woodwind Brasswind 4 and Amazon 5 are two more places educators may shop so acquiring qua lity instruments in this manner is a realistic possibility. In Connecticut, where I teach, there is a local organization, Horns4Kids 6 that collects instruments repairs or refurbishes them, and then donates the instrum ents to area schools. The organization does two rounds of instrument giveaways each year. The music teacher is required to write a description of what instrument they would like and why as !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Supplemental information about Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation can be found at http://www.mhop us.org/Contact Us 2 More information about VH1 Save the Music can be found at http://www.vh1savethemusic.org/ 3 To learn more about the NAMM Foundation refer to https://www.nammfoundation.org/what we do 4 For more information on obtaining instruments from Woodwind Brasswind refer to http://www.wwbw.com/ 5 To obtain more information about Amazon refer to https://www.amazon.com/ 6 Supplementary information about Horns4Kids may be found at http://hornsforkids.org/
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 18 part of the application process, and the teacher may only receive o ne instrument each round. Finding local programs can be key to the procurement of some of the more expensive instruments, like most of the brass instruments and saxophones, which tend to be more costly One should no t underestimate the potential of Faceb ook, Craigslist, loca l tag sales and flea markets. Paying for instruments out of ones own pocket may not be ideal but sometimes a viable option to get great working condition instruments at cost effective prices In some cases, supportive administrations might repay the teacher for the instrument but in many cases it is just a personal expense that the teacher can write off at the end of the year when they file their taxes Becoming part of local tag sale groups on Facebook is another great venue for finding and requesting instruments. Tag sale pages have more recently become popular on Facebook and generally require being added to the group, but once in the group members will post items that they are looking to sell or in search of. The most challenging aspect of searching for instruments in this manner is not t raveling to gather instruments, but creating a sufficient inventory of good working instruments. Also, having a good relationship with the local music s tore can be beneficial. Sometimes, if it is just one pad that needs to be replac ed on a clarinet and the store know s you will include them in your instrumental night, they might not charge you or at least give you a dis count. Lastly, t aking a course in ins trument repair can also allow urban music teachers a cost effective solution to maintaining school instruments on a very tight budget. Utilizing Local Colleges Another possible place to look for support and instruments can be local colleges
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 19 and universities. Getting involved with a few universities can be a value to both your program, as well as that of the university, by affording prospective music educators the opportunity to gain some much needed experience in urban education. Fiese and De Carbo (1995) suggest a need to better prepare perspective educators for urban schools. As a result, h aving a working relationship with local universities is one way to assist in preparing future educators for the urban school district. Also, u niversities m ay be able to assist with furnishing inst ruments in a few different ways. T he university may be willing to donate ins truments periodically either newer instruments or older instruments, that they are clearing out of their own inventory Another option is to create relationship s between your school and any music education groups at the college. These students might be willing to help fundraise for money or used instruments in the community as a way to gain instruments to donate to the program This might relieve some of the stress es of teacher organized fundraisers, and may be more lucrative because of the fact that the college students have access to the communities they personally grew up in, rather than the communities in which the urban students reside Another way to utilize college students is to create opportunities to have the m come and work with urban students. College students typically have time off throughout the year, and schedules that may allow for them to come and work with students in need of free private lessons or even just to help run a practice session. College students may be willing to come and practice with students, which opens up a world of benefits for families that can not afford private lessons. This type of pro gram is also a great way to help target some of the deficiencies that teacher preparation courses lack when it comes to preparing future teachers for the reality of the u rban teaching environment. This hands
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 20 on experience work ing with actual children would be beneficial for both the college student and the k 12 students and in return, receiving a letter of recommendation from the school based teacher and being able to add relevant professional experience to the ir resume will likely be appealing to most und ergraduate students thinking about their future. Another important factor in creating professional relationships with local colleges is to help educate all future educators. Timmons' (2010) found an overwhelming amount of urban educators felt significantl y under prepared to teach in an urban setting. The only way to prepare future educators for urban education is to assist in their education process. Assisting colleges with creating behavioral strategy classes could be extremely beneficial for teacher prep aration programs. Also, assisting in organizing events where urban music teachings go in and speak with prospective educators during elementary and secondary music methods classes would help assist in further preparing future teachers for the real world ur ban setting. Helping students understand the differences and strategies in teaching urban students could prove to be beneficial. Planning for Recruitment The recruiting process needs to be a year long endeavor, rather than a once in the fall kind of activity. Costa Giomi and Chappell (2007) suggest schools from high socioeconomic areas have more financial support, thus offering more opportunities for travel and finer resources that lend themselves as i ncentives for students to participate in the program. Urban districts inherently do not have the financial ability to take students on trips or have state of the art resources to lure students into the program. Therefore creating incentives that occur th roughout the year with little to no cost, is imperative for
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 21 an urban instrumental program. Creating a year long schedule for recruiting and retention (Appendix A) will help assist with organization and thus the process might not seem as daunting. R ecruit ing should start in the spring before perspective students register the following fall (Bazan & Bayley, 2009; J agow, 2005) Urban districts frequently have large transient populations with students frequently changing schools, thus students interested in t he spring might not be at the same school in the fall. Also, students coming from low SES families are typicality not exposed to the arts nearly as much as students from higher SES families are, thus they potentially don't know the differences between the different instrument choices. Bayley (2004), Martignetti (1965) and Payne (2014) stress the importance of students choosing appropriate instruments. Giving urban students hands on opportunities to experience instruments before joining allows students to ge t a better idea of what they are signing up for and to fit students with instruments that best suit them. Having instrument sampler events in the spring is a wonderful plan, but in urban districts, offering multiple opportunities to experience instruments throughout the year will afford new students the opportunity to try instruments and help to entice new students throughout the course of the year. There are many ways to approach introducing students to the instruments offered in the ins trumental program. One of the ways to introduce prospective students to instrumental music is to have advanced middle and high school students come visit the elementary school to perform for the students and give mini demonstrations about each instrument. This could also be done with college students from the local college that the school has set up ties with. When doing this type of program presenters need to be
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 22 mindful of the audience. P resenters should play music that is not overly difficult and music t hat the students can relate to. This is to ensure that students are not turned off by the difficulty level of playing an instrument as suggested by Sussman (2012) In some situations, getting older students to venture to your school may be difficult to a rrange. In a scenario such as this, allowing advanced elementary students to perform demonstrations can also be beneficial to the program. Advanced students can come into younger classes and give a brief demonstration about their instrument and play a song they have been working on. In this situation, students are getting to see what their peers are working on, and the advanced student has yet another performance activity to look forward to. After students are versed in the different instrumental options, getting an idea of what instruments students are interested in can help the instructor guide the hands on demonstrations, as well as, assist in creating a more stream lined process. Creating a simple form with pictures of the differen t instrument choices (Appendix B ) will help students remember the differences between instruments, thus negating any confusion during hands on sessions. Limiting the selection of instruments might be beneficial in the first few years, d ue to basic band instruments being typica lly less expensive tha n larger instruments. Starting of f with clarinets, flutes, alto saxophones, trumpets and percussion might be necessary due to funding and availability. Motivating students to come to the school after school hours to try instruments wi th parents is not as feasible in urban districts as it is in suburban districts. Holding hands on sessions during school hours will allow a greater amount of students to have the opportunity to try the instruments they are the most interested in.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 23 Attempti ng to attract parents to a special event just for instru mental selection may be ineffective but holding the event the night of open house may be beneficial. Open house nights in urban districts are very different from suburban districts; typically in urba n districts the students and parents all come to open house making it a perfect opportunity, in the fall, to create a wonderful time for an instrument night. Having local music stores available to help demonstrate and allow students to sample the instrumen ts is a n excellent way to introduce both parents and students to the program. A notice can be sent home to parents enticing them to st op by the music room ( see Appendix C ), as well as, a not e in the school newsletter that may help make parents aware of the special event. The music teacher can then follow up with students that did not make the event during free periods and general music classes. Recorder units taught in third and fourth grade during general music classes can also offer assistance when starting to recruit new students The recorder is a wonderful "pre band" instrument that teaches students many of the basic skills needed for instrumental music. Listening to individual students and identifying the students who are most successful, as well as students highly interested in the unit, can help determine students that might thrive in an instrumental program. Approaching these students and asking them to come to an instrumental lesson or band rehearsal may be a great way to entice potential students into the program. Also, giving band members the opportunity to invite friends to band rehearsals to get a glimps e of what band is like can help bring in new students Retention Incentives Keeping students intereste d in th e program is not an easy proposition especially
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 24 with limited or nonexistent funds for events and trips. Lehmann, Sloboda, and Woody (2007) suggested the importance of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to keep students interested in learning to play a musical instrument. While trips are a rewarding extrinsic motivator for students, creating intrinsic motivation will give students the enjoyment and fulfillment of participating in music making. Creating events throughout the year to hold students' inter est in instrumental music is imperative for a healthy instrumental program. Giving students a say in the decision making process is also an important part to any program (Fiese & DeCarbo, 1995) Having a pizza lunch in to go over the goals for the ensemble will keep students involved, but also offer a fun social event during the year can be both extrinsic and intrinsic reward for students To cover the cost of the pizza the teacher may ask students to pay a dollar a slice, get a local pizza shop to donate a few pies or ask the principal to buy a pie or two; this way the teacher is not necessarily spending their personal money to cover costs Holding lunch ins in the fall to plan for the winter concert and then again after the winter concert to reflect and plan for the spring concert are ideal opportunities to include stud ents and have an enjoyable social gathering Well funded s uburban programs have the advantage of being able to go on trips to perform either at festivals or for local community events (Co sta Giomi & Chappell, 2007) Bussing students is expensive, and it is difficult to obtain funding in urban schools, so trips are not an extremely realistic option. Creating other opportunities for students to perform will help create a desire to stay in th e program (Smith, 2003) Performances might be as simple as playing for a younger class. Kindergarteners love to hear all of the beginning songs typically found in the first ten pages of any of the method
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 25 books. As a result, teachers should a sk the princip al if there are any school events that students could perform at, for example, student of the month ceremonies or parent events. Advanced students may even feel confident enough to play for their own class or a small group of teachers. H olding mini reci tals throughout the year can offer yet another p erformance opportunity. S mall recitals for either parents or school friends can be simple events with students that have performance ready music prepared that is not being used for an upcoming concert. This e ncourages students to continue practicing and is also a way to recruit other students that may attend the recital. Also, giving students opportunities to create and improvise music either in small groups of individually can be a very rewarding intrinsic mo tivator for students. Students may also enjoy sharing their creativity with parent s and other students at mini recitals. Advanced students that show an excellent understanding of the different parts of their instrument might be interested in doing an ins trument demonstration for a younger class. This does not have to be part of the recruiting activities mentioned above, though it can be. Having students come in to a kindergarten or first grade general music class and give a five minute presentation on the ir instrument can be very rewarding as well as helping to keep students interested in wanting to learn more about their instrument. The younger students will also start to see the different instruments available and programs offered to older students. Having middle or high school students venture to the elementary school to play with the students can also help create interest and help introduce the younger students to the instrumental teachers at the higher level schools. It also might be beneficial for the
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 26 students to go and visit the middle or high school to play with older students in their music rooms and to see what the music rooms look like. Having the older students com e to the school could also open up opportunities for recruitment, if there is t ime available. Either event is beneficial for a cohesive music program throughout the district; working together as a team with the other music teachers in the district helps create unity in the district and a solid music program. Instrumental Practice So lutions Once students have begun playing, you must find ways to keep the m interested (Mixon, 2005 ). Albert (2006) suggests including students in the decision making process as a way to create interest in the program I ncluding students in music selection i s a great way to keep students interested and take an active role in what they are learning. Having a number of different beginning band method books available for students to choose music from can be a worthy resource for finding music that the students a re interested in. E ach method series offers slightly different songs or variations of songs that can add diversity for students In one series, a simple song like "Jingle Bells" might be too difficult for students, but in a different series the same song will be arranged in a manner that is much more attainable for specific students. Having a wide assortment of beginner songs give s students an array of music to choose from. Students are more likely to practice the music they are interested in rather than music they are forced to play as suggested by Bartel (2008) Also, as stated above, giving students many opportunities to perfor m will help ensure that practice is happening if the students have the desire to perform. Many stud ents in urban districts come from homes where they are unable to find a
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 27 suitable location in which to practice Some students have extremely chaotic homes th at are not conducive to practicing, while others live in apartments w here practicing can be too intrusive on their surrounding environment Kay (1995) finds students enjoy group practice time, while Mixon (2005) suggests giving students an opportunity to p ractice during school hours to be extremely beneficial. Offering students time while in school to practice is a n excellent way to keep students working. Most urban schools must offer breakfast before school; this is a n opportune time to offer a program whe re students can eat a quick breakfast and then practice for ten to fifteen minutes before classes start. Practicing can either be individual or with other students, and can be monitored by the music teacher, other teacher volunteers, or even a college stud ent buddy. Sending out a flier ( see Appendix D ) to parents and posting it in the hallways will help remind students of this fun activity. This program might also work as a lunch bunch and recess practice time in some districts, depending upon how schedules correspond. The advantage of utilizing breakfast time is that there are no other ongoing academics to interfere with instrumental time, and students are ju st waiting for classes to start. Th is time is usually an unstructured mundane time for many students. Also, if students are using school owed instruments, offering practice time during the school day, may be a way to limit instruments being transported home and outside of the school, where they are more susceptible to being broken, lost or possibly even stolen. Students in urba n districts frequently come from home lives that are unor ganized (Mixon, 2005); giving students detailed practice logs will keep studen ts focused each week (Appendix E ). Giving only two to four pieces to work on each week, depending on ability and selected music, will alleviate students getting overwhelmed with too much to
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 28 practice. Also, many music teachers ask students to practice for a specific amount of time, students are not great time keepers, so asking them to practice twenty minutes everyday is daunting to a fourth or fifth grader. Instead, ask students to check off what songs they practice on each specific day of the week. Set a goal of practicing each piece four to five ti mes a week. If more specific data is desired for advanced students, have them write down how many times they practiced each piece per day in the boxes, instead of using check marks Hewitt (2001) noted that teaching students to self assess is an important role in becoming a well round ed musician, he also found that children are not very accurate in their self assessments. Giving students frequent opportunities to self assess can also assist in developing productive practice routines. By providing a welcoming environment in which to pra ctice and h elping students find a good practice routine it will give students admirable b uilding blocks to becoming well rounded musicians and foster an instrumental program students want to be a part of Increasing Parental Involvement Parental involvement is an important role in learning to play a musical instru ment (Gamin, 2005 ; Trotman, 2001 ), but not always a reality in urban districts. Parent involvement can be very difficult to obtain in urban schools, yet an important factor not to forget. Many times parents are hard to make contact with ; either they are working or their phone numbe r has changed multiple times Many schools have a school paper or newsletter that goes home every month. This newsletter is a great way to inform parents of fut ure events or a way to positively acknowledge students for their hard work. Many families in urban districts have close relationships with everyone in their neighborhoods and if one family reads good news, it will sometimes spread throughout the community.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 29 Johnson (1997) encourages educators to work on activities to help educate par ents on how to be involved as a way to increase parental involvement. Another way to inform parents positively about their child's achievements is to have pre made certificates ( see Appendix F ) to send home to parents. The high five' award is for students who can successfully play a song they have been working on from beginning to end without mistakes. This is a simple yet effective way to keep parents informed of their stude nt's achievements in music. The award also encourages parents to listen to their student pla y the piece they have worked hard on, which can help create a healthy instrumental environment at home. An additional way to promote parental involvement is to have mini recitals and concerts throughout the year. In most instrumental programs it is common to h ave a winter and spring concert. D epending on the urban district, these concerts are typically held during school hou rs. Due to a lack of transportation and parental work schedules, getting students to come back in the evening is difficult for urban schools, thus concerts are held during the day to allow all involved students to participate in the concert. Unfortunately, n ot all parents can come to these day concerts. Giving students the opportunity to perform in mini recitals can give parents that might not be able to attend the full concert another opportunity to see their child at a more convenient time. Mini recitals can be performed in the music room as opposed to the stage which is frequently also used as a gym or cafeteria, whic h can be a scheduling conflict Due to the small size of a mini recital and not having to worry about rearranging schedules for the stage, f inding times that work best for parents can help ensure that parents will attend and get to see their child perform. This also gives the teacher a chance to quickly update the parent
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 30 on goals and achievements for their child. Over time, the objective is to earn a reputation among the parents for having a strong and thriving program that they want their children to be associated with Unfortunately, this may take years in an urban district. Conclusion With some extra effort and sensitivity to students' needs, teachers in urban school s can guide their students to success in instrumental music studies (Mixon, 2005). Funding, recruitment, retention, parent involvement and getting students to practice can be a daunting task for any instrumental mus ic teacher, but it can be outright overwhelming and a huge undertaking for urban teachers. My hope in writing this paper was to give urban educators suggestions and recourses to help improve underperforming instrumental programs and to help create a realis tic approach to recruitment and retention in an urban district.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 31 References Albert, D.J. (2006). Strategies for the recruitment and retention of band students in low socioeconomic school districts. Contributions to Music Education, 33 (2), 53 72. Bartel, L. (2008). Recurring motifs: Research to practice daily practice: Is it "homework?" Canadian Music Educator, 49 (4), 20 21. Bayley, J.G. (2004). The procedure by which teachers prepare students to choose a musical instrument. Update: Applications of rese arch in Music Education, 22 (2), 23 34. Bazan, D. E. (2005). An investigation of the instrument selection processes used by directors of beginning band. Contributions to Music Education, 32 (1), 9 31. Bazan, D., Bayley, J. (2009). Recruiting: Recruiting band students: Effective strategies for a strong program. Canadian Winds: The J ournal of the Canadian Band Association, 7 (2), 72 74. Bernard, R. (2010). The rewards of teaching music in urban settings. Music Educators Journal, 96 (3), 53 57. Boren, R. (2012). Ex amining student engagement and self efficacy in a second grade mathematics problem based learning unit (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Social Sciences. (Order No. 3535501) Costa Giomi, E., Chappell, E. (2007). Characteristics of band programs in a large urban school district: Diversity or inequality?. Journal of Band Research, 42 (2), 1 18. Erskine Cullen, E., Sinclair, A.M. (1996) Preparing teachers for urban schools: A view
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 32 from the field. Canadian Jo urnal of Education al Administration and Policy 6, 1 12. Ester, D., Turner, K. (2009). The impact of a school loaner instrument program on he attitudes and achievement of low income music students. Contributions to Music Education, 36 (1), 53 71. Fiese, R.K, Decarbo, N.J. (1995). Urban music education. Music Educators Journal, 81 (6), 27 32. Fitzpatrick, K.R. (2011). A mixed portrait of urban instrumental music teaching. Journal of Research in Music Education, 59 (3), 229 256. Gamin, R.M. (2005). Teacher p erceptions regarding attrition in beginning Instrumental music classes during the first year of study. Contributions to Music Education, 32 (2), 43 64. Gehrke, R.S. (2005). Poor schools poor students successful teachers. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 42 (1), 14 17. Gordon, D. (2012). The relationship between self efficacy, help seeking behaviors and student achievement among middle level mathematics students in an interactive learning environment (Doctorial dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Social Sciences; ProQuest Education Journals. (Order No. 3501586) Hewitt, M. P. (2001). The effects of modeling, self evaluation, and self listening on junior high instrumentalists' music performance and practice attitude. Journal of Resear ch in Music Education, 49 (4), 307 322. Jagow, S. M. (2005). Nurturing musicianship: A conceptual paradigm for rehearsing
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 33 instrumental music; a theoretical, psychological, and emotional perspective on music making (Doctorial dissertation). Retrieved from Pr oQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Social Sciences; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Arts. (Order No. 3162987) Jeynes, W.H. (2005). The effects of parental involvement on the academic achievement of African American youth. Journal of Negro Education, 74 (3), 260 274. Johnson, D. (1997). Putting the cart before the horse: Parent involvement in the improving america's schools act. California Law Review, 85 (6), 1757 1801. Kay, A. P. (1995). An investigation of the current practices and problems associated with recruiting, teaching, and retaining hispanic students in selected middle sc hool band programs in southern C alifornia (Doctorial dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Social Sciences; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Arts. (Order No. 9625019) Kindall Smith, M. (2004). Teachers teaching teachers: Revitalization in an urban setting. Music Educators Journal, 91 (2), 41 46. Kinney, D.W. (2010). Selected nonmusic predictors of urban students' decisions to enroll and persist in middle school band programs. Journal of Research in Music Education, 57 (4), 334 350. Kuhlman, K.L. (2005). The influence of timbre and other factors on the instrumental choices of beginning band students. Contributions to Music Education, 32 (1) 33 44. Lehmann, A.C., Sloboda, J.A., & Woody, R.H. (2007). Psychology for musicians: Understanding and acquiring the skills New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 34 Martignetti, A.J. (1965). Causes of elementary instrumental music dropouts. Journal of Research in Music Education, 13 (3), 177 183. Mixon, K. (2005). Building your instrumental music program in an urban school. Music Educators Journal, 91 (3), 15 23. Oare, S. (2011). Practice education: Teaching instrumentalists to pra ctice effectively. Music Educators Journal, 97 (3), 41 47. Payne, P.D. (2014). Relationships among timbre preference, personality, gender, and music instrument selection. Journal of Band Research, 50 (1), 40 53. Pike, P.D. (2014). Motivating through creativ e play: Empowering young students to practice. The American Music Teacher, 63 (5), 12 17. Prichard, S. (2012). Practice makes perfect? Effective practice instruction in large ensembles. Music Educators Journal, 99 (2), 57 62. Renfro, L. (2003). The urban teacher struggle. Teaching M usic, 11 (2), 36 40. Schultz, K., Jones Walker, C., & Chikkatur, A. (2008). Listening to students, negotiating beliefs: Preparing teachers for urban classrooms. Curriculum Inquiry, 38 (2), 155 187. Sichivitsa, V. O. (2004). Music motivation: A study of fourth, fifth and sixth graders' intentions to persist in music. Contributions to Music Education, 31 (2), 27 41. Singer, A. (1996). "Star Teachers" and "Dreamkeeoers": Can teacher educators prepare Successful urban educators? Chicago: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. (ERIC No. ED395898) Smith, B. (2003). Motivation to learn: What is it and how can I promote it? American String Teacher, 53 (4), 68 73.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 35 Sussman, E. (2012). Recruiting and retention: Meeting the community's needs. School Band & Orchestra, 15 (4), 10 15. Timmons, C. (2010). Preparation for teaching in urban schools: Perceptions of the impact of traditional preparation programs ( Doctorial dissertation) Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Thes es Global; ProQuest Social Sciences Premium Collection. (Order No. 3421060) Trotman, M.F. (2001). Involving the African American parent: recommendations to Increase the leve l of parent involvement within African A merican families. Journal of Negro Education, 70 (4), 275 285. Urban. (n.d.). Retrieved June 25, 2016, from http://www.merriam webster.com/dictionary/urban Watson, D. (2007). Norming suburban: How teachers describe teaching in urban schools ( Doctorial dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (Order No. 3271713).
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 36 Appendix A Year L ong Recruitment and Retention S chedule August Set up instrument rental night and information ni ght to be held during open house September Conduct instrument selectio n process with any new students and review with returning students Send out information regarding instrumental sign up and instrumental night Hand out applications for school owned instruments Sign up returning students and inquire into any students not rej oining or changing instruments October Start lesson groups and make sure all students have instruments November Pizza lunch bunch to discuss music to be performed at winter concert December Winter Concert Have advanced students with prepared holiday music perform for younger classes around the school (Instrumental Caroling) January Review any students who have dropped out or not coming to lessons Have pizza lunch bunch to reflect on winter concert, review upcoming events, and discuss music selections Contact middle school and high school teachers to start arranging a band get together February Start student lead instrumental demonstrations for younger classes March Hold solo and small group recitals Hav e the middle school band down to perform and play with students. April Start identifying potential 3 rd and 4 th grade instrumental students May Start conducting instrumental selections for prospective students Have middle school band directors over for a parent and student meet and greet. June Spring Concert Send out instrumental information to all prospective 3 rd and 4 th grade students for the next school year Send list of continuing 5 th grade students to middle school teachers.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 37 !"#$%&&& !!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!"#$%%&''()!!!! !"#$%&'("$)*(+(,$-." "#$%&$!'()'#$!*+,)!-+.!/!'0+('$&1 ! Appendix B Instrumental Selection Form 2#%)(3$! 4#,-$ 5#-+ 6%7+.0+3$ 8),9.$! "$)',&&(+3
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 38 For all 3 rd and 4 th Grade Students and Parents There will be representatives from local music stores in the music room to allow perspective band students to touch and play the different instruments offered in the band program. Mrs. Kolan will be available to answer any question s Appendix C Instrumental Selection Flier
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 39 Breakfast and Practice Time 2+9$!%3:!$%-!;)$%<=%&-!%3:!>$-!(3!&+9$!.)%'-('(3>! ;$=+)$!&'0++#!?(-0!+-0$)!;%3:!=)($3:&1!@,&('!)++9! +.$3&!%-!ABCD!%9!+3!8,$&:%*E!F$:3$&:%*!%3:! 80,)&:%*&1! !"#$% & 6-,:$3-&!%)$!)$G,()$:!-+!.)%'-('$!;*!-0$9&$#H$&!+)! ?(-0!+-0$)&1! 6-,:$3-&!=++#(3>!%)+,3:!%3:! 3+-!=+##+?(3>!&'0++#! ),#$&!?(##!;$!%&<$:!-+!#$%H$ 1 Appendix D Breakfast and Practice Flier
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 40 4)+3! November Practice Log Check off the music you practice each day. Try to get 4 5 checks for each piece every week Assigned Music Mon. Tues. Weds. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Total Checks Week 1 1. 2. 3. 4. Assigned Music Mon. Tues. Weds. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Total Checks Week 2 1. 2. 3. 4. Appendix E Sample Practice Log
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 4 1 I%'< Assigned Music Mon. Tues. Weds. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Total Checks Week 3 1. 2. 3. 4. Assigned Music Mon. Tues. Weds. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Total Checks Week 4 1. 2. 3. 4.
RECRUITMENT AND RETEN TION 42 Your student earned a Hig h Five for playing ____ ___________________________ today in music. This would be a great time to have them perform for you at home! A ppendix F Parent Involvement Incentive Certificate