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Program Administration

Program Administration

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Published by professoraloha

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Published by: professoraloha on Nov 01, 2008
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12/27/2010

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Program Administration
As you noticed in the extensive job description, an active instrumental music program involves a variety of organizational tasks. You will be expected to manage all of the facilities, equipment, uniforms, libray, as well as theinstruction, performances and other activities associated with an active instrumental music program. All successfulprograms share one thing in common--their directors are well organized. This includes communication, fundraising andbudgets, inventory, uniforms, supplies, setting and enforcing policies, travel and transportation, etc..These can be overwhelming to an inexperienced teacher as they attempt to create a successful "system" for each task.If you think of your band/orchestra program as a large box which contains many empty squares/cubicles representingthe hundreds of tasks you will manage each year. Your first few years will be spent trying out various strategies to seewhich are successful and which are not. Unsuccessful strategies or empty squares perpetuate chaos/disorganization andcreate numerous problems and extreme stress. As you find a successful strategy, that "square" is filled for your programand chaos is eased. With each square filled, your program runs more smoothly, your stress is eased, your organizationaltime is less, and you have more energy to devote to making great music. This is how a "super" program is built---and theextent of your success often depends more on your ability to organize than on your musical abilities. This is a paradoxfor our profession since almost your entire college education has been spent working on your musical and intellectualabilities NOT your business and organizational skills. A sad but true fact about your future career.For example, let's look at one issue--uniforms. You find a position as a high school band director. The program has alarge storage room filled with various uniform parts. You have many questions to answer...and each answer diminisheschaos and improves program administration on this issue:What uniform(s) is/are required--concert, marching, pep band?How will we communicate the information about uniforms to the students?How will you get those uniforms assigned to students by size?How many students do we have?How many uniforms do we have?When will we pass out uniforms?When will the uniforms be turned in?Who will pass out uniforms?How will we keep track of who has what?How will they be cleaned/maintained?What is the cost to students?What needs to be replaced each year?Where do I buy replacement items (t-shirts, gloves, spats, buttons)?How do we pay for those replacement items?Who collects the money that students pay?Where is the money deposited?How do we keep track of money?Do the students keep the uniforms at home or check them out each event?How will uniformity be maintained (inspections--when, etc..)?What happens if a student loses/damages a uniform?What if we need all new uniforms?As you can see, this single issue could consume a tremendous amount of your time and energy. It's clear that you needto fill this gap in your "administration box" with a "system" and related policies as well as enlist some additionalmanpower to eliminate chaos and preserve your uniform inventory. Being well-organized means answering everyquestion--in advance and anticipating any new questions that may arise.Two key principles to successful music program administration are:
 
1. YOU MUST GET ORGANIZED2. YOU CANNOT DO THIS ALONE!You must get help--from students and parents with almost every aspect of your program. Look at the list of questionsabove about uniforms. Which are those are - decisions? actions? If they are decisions, then in most cases--you mustmake them. Consult with both parents and students. Find out what happened in previous years. Determine if you agreeor disagree-- or if it was a successful system. Decide which of the actions must be done by you and which could beaccomplished by a trustworthy student or parent. Find those people.
Policies/Procedures
Every program will depend on many policies and procedures for smooth operation.
How will you handle:
Taking attendanceUse of your telephoneLost/forgotten/damaged instrumentsLack of appropriate suppliesRoom set-up and cleaningStorage of instruments and materialsUse of facility during lunch, after school, etc..Conflicts with sports, church, work, etc..Broken or damaged equipmentDamaged or lost musicUse of practice roomsSeating/challengesBehavior/seating on busses
What will you do about:
Advertising for concertsCommunicating with parentsAwards and incentivesKeeping track of gradesKeeping track of moneyShowing support for other teachers, activities & programsCommunicating with administratorsDecorating your roomSetting up a budgetDeciding whether you should travel out-of-stateSetting concert dates, sites, timesConcert ticket salesPrinted programs for concertsContest feesArranging for bussesChaperones
How will you:

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