Easy Advocacy: Proactive Steps to Promote Your School Music Program

Advocacy can feel like one more thing on an overfilled plate, but communicating with our administrators and communities is key to healthy school music programs. 

These easy tips create little or no extra work for you – they capitalize on what you’re already doing.

Delegate tasks that don’t require your expertise

Utilize your parent and student leaders! You do not need to be in charge of taking concert photos, writing social media posts, and updating websites.  

Cast a net for parents and older students who are into social media or marketing.  Tell them what you’d like to see, make sure they’re aware of media permissions with student photos, then turn them loose. 

Find someone who likes to write. Ask them to do a monthly or even quarterly email newsletter or press release for your local paper. It can include things you’re already keeping records on, like festival results, honors ensemble participation, and upcoming events. Use a template for consistency!

Invite everybody to take a look under the hood

Invite your instructional coaches, curriculum directors, and superintendents to your classroom – especially those who don’t have a musical background. These people make district-level decisions, and they all need to know what happens in your class. 

For best results, meet with them for 10 minutes before they join your rehearsal to talk about your goals for the day, the standards or learning targets you’ll aim to hit, and the techniques you’ll use to achieve results. Speak their language, and they’ll be amazed at all you accomplish in 40 minutes.


If you’re doing something big (working with a composer on a commission, performing at a state convention) invite your administrators and your elected officials. The mayor, school board members, state-level legislators. They love being seen in the community, and they can feature your ensemble’s accomplishments on their social channels.

Plant your kids in the community

Your program’s visibility in the community is a crucial asset, but it doesn’t have to be all the kids, all the time. A lunchtime picnic concert downtown is great, but it’s a lot of moving parts. Think higher quantity, but smaller scale

That crew of 4 friends who love to play together? Have them put together some carols and head to assisted living communities in December. Student council members in class? Ask them if there are some volunteer opportunities where music kids can represent the group. 

A few students who attend church together? Ask them to prepare something to play at services. A parent with free time and a van? Ask if they’d spearhead a concert food drive to represent the music program. 

Any local project that needs volunteers – send a few band kids.  

Then (and don’t forget this part) hand that off to your social media person and make sure it’s blasted all over. Make sure they tag whatever business or organization they’re working with, and watch the ripples grow.

Start now

Take one step today, even if it’s a small one. Don’t wait until there’s a job or entire program on the line to start advocating. 

With these measures in place, your community and your leaders will already see the positive impact your program has on the kids and the community. They’ll value it not just for what students learn, but for the people they’re becoming. They’ll be ready to fight for it. 

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