Nov 29, 2013

6 Tips for More Effective Concert Programs

School music concerts are the opportunity to showcase your students' hard work and musical skills. However, it is also an opportunity to educate your audience by providing them with a robust packet of musical information.  AKA, the concert program.  Here are six suggestions, with examples, to give your concert programs a boost.
  • Make the program visually appealing.  Part of the job of a music teacher includes marketing and advertising skills.  Because we are in the public eye, it is important that the program looks polished and professional.  If you have the budget to have it professionally printed, fantastic!  But if you are like me, I prefer to save the money and create my own.  Purchasing specialty paper adds color and a theme to the program.  It can be purchased at a big box office supply store or online.  (I use PaperDirect)  Keep fonts simple, but use more dramatic fonts for headings.  To add effectiveness, experiment with different font sizes and boldness.  I also use Microsoft Publisher and Word to design the program.
  • Spell everything correctly, especially the students' names.  Before you print the program, have students check the spelling of their names and make any corrections.
  • Include program notes of the pieces being performed.  Or, an alternative is to have students read the program notes to the audience.  Program notes can provide the audience valuable insight to the music the students are performing.
  • Include a calendar or upcoming list of performance dates.  This is a simple and proactive strategy that reminds parents about the next concert or important event.
  • Include beneficial information like a private teacher list, summer music camp applications, concert etiquette reminders, and music advocacy articles.  Concerts are a prime time to communicate these important things, especially concert etiquette. 
  • Add QR codes. What is a QR code?  Almost everyone has a smartphone these days and this is a chance for your audience to use them for something constructive.
    These little interactive modules take the user to a website or other online resource (video, audio, etc.) when scanned with an app like ScanLife.  More information on using QR codes can be found here.
Only you know what will work best for your music program and audience.  Take the time to think about what to include in your concert program and make it a valuable resource that accompanies a great concert performance.

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