Monday, October 16, 2006
The PMC Quick Note is a
weekly service provided to all area directors. It is part of our mission
to support the lives of band directors across the
We would like to thank you for supporting us throughout this rental season. Our goal is to get the best possible equipment into the hands of as many students as possible by providing the most options to the parents we serve. We are proud to offer all brands in all price ranges to help the most people.
This rental season was our best ever, and it was due to many factors. We are working with more schools than ever before, we have assisted with recruiting by providing a new video and recruitment handouts, we have added brands like Jupiter to help expand our range of price-point options, and we have found ways to purchase in bulk and pass the savings along to the end-user by lowering our monthly rental rates, even though they have not been raised in over four years. We are striving to find ways to do more for less while increasing our level of service. We aim to do this with the highest level of professionalism and integrity. Thank you for allowing us to support you.
We are always interested in your opinions and suggestions. If you have any feedback that you would like to share, please let us know.
Boost Your Band Website by John Devos
When I posted the first incarnation of the Cotter Bands website three years ago, only about ten or so students had Internet access at home. Now, almost every single kid in both the band and choir programs has access at home. The one complaint I had from a parent at the beginning of this school year was that my forms had to be printed off and filled out – why couldn't I work it out so they could be filled out online? So I went and learned how to do it and started posting them that way. The school board just outlawed MP3 players at school, I think because too many of my students were downloading their band and choir pieces from our site and listening to them between classes (like I had told them to!). Technology is changing everything we do in school!
Besides that, technology is not the wave of the future, anymore. It's here to stay and our students and their parents are immersed in it. So should we be. One of the easiest ways to enter their world is to offer them a website they can use as the informational home base of your music program. A simple site can give them access to all your forms, a simple calendar of events for the program, and a few of your favorite links. If you want to go hogwild, you can add online forums, photo albums, and chat rooms for your program. Your students and their parents can find recordings of past performances and recordings of tunes you are thinking about for the future. In Missouri, the All-State etudes are now available as MP3 files online through UMKC – link to them so your students can download and listen to them! Your site can host forms for parents and students to fill out – booster applications, trip permission forms, absence excuses, etc. The possibilities are endless. Just think about the information you want to make available to the families in your music program; there is probably a way to post it on the Internet. And, unlike a booklet or letter you send home, whatever you publish on the Net is completely editable at any time – by you!
Need some hints to get you started? First, do not relinquish the control of your official website to anyone else. For security purposes and simply so you can have control, you must learn to design and author the site yourself.
Second, find out from your district information technology person if they can make the job simpler. Most districts – even the smallest – have some sort of Web presence. Find out how to use yours.
Third, surf the Web for other band program websites to get an idea of what you might want to create for your program. Palen Music seems to be taking the lead on linking some band programs with web presences together – start there.
Fourth, start small. Before you run out and buy the latest version of FrontPage or Dreamweaver (two of the most popular and powerful web-editing programs), just use Microsoft Word to create a simple page. You can even download the simple tutorial I wrote for our high school faculty that's on the Cotter Music site at http://cotter.oursc.k12.ar.us/music/index.htm. It's about halfway down the home page. If you want to get a little more tech-savvy, take a local community college course, talk to friends who already have websites, or ask your tech person for help. Better yet, start surfing the Web for pointers and ideas. It takes more time to learn this way, but the dead ends and wrong turns we inevitably will take will help us build a deeper understanding of our students and the world they have inherited.
Take the time to learn to create a website for your program, then take the time to maintain it. Eventually, you will find that it will actually decrease the amount of time you are spending now getting information home. Not only that, but you will begin to integrate yourself into the Millennium Generation that much more quickly. Remember, we're not here to make music with kids – we're here to make people through music!
John Devos is the band director at Cotter (AR) High School where he also helps with math remediation, sponsors the Student Council and the fly fishing club, and shares elementary music duties with his choir director wife, Carolinn. John is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and has taught band in the public schools of Missouri and Texas as well as Arkansas. He has done graduate work at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and VanderCook College of Music and is currently working on a masters degree in Educational Leadership & Curriculum and Instruction at Arkansas State University.
Can we assist you with anything? Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.
|Bob Hopkins and Mike Brown|
|(417) 862-2700||Burl Williams|
|Columbia||(573) 256-5555||Robert Pitts|
|Liberty||(816) 792-8301||Ken Crisp|
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