Monday, April 6, 2015
IN THIS ISSUE:
Here we are over half way through second semester! Spring break has come and gone and most of us are focused on or have just survived contest time. So the last thing that has probably been on your mind is next school year. But over the coming weeks the PMC road staff will be contacting our partner schools to set up end of the year appointments and that means focusing on helping you prepare for the coming school year. This article contains information I email to all my directors as we prepare for that final visit. I hope it will be helpful to you as you begin planning for the coming year.
SMALL GOODS PLANS:
How many times do we come to band camp time or the first day of school and realize that we don't have some items that we really need. The small goods order is a way to make sure you have all those necessary supplies you will need at the start of rehearsals. Ordering supplies now that you know you will need can be a real time saver for you and avert some of the stress we all feel at the beginning of school. For those of you who keep a supply of reeds to sell to students, you can use the following formula to approximate yearly needs (number of players x number of reeds per month x 9 months). You can also use last years Small Goods Plan and this year's invoices as a reference. And don't forget maintenance and cleaning supplies (oil, cork grease, swabs, etc.). You should also consider marching supplies -- sticks, mallets, drum heads, lyres, etc. (NOTE: don't forget to keep a supply of replacement heads on hand for your marching and concert percussion). These things sometimes end up on back order when you are in a last minute hurry and need them the most. Other things that can be included on small goods plans are electronics, small percussion and instrument cases and accessories. Ordering these supplies all together allows us to pass on substantial savings to you.
YEARLY INSTRUMENT MAINTENANCE PLANS:
Nothing is more frustrating than to begin that first rehearsal of marching or concert season with students who can't play because their school instrument doesn't work. If you already have a yearly maintenance budget great. If not, it would be a good idea to talk with your principal and/or superintendent about setting one up. Yearly maintenance of all school instruments that were used this past year can help eliminate those surprises and reduce the number of repairs that go in during the school year when these instruments need to be in students hands. Making sure all school instruments are cleaned, sanitized and in good playing condition before putting them in students hands should be a priority not just for directors, but administrators as well. Yearly maintenance can also help prolong the life of your school instruments. When you consider the rising costs of instruments, this can be a big selling point to administrators as well.
NEW INSTRUMENTS / EQUIPMENT:
We all have them sitting in our storage rooms, instruments that would be better suited for a lamp or wall hanging. How do we convince our administration that we need new instruments or equipment to replace those antiques on our shelves? If you have not already done so, developing a long-range plan for updating, expanding and replacing instruments and equipment makes this task easier, and is also a selling point with administrators. They don't like surprises any more than we do, so if you can show them an organized plan, they are more likely to fund it. To that end, the inventory program developed by David Gorham, one of our newest PMC staff members, is an excellent tool for tracking aging inventory. It will allow you to keep accurate records of when instruments were purchased, how often they have been in for repairs and how much repairs have cost. This makes it easier to determine which instruments need to be replaced and when. This program is being made available to PMC partner schools at no charge, so be sure to contact your road representative if you would like to take advantage of this great inventory tracking tool.
Taking some time now to consider and make a plan to address these areas will help relieve some of the stress we all have at the start of the next school year.
We are going to start a new part of the Quick Note called "Pictures from the Classroom". As our road reps see things that they think are particularly awesome, they will snap a photo and we will include it in the Quick Note. Here is a picture of a poster hanging in the Washington, MO band room. We loved it!