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By Douglas Orzolek

As education enters yet another difficult period of financial and political battles, music educators find themselves preparing their advocacy statements and rallying their troops for the defense of the music program. We all know the importance of these efforts. And, we all know that school boards, principals and decision-makers tend to heed the concerns of parents/taxpayers much quicker than that of the teachers.

Music educators who have developed a strong and sincere relationship with their booster clubs have little or no trouble developing an effective committee to address school boards, principals and decision-makers about the needs and concerns of the music programs. Too often, the music educator spends hours preparing for presentations to decision-makers with little or no help from parents. Usually, these preparations yield no results. The assistance of parents is imperative.

During an open discussion with the members of various booster clubs at a recent music educators' convention, several participants raised questions and sought advice in dealing with their music teachers. The questions and comments were surprising. Concerns were raised about the timely correspondence of teachers with their booster clubs. Others sought suggestions on improving strained relationships with directors who desired many things from the boosters, but rarely participated in their activities and meetings. While one can appreciate that the booster club might find itself low on the priority list of most music educators, we need their help!

Certainly, placing the booster club at the center of the teacher's responsibilities is not at all what music educators should consider. But a reminder about the importance of maintaining a positive and productive relationship with the boosters will certainly enhance the financial, political, and general well being of any music program.



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