Effective Parent Leadership in a Music Program Orchestrating Success

Grissom High School BPA • August 2023UpClose • August 20, 2023

SBO+: In this issue we discuss many aspects of leadership in successful music programs. One of these is parent leadership. This spring I had the honor or being a clinician for the long-running Grissom Band Festival and saw an incredible parent organization at work. Here is their advice.

Athriving music program relies not only on dedicated students and talented educators but also on effective parent leadership. From fostering a collaborative environment, organizing events, volunteering, advocating for the program, attending performances, to offering emotional support, parent leaders are instrumental in creating the foundation of a successful music program. 

Collaboration and Communication

Parent leaders understand the importance of collaboration and open communication across the program. They actively engage with other parents, band directors, instructors, and administrators to ensure a cohesive and supportive environment. Leaders coordinate regular meetings and establish clear channels of communication, making sure the program’s needs and goals are communicated, fostering a strong partnership between parents and program stakeholders. By facilitating effective communication, they also ensure everyone is informed about important program updates, upcoming events, and volunteer opportunities and make sure the ideas and goals of the program materialize. 

Volunteering and Involvement

Band parents willingly volunteer their time and skills to support the music program and assist with various band-related activities. Whether it’s helping with concessions, organizing uniform fittings, or chaperoning trips, their contributions help alleviate the burden on the band staff, free up the directors to teach and instruct students, and create memorable experiences for the students. Additionally, an involved parent provides students with strong role models, supporting and giving back to their community. Parent involvement demonstrates, to students and other parents, that the music program and the students’ participation is important and worthwhile. Parents volunteers in the band program demonstrate the importance of showing up and actively participating in the program. This support strengthens the program and creates opportunity for the students.

Organizational Skills and Event Management

Successful music programs often host a variety of events, ranging from concerts and fundraisers to competitions and trips. Parents bring their organizational skills to the forefront, taking charge of event management. They coordinate volunteers, oversee logistics, and ensure events run smoothly. These parents delegate tasks, create event timelines, and handle necessary paperwork, relieving the band directors from additional administrative work. By organizing successful events, they provide enriching experiences for students and elevate the reputation of the program.


Band parents play a vital role in securing financial resources for the music program as they recognize the financial and logistical demands of running a successful band program. As such, they actively engage in fundraising efforts, brainstorm creative money saving ideas, and rally the support of parents and community members. Collaborating to organize multiple fundraisers, write grant proposals, and look for sponsorships they consistently work towards increasing the program’s capabilities.  Through constant and successful fundraising, parents contribute to the sustainability and growth of the program.

Advocacy and Community Engagement

Effective parent leaders serve as advocates for the music program within the school and the larger community. They understand the value of music education and its positive impact on students’ academic, social, and emotional development. These parents actively engage in outreach activities, such as presenting at school board meetings or local community events to promote the importance of music education. They build relationships with community organizations, local businesses, and arts supporters to garner support and resources for the program. By advocating for the program, they ensure its continued recognition and success.

Mentorship and Support

Strong and encouraging parent leaders provide mentorship and support to both students and other parents, contributing to a positive and respectful environment within the band program. They serve as role models, offering guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear to students who may need extra support. They actively encourage their child and others to respect their fellow band members, staff, and volunteers. These leaders foster a sense of belonging and create a supportive atmosphere within the music program. They also offer guidance and mentorship to those who may be new to the program, sharing their experiences and providing valuable insights. By being a source of support, they contribute to the overall well-being and success of the music program fostering an atmosphere that is conducive to personal growth and musical excellence. 

Effective parent leadership, in its many forms, is a crucial component of a successful music program and is a thoroughly rewarding experience. Through collaboration, organization, fundraising, advocacy, volunteering, and mentorship, these parent leaders orchestrate success for their children and the program. Their dedication, involvement, and commitment play a vital role in creating a vibrant musical community that nurtures talent, fosters growth, and inspires lifelong respect for music.

Submitted by: Grissom High School Band Parents Association, Inc.

Amanda Blount – President, Theo Vernon – Director of Bands, Brent Harris – Associate Director of Bands

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