[BACK to Elem/MS Band Clinic]

GUIDE: One of the best resources for Recruitment/Retention is A Practical Guide to Recruitment and Retention, prepared by the NAMM Foundation/Music Achievement Council. Visit their website for lots of great information on teaching instrumental music:


Be Part of the Band Web Resource

Free online videos on beginning band participation and instrument choice. Available for a reasonable fee on DVD/CD-ROM as well.

EXAMPLE: Parkland School District Recruiting Process

Check out the "recruiting" docs and links on the Parkland SD area of this wiki. The Parkland School District is one of the larger elementary band programs in the state of Pennsylvania, with approximately 900 band and strings students participating in 4th and 5th grades (first and second year players). The program is delivered in 8 elementary buildings (350-550 students each) by 3.8 band teachers and 2 strings teachers.

EXAMPLE: Band Director Brent Cannon, Lindale Junior High, shares some great ideas on the subject in his handout for a Texas Bandmasters Association Convention (July 2011) presentation, found here at the TBA website:


SCREENING: One of the most popular "old-school" instrumental music aptitude or screening tools is the Selmer Music Guidance Survey. Here are excerpts to give you an idea how they work:

Opening/Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Here are example forms for the survey (note they have been adapted/shortened):

The entire, original Selmer Music Guidance Survey has been digitized and is available online here.

VIDEOS: Some band directors (and their students) have created their own recruitment videos to be used as part of the recruitment/retention (into middle school) process. For instance, here's a video created by band director, Mark Whitlock (Discovery Middle School), to encourage participation:

Find more videos like this on MS Band Director

Of course, professionally produced recruitment videos, such as Band Blast Off by Diana Swoboda and Lance LaDuke, can be used as well.

FOR FUN - PODCAST! - Enjoy this episode of my occasional podcast, What Music Means to Me, "A Band Director's Guide to the Diagnosis of Student Diseases and Conditions."

RETENTION - PODCAST - Another more serious episode of What Music Means to Me is "Please Don't Quit." Consider sending this to parents hose child is ready to hang it up prematurely.