Happy summer, blog readers! We hope you’re enjoying a well-deserved break from the busy school year. But if we know you at all (and we think we do!), we know that your minds are swirling with ideas and plans for the year ahead. And one of the key questions in your mind may be how to create and maintain an exciting and meaningful program for your student performers. We have two words for you: Band camp. This musical summer tradition can help grow your program for years to come – and David Brachmann, former Band Director and BRT Travel Consultant, is here to tell us how.
Why band camp?
There’s just something special about band camp. First, the obvious – it’s a unique opportunity for your students to learn, grow and bond before the school year even starts. But there’s more to it than that. At band camp, you have brand new freshman, who may not know a soul before camp, that leave with new friends, mentors and a feeling of belonging that would take months to cultivate in the classroom. Then there’s the educational side of things. As the director, you have the chance to build discipline, establish fundamentals and set expectations for your student performers without the distractions of schoolwork, other classes and activities. Their undivided attention is worth gold!
How can band camp affect your school year?
Band camp is all about team building, both in relationships and performing. Those band camp experiences – every silly song, inside joke, hashtag and group picture – build the culture of your group and create bonds that remain true throughout the school year. And welcoming new freshmen into the fold is just one small piece of that puzzle. Students at every level will make connections across class lines and continue to build those friendships once the grass on the field has grown back. That sense of belonging, of trust in each other and in you as their director, serves as the foundation for your program – whether you’re competing, traveling or simply making great music together.
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What can you do to keep that “band camp magic” alive?
Did your group have a favorite song, warm-up or activity from camp? Make that part of your weekly rehearsal – your students will love the flashback. Did camp reveal a few upperclassmen with great leadership potential? Encourage that leadership and utilize those students to inspire the next generation of leaders. Use videos and pictures taken at camp and put together a band camp video for your group (or, even better, have a film-minded student to make one!) – the students that attended camp will love reliving their experience AND you’ll inspire new students to attend.
A fun, exciting band camp experience can create momentum for your program that will last throughout the year. Students will share the “buzz” of how much they enjoyed camp, inspiring new students to attend. Band camp, like student travel, is all about creating camaraderie and friendships – we call those moments that matter. To learn more about how that same magic is created when students travel together, reach out and we’ll give you the information you need to start dreaming up a bonding experience for your own student performers.