Third year at the same gig and our numbers are going to be lower than my second year. The band sounds much better and the students have grown tremendously. Last year one of the kids that quit said "I love it! I want to be in band till I graduate." Now she is skipping all practices with her friends and I'm left speculating she will drop band. I've left three messages.
I don't get it. We treat these kids with respect, help them grow, and pour our heart into everything for them and they just drop it at a whim. You never lose just one and they go in a small group.
I need to facilitate social network with others better. I also think creating more ownership in the program will help the students.
I just don't have that 'family' feel of the group. Fantastic kids but they never just hang out and chat. How do you promote that environment? In class they work well, and I stop sometimes and try to throw in a joke or two or get personal, but I haven't gotten them to just come in and hang out or work on stuff outside of class/rehearsal.