Bridging The Gap between Middle School and High School – Part 5: What PRINCIPALS Can Do - Nottelmann Music Company
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Bridging The Gap between Middle School and High School – Part 5: What PRINCIPALS Can Do

Bridging The Gap between Middle School and High School – Part 5: What PRINCIPALS Can Do

Tips For Ensuring A Seamless Music Education Experience, Curated from the Music Achievement Council and the NAMM Foundation –

Students continue to participate in our music education programs because they cannot imagine
school without the meaningful engagement that our courses provide. Yet, for one reason or another, not all of our students continue their participation throughout their high school years. In fact, it’s the transition from middle school to high school that has been identified as being the most crucial period in retaining our students.
The key to successful retention is ACTION. On the next pages are a number of strategies that successful instrumental music educators and their constituents use to ensure a seamless transition from the first day that the student picks up their instrument through high school graduation—and beyond.


Principals of high schools or middle schools with large and active music programs will tell you that these programs make a significant impact in the achievement level of the student body and contribute positively to the overall environment of their campuses. Principals thus have a vested interest in ensuring continued, successful participation of the middle school students in the high school program. Directors may need to foster an awareness of the benefits of continued participation yet it is worth it to have an influential ally in this area.

High School Principals Can:

  1. Work with middle school principal(s) to facilitate cooperative recruitment assemblies/events/programs at the middle school(s).
  2. Work with middle school principals to ensure appropriate scheduling directors from both levels may work cooperatively to best benefit each other’s students.
  3. Demonstrate their collaboration with and support for middle school principals and vice versa by creating a joint presentation for the middle school band parents, speaking to the value of continued participation in the instrumental music program beyond the intermediate level.
  4. Invite middle school principals to provide “opening remarks” at any of the concerts hosted at the high school that involve former middle school students. In this way, current middle school students and their parents readily see that their principal is an advocate for the high school program. In addition, middle school principals are provided with an opportunity to see former students engaged in a successful program—something which he/she had a hand in providing.

GO BACK TO PT 4, What Music Supervisors Can Do