Right now, students are looking at college programs, and trying to decide if they should study music ( is this a real career??) and if they should, can they find the right school. Plenty of content out there on selecting a college.
This note isn't for students. It isn't for parents. It is for admins of college music programs.
Too much emphasis is placed on recruiting. Too much time is spent talking OUT at students and parents, and not enough time is spent building the program internally. If your house is a mess, you cannot have people over. Make sure your faculty have resources they need, put the right people in front of ensembles, support your applied teachers
(you know, the ones who bring the students in to the school in the first place) and make sure your external messaging actually reflects what you are doing in the building.
Program up to the students you want - articulate a vision. Have a clear sense of the kind of student that will thrive in your program.
Do not try to be everything to everyone - you can't. People will see through you quickly, and realize you have no message, no vision. They will see you as desperate and treat you at best as a backup....
Program up and have a vision for your institution, and articulate it clearly, over and over again.
If you are a student looking for a school, make sure they have a clear vision and can explain that vision to you. Look past empty words and slogans. Find out what they actually do.
Welcome! I am a percussionist, conductor and artistic leader who drinks a lot of coffee.