On Changing the Culture of Your PRogram

Okay, so I already did my more “academic” reading and writing for the day, so here are a few of my own thoughts:

I have now finished 3 years at my school and I have worked very hard to change the culture from one of laziness and shame to one of great repute.  The culture change has not fully occured yet… Most of the students are on board, but the parents aren’t even close.  And I’m not sure whether or not they will ever be on board.  But here are a few things I have worked hard to achieve in my new culture:

  1. Safety – Kindness between all ensembles regardless of ability is essential in my book… I once had to lay into a student for making fun of a student in a younger ensemble.  He seemed shocked at first because I did this in a very public way, but I have not had these issues since… Not recommending that you “yell” at your students… But I do recommend that you immediately take action if the safety of your program is threatened.
  2. Joy – I have worked very hard to create a culture of happiness… So that when students step into my room, it is a happy room, a room where most students want to visit adn hang out.  A room that feels like home 🙂
  3. High Standards – This has been one of the hardest changes within my program.  Most of my students and even myself at times are not up for reaching the highest standards.  This is a dangerous slope and I fear that I sometimes sacrifice my standards for a greater challenge… Which brings me to my next point:
  4. Greater Challenge – I have attempted to create a culture in which stagnation is not permitted.  It is incredibly important that even students who are not interested in practicing (BLARGH!!!) still feel challenged and still move up even the smallest amount.
  5. Acceptance – All students are accepted within my program regardless of ability, effort (yes…), or any other factors that may cause problems in other programs.

All of these are incredibly important in my own program.  And perhaps I need to consider this more and do more research eventually.  It is a topic that is extremely important and I think I need to learn more about culture change.  Perhaps I will look to business literature as well.  I think they know a great deal about this topic!

Until next time… Musically Yours,

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