The fall of 2014 we are bringing back a great tool for recruiting new choir members. The Recruitment Game. Here is how it works.
In September we will have regular choir registration for a couple of weeks. You will always have those kids who can hardly WAIT to get started back, then you will have a few new families who have moved into your church, additionally you get those who are responding to your appeal through the various media at your church. Some will respond to the direct mail piece that you sent out. (more on that in the next month)
But I am never satisfied with just THAT number. While the director has many tools to use to recruit new choir members, perhaps your greatest tool to recruit new kids are the kids themselves. If a junior high or high school student is approached by the adult director to come to choir, they just figure that you are “doing your job.” But if another student asks them to come WITH them to choir, that is whole different matter. Guess which one they are most likely to respond to first
You just have to find a way to motivate their help. Not everyone likes competition, but I have found, through the years, that the guys in the choir particularly respond to this contest. And the girls, since they don’t want to be out done, will get into the spirit of the game. Actually, the last time we ran this contest, the altos WON!
Beginning in October, the game begins and runs through the end of month. You can make your’s go longer, if that would work better in your situation. We divide the choir into teams. I use the four voice parts. The sopranos are against all the other sections, the altos are too, and on and on. You might chose to use grade level teams if that is better for you. You want to have even numbered teams so that it is fair, but there is no need for them to be identical in number–just close.
In the end, there will be only ONE section that wins. So you may need a tie breaker just in case. One year, to break a tie, I calculated the number of rehearsal hours that section had added that month using the attendance of the new members—the section that worked hard at the beginning and was able to keep the new members coming each week, won the contest. That motivates the choir to get out there and start early, and not just wait to the final week to really make a push to win.
Every student that BRINGS another student to choir gets one point for his/her section and one point is given to the section that the new kid joins. For example, one of your sopranos brings a tenor from her school choir to church choir rehearsal, sopranos get a point and tenors get a point. If a bass BRINGS a bass to come to choir, then the bass section gets two points for that one person. One of the points is always given to the inviter, and one point to the new member’s section. The new person has immediate acceptance in his/her section, because they brought a “point” with them. That first potentially awkward rehearsal is much less so when everyone in the section is cheering their arrival!
Each week we publish the running totals in the choir agenda and a mention of the contest is in every text that I send out that month. Remember to get the phone numbers of the new kids who came for the first time, since many times the new kids know other new kids to bring.
Next month we will talk about bringing the contest to a victorious conclusion.