Consider yourself lucky if you walk into a new job as a director and find adequate equipment in good shape. You were chosen to direct music education in this school. That job has many facets, one of which is to make certain that every student has a working, high-quality instrument on which to learn.
Most superintendents and school boards do not know the importance of balanced instrumentation. It is up to you to draw up a clear, simple picture of the organization you want to build for your students and the approximate cost. Most school boards are composed of people who want programs built and organized on a sound foundation.
Preparing a Proposal for Your Principal, Superintendent, and Board of Education for Equipment Purchase or Lease
1. Begin by making a record of each instrument in your inventory. Use the Band Instrument Record to keep track of instrument value, outfit accessories, repair schedule and depreciation record. This record will allow you to identify the value of each instrument by a) identifying the quality level of an instrument, whether new or used, and b) determine when an instrument needs to be overhauled or replaced.
2. Next, complete the Depreciation Schedule, using the Instrument Lifespan and Guide to Instrument Depreciation. This will tell you, at a glance, when instruments need to be replaced. Depreciation for each instrument will be figured using the Instrument Lifespan, taking the percentage from the Depreciation Chart multiplied by the remaining value of that instrument and subtracting that from the current cost of the instrument.
3. Next, complete the Inventory Record that summarizes each instrument's remaining value and life. This can be a summary report to backup any request for instrument purchases.
4. Complete the Student Enrollment sheet. With this sheet, you can quickly determine what additional instruments you will need as students matriculate into middle, junior, and senior high school. Remember to factor in the planned growth of your program through improved recruiting and retention activities.
5. From the Inventory Record that you have prepared, make a list of the instruments that should be replaced in the next five years. Also, add instruments the students will require in future years. Keep in mind the probable growth of your department in estimating cost of repairs, music supplies, and equipment. Use the instrumentation guide showing suggested instrumentation of various sizes of bands to help choose the proper instruments to obtain.
6. Plan your budget. Consider utilizing the Conn-Selmer Lease/Purchase plan so that you can get the instruments you need now but purchase them over a three, four, or five year period. Schools do it all the time. Send your wishlist to the program coordinator for a free proposal on what Conn-Selmer can do for your school(s) - see the Conn-Selmer School Endorsing Programs link under Educators.
7. Write up a complete five-year plan in a clear, concise manner. The first sheet should be an explanation. Do this in your own words. For some ideas, see the Sample Administration Request. Present this to your music coordinator or principal. You may be asked to present the plan to the superintendent, or to the school board. Have a copy for each member of the board. Refer to the sample Explanation Sheet and make changes to fit the five-year plan.
Inventory Your Present Equipment
• Band Instrument Record
• Depreciation Schedule
• Instrument Lifespan
• Instrument Depreciation Guide
• Inventory Record
Student Enrollment and Matriculation Planning
• Student Enrollment
• Suggested Instrumentation for Bands of Various Sizes