GUEST BLOG: “The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Sundra Flansburg
Date: February 25, 2014
THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’, by Sundra Flansburg
Our ACDA student members have been on my mind of late.
That’s partly because we saw tremendous success with student members during our fall membership drive, when states added almost 1,000 new student members in two months. It is also because of all of our member types, we are most likely to lose students when renewal time comes around.
This is one of our challenges for the year, then. I am increasingly aware that we cannot treat every ACDA member alike. Students have grown up in a totally different world than us older, more seasoned people have. Their interests, their modes of communication, their expectations are different, and we ignore that at our peril. Need a reminder? The Beloit College “Mindset” List is an enlightening one.
That said, much of what ACDA offers other members – conferences, Choral Journal, ChorTeach, connection with colleagues - seems to appeal to our student members. ACDA student chapters have been around for over 40 years. We are starting to shine a brighter light on chapters by including student chapter updates in Choral Journal (the first will appear in the April issue in the Youth and Student Activities R&S column, by Amanda Quist). Jason Paulk, editor of the “Student Times,” a regular feature in the Choral Journal, is working with our editorial staff to help make more students aware of the publishing opportunities especially for them in Choral Journal. (See the Youth and Student Activities webpage for more information.)
One new initiative that ACDA will launch this fall is the ACDA Mentoring Program. This program will match students and new choral teachers and conductors with their more experienced peers for a range of guidance and support. Robert Duff and Amanda Quist are currently conducting a pilot test of the program in the Eastern Division, which will allow us to tweak the program prior to its national rollout. You’ll be hearing more.
Are you a student? Are you someone who works with students? What are our challenges? What other ideas and suggestions do you have?