Sports v. music

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    Many schools struggle with “sports vs. music.” This was a popular topic on the old Chorus forum (

    “eblanger” made the initial post:

    I always turn to this forum when I need good advice 🙂 I know many schools struggle with the “sports vs. music” issue every year. I am particularly frustrated this year with my athletic director. He scehduled a big softball/baseball game and senior night the night of our spring concert. When it was brought to my attention and I approached him he was unwilling to be flexible at all and said the kids had to choose. Well, we all know what event they will choose because the coaches make them feel so bad and are penalized if they miss a game/practice.

    Do you have any suggestions on creating an atmosphere with where music is equal with sports and where the athletic director is more flexible? I am so frustrated right now…I have a nasty email waiting to be sent, but I thought I should take a deep breath and re-read it in an hour :)….before I send it!

    Thank you for any thoughts!

    I’ll post some of the responses here.

    Let’s continue the conversation.

    Linda Brown
    NAfME Staff


    The 2012 April Chorus Mentor, dr muse, weighed in:

    At my school, there is a master calendar for all to see and events have to be approved by the administrative team before the event can take place. I know athletics sort of run their own schedule outside of regular school events, but our Principal sends out a weekly calendar/newsletter via email informing the entire faculty what is taking place that week or gives us a “heads up” about things that are in the near future.

    I think it is a good idea to actually meet with the athletic director when you are doing your planning to make sure nothing is going to take place on the same day and time. At least make him/her aware of what you have going on. Diplomacy is always the best route to take in my opinion. Sending a nasty email may burn some bridges that you don’t need burned.

    Our athletic director and I have discussions when planning events because we share so many of the same kids. I know that I am fortunate in this situation, but effort was made on both our parts to communicate and work together over the years. However, we have had event conflicts and the students simply had to choose.


    The 2012 January Chorus Mentor, sopranolynn1, added

    This is a tough situation that I think most of us face at one time or another. There probably isn’t an easy solution to it, either.

    How early do you schedule your concerts? I try to put my dates on our school calendar before the first day of school, so that I can give the dates to the students and parents in our handbook. We, too, have a school master calendar, and must go through administration for approval. However, athletics has to deal with other school/league schedules, so there are inevitably going to be conflicts. The county track championship happens to fall on the day of our spring concert, and I’m likely to lose a couple of students because of that. But, because of the relationship I have with the track coach, she’s going to try to see if they can schedule the individual events so that the chorus students will be finished in time to get back for the concert.

    Clearly, you need to meet with the AD, but I suggest getting the principal or other administrator who has oversight of athletics involved in the meeting. As was already mentioned, the issue of academic class vs. extracurricular activity is an important one that needs to be understood by all. A few years ago, a new AD fought me about our winter concert until he found out that the concert served as nine-week assessment grade for my chorus students (our district has a policy that, for middle school, each class must have a nine-week assessment that counts for 20% of the student’s grade for the marking period).

    On a personal level, when I have to deal with someone who is very inflexible, I tend to respond the same way. Sometimes, you just need to take a deep breath and a step back before you try to deal with a situation like this.


    this is a test

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