Helpful Ideas for Dealing with Absences in Your Children’s Music Ministry

As we head into the holiday season, the Growing in Grace Creative Team’s Carol DickersonPaula Farrar, and Dora Ann Purdy share tips to help you anticipate student absences, encourage attendance, and present your program with confidence in this busy season.

  • Give rehearsal and performance information to parents at the beginning of the year or semester. Families can plan around performances if they know the dates well in advance.
  • Gather information from schools about student holiday schedules for fall breaks and spring breaks. Plan performances to avoid those times. (HINT: Parents don’t usually take children out of town for Halloween, and the first weekend in November gives children an extra hour of sleep when the time changes back from Daylight Savings Time. This makes the first Sunday in November a good choice for a performance.)
  • Plan rehearsals to accommodate latecomers by doing the “meat” of the rehearsal in the middle. Be flexible.
  • Have an attendance chart visual on which the children can record their own attendance each week with stickers or stamps.
  • Encourage children who attend regularly to be helpers to those who attend less frequently.
  • Plan rehearsals to accommodate latecomers by doing the “meat” of the rehearsal in the middle. Be flexible.
  • Purchase audio licenses, and send recordings home for children to practice with at home or in the car.
  • Offer attendance rewards at the end of the year with rewards such as an engraved hymnal or small plaque for perfect attendance.

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