Submitted by Kathleen Bragle, New York
Idea posted August 2, 2002
There was a template that I used that came with the computer program that I have. It is easy enough to use as your guide for the newsletter. Then, include FACTS, FACTS, FACTS - research results as to the benefits of music in our schools; quotes about music interspersed here and there; why we study the recorder (if you, in fact, do that). (These are things that you could use, that would work well - if you teach at more than one school because they're common. You could do that with each issue - have a common area with a smaller area devoted to the particular school.)
This is very time-consuming, though, so you want to make it as easy as possible for yourself. I'd suggest every other month - or - maybe at first, twice a year? Every other month has worked for me, and even then, I have had to delay an issue. You can also include cartoons, but BE SURE and get permission to use them and the artists MAY ask you for a small fee.
Some other ideas: literature related to music, web sites that people might find handy (check it out first), a background bit on a student teacher that you might have, a piece by the instrumental teacher on practicing, a "this month in music history," a feature on a composer you might be doing with attached suggestions for books and recordings... I could go on and on.
I will say that however long it takes you to get on to this, it is well worth it. The PR is priceless, and don't forget to send a copy to your school board, superintendent, and also the person who does your district newsletter. She/he might be able to glean some little tidbits from it for the district-wide newsletter!