Factors That Contribute to Enrollment in Band Programs
The purpose of this study was to examine factors that band directors may be able to use in enhancing enrollment in band programs. The categories of predictor variables were school leadership, level of support, student characteristics, band leadership, and band leader characteristics. There was one criterion variable, band enrollment. Stepwise multiple regression was used to determine which predictor variables explained a portion of the criterion variable, band enrollment.
A sample of 400 active band directors was drawn from the membership of the American School Band Directors Association. A table of random numbers was used to select the sample. Data were collected from responses to a questionnaire that was mailed to all persons in the sample. Usable responses were received from 250 males and 65 females.
Results of a stepwise multiple regression indicated that five variables accounted for 86.7% of the variance in band enrollment. These five variables in the order of the amount of variance accounted for are (1) the total number of students in the band director's school, (2) the relationship between the band director and constituents (principal component one), (3) revenue per band student, (4) proportion of students on free or reduced-price lunch in the band director's school, and (5) race of the band director.
One of the main implications of this study appears to be broadly associated with the kinds of relationships a band director develops with the members of the band community. Even though the band director cannot do anything about the size of the student body, the challenge is for band directors to use strategies that enhance their relationships with the band community.