Although hardly research, it might be worthwhile to consider the following demographic anecdotes coming from Dr. Tim Lautzenheizer:
- Nationally, for every 100 students who are eligible to start band instruments in schools, can you guess how many are playing through to the senior year of high school so they could make a choice as to whether they could major in music education: the answer is 1.
- Currently, we have more music vacancies than we have certified teachers willing to fill these positions. This amounts to a teacher shortage. Were you aware that the average length of a school band director's career is only 4.6 years?
- Accounting for retirement, including early retirement incentives that clear our schools of experienced but expensive teachers, attrition of young teachers (which is the killer), and program needs, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) estimates we are about 2,000+ music teachers short right now of filling up vacant music positions.
The challenge for CBDNA becomes obvious: To ensure the health of our culture and the health of our organization, it is critical that CBDNA assume an active role in the process of securing new band directors and retaining those good ones we already have.