Planning your next big music adventure can seem like a daunting task. Frankly, the thought of transporting hundreds of students and their instruments can be a little overwhelming. Yet, in spite of the challenges and possible pitfalls, you recognize the immense value in offering your students the chance to be inspired outside of the classroom and to grow alongside their peers. To perform in prestigious venues, immerse in new cultures, and envision musical careers.
Putting it all together is not always easy though. Century Resources reached out to our friends over at Four Winds Tours and Travel to help you plan your next group trip! They have compiled below a list of simple steps that will help in making your dream trip a reality:
Narrow Down a Focus
What’s the purpose of the trip? Are you trying to showcase your students in a competitive atmosphere or do you want to emphasize sightseeing? Maybe there’s a famous venue like Carnegie Hall that you would like to perform in? These are just a few examples of the kinds of questions that will help shape the objective of your trip. Discovering your “why” will allow you to hone in on specific places to visit and develop a curriculum to prepare your group.
Pick a Place
Once you have decided on the purpose of the trip, it will help you immensely in picking your destination. Whether choosing to focus on professional clinics and college tours at places like the world-renowned Berklee School of Music or performing in festivals at a variety of theme parks, there is no shortage of impactful experiences to offer your students. And while that is incredibly encouraging, it also makes it difficult to choose just one. That is why returning to the purpose of the trip is critical. For instance, you may opt for a place like Nashville that optimizes the amount of music immersion and opportunities for your group. However, you may want to visit places like Washington D.C. or Philadelphia where you can mix in some history lessons with the musical education.
Work Out the Logistics
After working through the bigger picture, it is time to get into the nitty gritty details (and there are a lot) but don’t worry, with the help of a great tour operator you’ll get through this. Begin with the basics like how many students you anticipate bringing on the trip and which dates will work the best. It is also important to speak with your supervisors and figure out a budget early on as that can greatly influence where your group will travel and how long the trip will be.
From there, start to think about certain specifics like which instruments your group will bring with them, whether your group will travel by air or by bus, and what your group will do for meals. All of these factor into the final cost of your trip and will give you an idea of what makes the most sense for you.
Enlist Some Help
Now some of you may be total trip planning pros and are looking at those first three steps like, “I got this.” For others, you are fervently Google-ing “how to plan a trip” and jotting down notes like there is no tomorrow. The good news is that whether it is your first trip or 50th, you do not have to tackle it alone.
Contact a tour operator that specializes in customized, educational music tours and you will be amazed at the level of expertise and creative suggestions they will provide. Share with them your trip ideas and logistics while they work with you to create the best possible trip for you and your students. It is also very comforting knowing that you have a team of support along with you every step of the way from the initial planning to the student sign-up process and eventually the trip itself.
Seek Permission and Approval
Whether through the school or the county, you will want to secure approval before booking anything for your trip. Talk to other educators at your school who have taken trips and ask for advice on what the board is looking for. They can guide you in the right direction and even share some of their presentation materials with you to give you a clearer picture. This is also a great time to call upon your tour operator as they can provide detailed itineraries and professional marketing materials to promote the trip. They can also help to give you a better idea of the total cost and make sure it stays within the desired budget.
With the trip being approved, you want to make sure that every student has the opportunity to attend regardless of any financial hurdles. Fundraising is a phenomenal way to drum up excitement about your trip in your school and local communities while making it more affordable for the students.
Similar to how your tour operator can guide you in the trip developing process, fundraising companies like Century Resources can take the guessing game out of raising money. Specialized in working with secondary school groups like bands, choirs, and orchestras, Century Resources has designed an easy and effective way to raise the funds you need to make this trip a success.
You will have a local representative who will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring that you achieve your fundraising goal. They have an awesome awards program that will keep the students motivated to sell as much as possible so they can receive individual incentives and help the group retain a large profit. Beyond that, their carefully-selected brochures have such a diverse offering of quality products that they offer a 100% money-back guarantee on everything that your group sells. This means that you can trust that your students’ family and friends will be very happy with the products they’re purchasing.
Enjoy the Trip
As the trip date approaches, the last step is to keep the anticipation high! Try creating a blog or Facebook event and sharing it with your students, their family and friends, and the school. This is an excellent way to provide updates on important deadlines leading up to the trip, as well as a great medium to share your travels with your community. Those that helped along the way through the fundraising and planning can see firsthand what their efforts helped to create and can experience the wonders of travel with your group.