January 18, 2016 by morningcamequickly
You have picked the show, gathered a team, had auditions, and made the decision of who to cast. Now it is time to get started! A musical kickoff is a great way to build enthusiasm for the next several months. It can be a fun time to see the kids in action because you will be spending a lot of time together. I once read about a field hockey team at a local school who on the first day of fall sports met at midnight for their first workout. Well, I’m not doing that as I’m usually asleep at nine, but here are 5 tips to help you get things started.
- Let the kids read through the entire show. That’s right, let them see the entire picture from beginning to end. While they may have seen the show before, if you are doing a junior version they can be slightly different. Don’t worry if you haven’t given out all the little solos or small one liner parts. Just let them have fun singing and reading through the whole thing.
- Get them excited about being at practice! If practices are all work and no play no one will want to come. Offer small incentives for attending every practice. Throw some starburst to rev them up. For heavens sake, smile and make it look like you want to be there, even if you know this entire production will cause you more headaches!
- Be prepared. Make sure you have scripts with each student’s name on it so everyone gets one. Have them ready to go. Make a corny speech about how they are pristine now, just waiting for them to use and work from.
- Give out another copy of the schedule. In my book, you can’t give out or email the schedule too many times. Kids are so overscheduled nowadays that it’s just hard to keep it all straight. On the first rehearsal, I go over what is coming up for the week just to be sure it’s clear.
- If you can, have a potluck meal together. On our kickoff, we do all of the above and follow it with a potluck meal. Although this year, my meal leader set it up with walking tacos which were a hit. Mingle with the students and the parents. Introduce yourself to people. Don’t assume people know who you are, especially new families.
If you follow these steps, it helps to create a sense of family. Chances are, you will be spending more time with these kids than their own parents. Foster a sense of unity and team early on and people will jump in to help. Let them laugh as they read through and realize they have to pretend they are in love with someone for the show. Get the giggles out as they say a funny line. Let them have a good time. A strong kickoff sets the tone for the whole rest of the musical season. Good luck!