You stand in front of your ensemble with all eyes looking to you for direction, information…everything. We get it. Being a music director can sometimes feel like a lonely job. Thanks to the internet, however, helpful words of wisdom and support are only a few clicks away.
Here are 10 online groups on both Facebook and LinkedIn you can use to network with colleagues and crowdsource advice for any issues you might be facing.
Most Facebook groups are “Closed,” meaning anyone can find the group and see who runs it but only members can see who’s in it and what they post. You can request membership in any group, however, by simply clicking the Join Group button and answering a few questions.
Encore Tours also offers a real live face-to-face networking opportunity at our annual Prelude event over Martin Luther King Day weekend. January 2020 will find us gathering in Milan, Italy and you can be there too if your group travels on an international tour with Encore. It’s a chance to meet and exchange ideas with music directors from around the country and then stay connected afterward in our Prelude Alumni Facebook group.
- Choir Director Central – Closed Group. Created January 2017. 2,031 members. 52 posts in last 30 days. Description: “This is a forum for choral directors to share ideas, ask questions, and support one another as we each seek to better our profession together.”
- American Choral Directors Association – Public Group. Created July 2006. 14,697 members. 128 posts in last 30 days. Description: “This group is a virtual gathering place for choral directors worldwide; a place to share ideas and seek assistance.”
- I'm a Choir Director – Closed Group. Created January 2011. 25,068 members. 1,889 posts in last 30 days. Description: “This is a group to share ideas, ask questions, give encouragement, and talk about how we do what we do! A PLN (professional learning network) for choir directors.”
- Band Directors – Closed Group. Created October 2010. 3,016 members. 55 posts in last 30 days. Description: “Band Directors and band stuff.”
- I'm a General Music Teacher – Closed Group. Created August 2011. 14,406 members. 1,171 posts in last 30 days. Description: “A general music teacher community! This group is a place for current and retired music educators to network. Do not use this group for advertising purposes.”
- Orchestra Teachers – Closed Group. Created October 2010. 2,539 members. 131 posts in last 30 days. Description: “Forum for string teachers to share best practices.”
- Church Music Solutions – Closed Group. 2,120 members. 76 posts in last 30 days. Description: “This group is for those who are concerned about the direction of sacred music as it is practiced in churches. It exists so that we as colleagues can have open logical discussions about any aspect of church music, including repertoire, performance practice, musical integrity and any other worthwhile subject within the general framework of 'church music'.”
- National Association for Music Education – 22,816 members. Description: “The NafME LinkedIn Group is for discussions among music educators and those in the music education community at large.”
- Music Conductors Worldwide – 19, 037 members. Description: “The Network for exchanging experiences and meeting conductors from all over the world. We welcome all conductors !! Windband, Symphony, Marching Band, Brassband, Fanfare and Choir.”
- Jazz Education Network – 3,073 members. Description: “The Jazz Education Network is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance, and developing new audiences. Please note that this is an open community for JEN members and the jazz industry. We encourage starting a discussion on jazz, education, and music related topics. We also encourage posting about your current and upcoming projects, to help create awareness.”
Are you a member of any online forums for music directors? If so, let us know in the comments and share what groups you're a part of and why they're useful!