When I was constructing this website I spent over three hours looking for two photos each for fourteen high school music programs in the Vancouver school district. Even then, I couldn’t find what I wanted so I had to reach into my historical photos. I was hoping that after five years away from this project things would have changed but they haven’t. With just one page of schools posted I have learned a lot of valuable information and instigated more initiatives for the foundation. My biggest revelation is that public school music programs do not have an online profile. Some may have a website but none seem to have an online profile, at least in Vancouver.
Out of fourteen high schools in Vancouver, none got more than a five on my imaginary one out of ten online profile grading system. You have to have a website to get a five and only three schools on the west side and two on the east side had websites. You have to have an online profile to get above five.
I used to get mad because music educators in Vancouver didn’t take time to develop an online profile for their programs. I now realize it is not exactly their fault. Well, it is a little, they could each develop at least some kind of profile but none seem to take it seriously or have the time.
So, what exactly do I mean by an online profile and why is it not the music director’s fault if they don’t have one.
An online profile in short means if you have one you are easy to find on the web. The public doesn’t have to spend hours searching for your program whether they know your URL or not. We have all gone looking from time to time for our favorite restaurant online and usually we pull up a multitude of posts, sometimes so many we don’t know which to click on first. Wouldn’t it be great if this happened with public school music programs? Well, it can and I have figured out how to make it happen.
Let’s go back to our restaurant example. There are over ten free online review platforms all promoting restaurants. Many are household names these days Yelp, Door Dash, Skip the dishes, Restaurant Guru and the newest Daily Hive. It’s no wonder that restaurants these days don’t want to pay for advertising, they get all the advertising they need for free through these platforms. These platforms even compete with each other to offer the best promotion for each restaurant.
Something else that frustrated me while constructing this website was I kept bringing up an old site I put up five years ago called B.C. Music Educators. It frustrated me because it was out of date and I wanted up to date information. A few days later though, I got thinking, content can be updated. My site was everywhere. Each time I googled a school there would be B.C. Music Educators and now I realize that was a good thing. I didn’t know it five years ago but I actually created a free online review platform for public school music programs but I didn’t have the vision back then to know what I had or how to use it, I do now.
So I have changed the name B.C. Music Educators to Treble Clef and added the byline- a free online review platform for public school music programs in Canada and the USA. I am now in the process of updating the material.
I am also going to create nine more free platforms all for performance based large ensembles, ie bands and choirs see the list below.
A FREE online review platform for public school music programs worldwide.
A FREE online review platform for high school jazz bands
A FREE online review platform for public school choirs in Canada and the USA
A FREE online review platform for music advocacy WORLDWIDE.
A FREE online review platform for college and university music programs worldwide.
A FREE online review platform for concert programs in Canada and the USA.
A FREE online review platform for concert series.
A FREE online review platform for trips and tours
A FREE online review platform for military bands
A FREE online review platform for marching bands worldwide.
A FREE online review platform for defunct bands and historical photos
A FREE online review platform for orchestras and symphonies worldwide.
“Why would I be bothered posting on any of these sites,” asks the skeptical band director, because with every post your online profile will grow. Before long your program will have multiple streams whenever you or someone else types in your programs name, which is another point of contention as I discovered.
Choosing what to name your music program always has a personal side to it and that is good but we also must remember the audience, the public. You don’t want people to spend three hours looking for you on the web; you want them to pull you up immediately. So your name shouldn’t become a guessing game for the public. How do we make it easy and still keep the personal connection to your name in tact? Easy, multiple URLs, you should have several URLs that all lead the public to your site. Using Hamber Music as an example, Hamber Band, EH Music, Hamber Music Society, Mighty Hamber might all be names the public might use to find your program so get URLs for them all and direct them to your principal domain. All roads lead to Rome as the saying goes.
Lastly, I am going to set these platforms up so anybody can post on them, then you will not need to send in material which is time consuming for both parties. We will monitor the sites for spam and hopefully there will be no problems.
So, when the sites are up and running I will post them one at a time on my site. When you see them, add a post, photo and text to the appropriate site they won’t all be for you.
VISIBILITY is everything in the music world. If the public doesn’t know about you, you probably won’t survive; if they forget about you, the same. Performance based ensembles are for what the name implies performing for the public. It is not the 18th century anymore where rich patrons hire ensembles to perform privately, unless of course you are lucky.