When I got the enrollment figures the next year, the number had gone from 48 to 68, an increase of more than 40%! However, my elementary school still had a very small music class, and I had to rethink how to build my program. By the 2020-2021 school year, I was supposed to have 104 students in the middle school band, but unfortunately that didn’t happen because of COVID-19. In order to recruit students for the Meadows Elementary School Beginning Band, I worked with the elementary school string teacher to talk to all fifth graders on the third day of school. Budget and fundraising: for the second year, my budget increased to $500 just for the elementary school band, which was seven times more than the first year! Then one of the band parents, who was a member of the PTO, came to me with some ideas. By assigning students the right instruments and controlling the schedule, I tripled the number of members at my elementary school, going from 12 to 36 students, and at the middle school it went up to 98 students. My high school students came from different elementary schools with different teachers, so when it comes to percussion, we start at the beginning with ratchets, bass and mallets. Fortunately, I was hired to teach music at Meadows Elementary School and Robinson Middle School in my current district, Topeka Public Schools. The middle school principal at the time didn’t realize how much band supplies cost because the previous principal had taught band, orchestra, and chorus, and “they” had spent the entire budget on equipment for musical theater. Midway through the third quarter, I started meeting with each student every day to prepare them for high school, where I meet with each student 42 minutes a day in band. Divided between band, orchestra, and choir, that meant my high school band budget was $67 for the entire year. Before that, “she” was an instrumental music teacher at Robinson High School and Meadows Elementary School in the Topeka Public School District. With this money I was able to buy band equipment, offer scholarships to rent instruments, send kids to music camps, buy supplies for students, etc. In my first year in my new position, the biggest problem was that there was virtually no budget for elementary and middle school orchestras. In my second year, orchestra and string instruments intersected with gymnastics and music, which was not ideal. I took my current music students and scheduled elementary school visits. This schedule was very helpful for student retention, as I am one of the feeder schools for Robinson High School.