Show choirs have been around for years, but ever since the TV show Glee gained popularity, show choirs have had a new notoriety in local schools. Show choir competitions are fiercer than they used to be, and show choirs themselves are more popular than before. Unfortunately, school budgets have not necessarily kept up with the demand, as budgets for the arts continue to take a backseat to sports budgets and budgets for other events. This can put you in a tough position if you are running a local glee club. Here are 5 tips to make running a glee club successful and fun.

Have the Students Help Pick Songs

Students are more likely to remain invested in show choir if they like the music they’re singing. Of course, you may not be able to perform every song your students request, especially if the lyrics are questionable, but by letting your students have some say in the songs they perform, they’ll be more enthusiastic about their performances. This not only means they’re more likely to stick with the club, but also that the performances they give are likely to be stronger because they care about the music. With show choir competitions more competitive than ever before, this may give you the edge you need to come out on top.

Do Try-Outs for Solos

We live in a participation award society, which can make us fearful of having cuts in clubs, especially low-budget clubs like glee club. Instead of having cuts for the club itself, specifically, do try-outs for the major solos. Make it a big deal by having your students try out using vocal mics, which can not only enhance the gravitas of the try-outs but also get them used to the mics they’ll be using at competitions.

Ask for Parent Volunteers on Costumes

Costumes can be a huge expense in show choirs. Instead of shelling out a lot of money on costumes, plan your music around costumes that can easily be made by parent volunteers. Parents are used to being asked to volunteer for local events, and many of the parents who have children in show choirs are just as frustrated as you are that your school doesn’t have the budget to pay for everything you need. They’ll be happy to help put their children on the map by creating cool costumes on a much more reasonable budget.

Invest in Fundraising

Even once you have music and costumes, there are expenses when it comes to show choir. Getting to and from competitions can cost a pretty penny, so you’ll want to get out the fundraising gate early. Make participating in fundraising events a mandatory part of being in show choir to encourage your students to have a hand in these events so that fundraising doesn’t wholly fall on your shoulders. Set a monetary goal for the fundraising and keep your progress towards that goal posted in a highly-visible location so that your students can feel good about the progress they make.

Reward the Efforts

Your students aren’t going to win their show choir events every time, but you want to keep their morale up and encourage them to keep coming back semester after semester. One great way to do that is to plan an outing after a major event—perhaps a dinner out or an ice cream on the road—and let your students know that you’ll be going there together, win or lose because it’s about the effort and the journey, not the results.

Running a glee club can be a hard experience, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Implementing these tips can help you run a successful glee club that you’ll feel good about at the end of each day.