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This module represents the area of developing a choral department budget. While this is directed mostly at the choral director in a school its premise also applies to community and church choral directors. Material is presented to remind the director of budget development, how it must be shown to benefit the students (choir members), and its logical development as it pertains to those who receive the budget request and will make decisions about it.


There are almost as many methods of budgeting as there are schools in the United States. Very large systems may have an overall budget for the many schools with a music supervisor responsible for the disbursement of funds. Small school systems may designate a certain amount of money for the choral department and allow the choral director to spend it as he sees fit. In between these two extremes are many different types of budgeting procedures. Whatever the procedure, there are certain important considerations every choral director should remember.

1. Education costs have risen steadily and there is every indication that this trend will continue.

2. Each department in the school wants and may need more money.

3. The choral department must operate as efficiently as possible and in a businesslike manner in order to get administration approval.

4. It is better to get small increases in budget year by year than to wait and try to make large gains in one year.

5. The director must plan far in advance, anticipating the needs of the department.

6. The director must be able to show how each new item requested will directly benefit the students.

It should be remembered that administrators respond most quickly and most generously to the successful departments in a school. They also respond to those requests that they can see will be most beneficial to students.

When asked to submit budget requests, do so on the budget forms that the administration provides. Where these are inadequate, supplement them with additional information as is necessary to support the inclusion of each item. Many budget requests will have more than one part; perhaps a section for those items necessary to continue present operations of the department, and a section for items necessary to support the department in its anticipated growth.

There is still another type of budget that asks personnel to develop a "hold the line" budget, allowing no increases in expenditures. This type of request will usually require that some priorities be shifted since, although the budget may "hold the line," costs probably will not. Consequently, for the same money, the director will be expected to operate the department just as successfully as he has in the past, and probably will be expected to provide a steady growth and development. When this is the case, a director must be able to adjust his program to allow for what will be an actual decrease in buying power. Often, plans to use budget for new performance apparel, or to provide for instrumental accompaniment that cannot be otherwise provided, can be delayed until another year. This will allow the budget to cover necessary expenses such as music, folders, etc.

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Source:  OpenStax, Choral techniques. OpenStax CNX. Mar 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11191/1.1
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