Re: Todays Local Paper, Music Dropped
The school band that I teach workshops at does a lot of fund raising. That allows the band to have funds above and beyond the alloted budget. They use the extra money to pay specialists such as myself and also to buy equipment.
To SOGdrummer and all other parents, become active in fundraising. Help your child with his or her fundraising and (if possible) offer to help the band director with the details of the fund raisers.
You can also help by donating time, money or instruments. Area schools often need new drums or hardware. But even if you can't afford to donate those items, buy a 14" snare drum head, marimba mallets, or triangle beaters and donate them to the band. You can donate your time by offering to fix up the school's drums. Often there will be instruments laying around that are in need of repair. I have found that most "bad" snare drums can be made playable and visually appealing with some chrome polish, wax, and new heads.
I also have a parent who is paying to have me come in to do a few workshops at an area high school. I thought that was a great idea. And of course since it was coming out of her pocket, I discounted my rate.