Here is an example of S.W.O.T. analysis, courtesy of Josie Davis. This exercise helps you to evaluate your current situation. It's like getting your annual physical. What Strengths do you bring to the table? What Weaknesses? What Opportunities do you know about? Conversely, what Threats to your success do you anticipate?
Professional resident musicians play at a high level and bring years of experience and education.
Although teachers are encouraged to be creative in their teaching, everyone loosely follows the Suzuki method through Book IV. This creates a sense of community and shared purpose among students who grow to understand and appreciate the same music.
Resident musicians are willing to take risks and are compassionate.
There is a general interest in and support for the arts in Brunswick already.
Rural communities in Maine (though not racially diverse), have a lot of diversity that is less visible: disparity in wealth, education, life-style, etc. The music school could serve as a converging place for diversity in the community.
Establish a concert series in a town that doesn’t have regular access to classical music during the school year.
Potential to tap into wealthy neighborhoods, professors, and summer population in Brunswick.
Create a greater awareness and appreciation for the arts that can serve as a unifying force in the community.
The program fills a niche that doesn’t exist in Brunswick - there is no formal music education program in the community.
Possible partnership with Bowdoin College (opportunities for collaboration, use of facilities, etc.)
Being situated in a small community raises the chances that people will become familiar with the organization.
Stigma of classical music could be a barrier to involvement.
Ability to reach the diverse community and pull in families that might not think of signing their kids up for music lessons.
The focus of string instruction could be too narrow. Do we need to offer other instruments?
Geography: Midcoast Maine is rural, which means families may have to travel a distance to participate in the program. There is no public transit.
It’s hard to ask for money!
Funding--can the program offer competitive pay to its teachers?
The area might not be able to support the organization. It’s a small community.
Is classical music relevant?
Does Maine already have enough arts institutions? It’s a small state.
See more on Josie's personal blog.
Sharing excerpts of the learning happening in "Building a Community-Based Residency"