9 Top Tips on How to Plan the Perfect School Concert Tour

Last updated: Jul 4th, 2023

It can be daunting planning a school concert tour for 40+ students. You’re enormously excited and feel 9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour would be ideal.

Then worry no longer, because we here at Rayburn Tours sat down with an experienced and passionate bunch of party leaders to pick out all those juicy top tips that help plan a smooth and exceptional school music trip.

So, let’s jump in to 9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour.


Table of Contents

1: Knowing Your Students

2: Knowing Your Parents

3: How to Pick Your Destination

4: Safeguarding

5: Fundraising

6: Musical Preparation

7: Knowing Your Chosen Adults

8: Footnotes

9: We’re Here for Your Happy Travels

Top Tip 1: Knowing Your Students


9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour: A group of students posing on a statue on a school concert tour


As party leader of your school, you’ve more than likely got a rewarding musical educational relationship with your students. However, a tour brings into play a whole host of other factors.

And for a memorable, dynamic and extraordinary trip, a student centric experience is key.

Here are some best practice tips to help you plan an excursion your students can enjoy:

    • A communal space: it’s not all about the music, well not for your students. When the day is finished, they’ll want to chat, play and take it easy in a suitable hang-out space. So, if you can, look for a hotel with a space designed for that type of chill.
    • A Timetable: There’s an old saying that goes, ‘Boredom is the root of all evil’. So, keep your students busy, engaged and with something always to do.
    • Roles: Depending on age, some students feel more part of the experience if they’re given a role. Whether it’s getting friends ready for a timeslot, ensuring all instruments are accounted for, or helping with setting up your gear at the venue, it can give them a sense of involvement.
    • Tour memorabilia: designing tour t-shits, hoodies or bags for your music trip can be a source of pride for your pupils. Not only that, but it also gets them excited about their tour and they’ll feed this excitement onto their parents.
    • A Tour Operator Specialist: Don’t worry too much though, as we offer a streamlined schedule and detailed accommodation plan. It’s designed to entertain, create timeless memories and develop your students socially as well as educationally.

Top Tip 2: Knowing Your Parents


9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour: a school concert tour ensemble performing before an audience

As party leader I’m responsible for these children, parents and guardians have entrusted me with their children.

Melanie Stapleton, Tapton Youth Brass Band band director

It goes without saying, your school music trip is only happening with the full consent of your students’ parents. Therefore, it’s of paramount importance they feel comfortable and confident their children will enjoy themselves. And likely more crucial to them, their children are safe with a responsible member of staff leading the educational travel.

An initial meeting with parents, children and your travel company is a fantastic way of settling those early nerves. It gives you the opportunity to outline the entire tour and answer parents’ questions. Plus, it starts to build trust between you, your team and the parents. So, when it comes to decision time, parents already have a face they can trust.

Also, one of our Rayburn team can be there to talk about the logistical side of your concert tour. They can put parents at ease over the finer details of travel planning, such as transport, accommodation and destination. 

Your in-tune tip: introduce the idea of a home concert tour to parents that helps fundraise early, this builds the band’s confidence in their set-list as well as aids players in their social and musical development. Plus, it creates a space for parent involvement where they can see their child’s progress.

Top Tip 3: How to Pick Your Destination


9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour: A bright, colourful canal destination


The destination can be different for everyone. The location can be important, the venues, or maybe it’s the weather. Either way, destination planning can be key to a successful concert tour.

Your first music trip? Then pick somewhere close with easy transport, easier costs for parents to stomach and that are only a few nights away. To boost confidence, you could even pick somewhere you’ve been before.

However, if you haven’t been to a location before but want to check it out, Rayburn can organise you an inspection trip. Also, we offer detailed knowledge on a wide range of destinations where we’ve well established links, contacts and travel programmes that our specialist tour operators can pull out a hat at moment’s notice.

Your in-tune tip: if you choose to inspect a place before the tour, take a fellow teacher with you for a second, impartial opinion on whether the destination is right for your school music trip.

Top Tip 4: Safeguarding


9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour: Students and staff posing in a sunny location

Taking students away is a BIG deal, looking after other people’s kids isn’t something to be light-hearted. No 1 priority is the responsibility of those kids and Rayburn help do that.

Jason Andrews, Rednock School

The safety and security of your students is the most important aspect of any school trip. To plan for a successful meeting with your headteacher, you will need to show that the concert tour is safe and beneficial for students, staff and the school. Also, knowing the staff or adults who are going and that they are DBS checked is a must.

Make sure all risk assessments for your school concert tour are completed with your County Office, which is usually a tick-box exercise. Plus, you need the number of paying students as well as all times, dates venues and destination details too. Importantly, ensure one teacher is first aid trained and your ratio of adult to student is 10 to 1.

And we can help with putting your mind at ease too as we rigorously evaluate all accommodation, excursions, adventure activities, ensure all staff are DBS checked and provide 24-hour emergency contact. We are also one of the founding members of the School Travel Forum (STF), who provide a benchmark for best practice in school travel. Equally, we proudly hold the Learning Outside the Classroom Badge (LOtC), which is a national accreditation awarded for companies who emphasise health and safety as well as educational travel programs accessible to all users.

Your in-tune tip: plan your trip outside of school term. Planning this way helps you take the staff you’ve chosen. Or it’s at the headteachers discretion and extra costs – for supply teachers – can be passed onto parents.

Top Tip 5: Fundraising


9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour: School brass band performing outside in Spain to an audience


A home fundraising concert tour before your music trip abroad can be a great way to either supplement and/or subsidise your excursion.

In your initial meeting with parents, you would have chatted about the possibility of fundraising with a concert tour before your musical trip abroad. If you wish to supplement funds, a home music trip at least a year before you travel overseas is a great way to fund additional activities such as bike rentals, theme park excursions, or even for more musical equipment.

Plus, a concert tour sees students commit to a program of fundraising, which is a great source of pride for their families, friends and communities.

However, if parents of students in your band are unable to fund the base tour costs, there are useful ways to help subsidise those children, such as the government funded subsidy, Pupil Premium.

Or you can raise funds by busking, as Melanie Stapleton’s from the Tapton Youth Brass Band experience shows:

We raise up to £12,000 to subsidise members coming along by busking. Carolling is really successful – with us raising up to £300 a day.

Top Tip 6: Musical Preparation


9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour: A school ensemble practicing on tour


It’s a good idea to give your band at least 18 months concert tour preparation. This helps them get comfortable with your planned repertoire. Then, when at the venue and all your gear is in the right place, you can dive straight into that piece for maximum enjoyment.

Speaking of venues, we have a variety to pick from that suit any type of set list. Plus, with our established familiarity in local communities within overseas destinations, we can provide the perfect set of spaces for your players to harmonize in too. To add to that, we’ll also arrange an appreciative and excited audience to view your performances.

Your in-tune tip: Sometimes, getting enough band members from your school isn’t possible, but there are a few options for you to make sure you still have a great time. You can look to trusted travelling music teachers, community groups you’re confident with, or even combine with other partnered schools to make sure there are enough members to fully realise the musical potential of your concert tour.

Top Tip 7: Knowing Your Chosen Adults


Each adult brings their strengths to a musical tour. Some are there to help fill band member vacancies, whilst others are there to ensure the safety of each child. Knowing the skill set of your adults can be another vital string to your bow in a tour where everyone sings from the same song sheet.

So, categorise your adults. Are they musicians only? custodians? teachers? Or are they more physically capable to lug heavy gear around?

Plus, bring along teachers who aren’t easily offended. On tour, there may be an occasion when speaking in an authoritative manner is needed and in those split-second moments worrying about another teaching feeling sensitive is stress you don’t need.

Your in-tune tip: students aren’t insured to carry heavy, cumbersome PA systems, which is why adults who are physically capable to carry bulky musical equipment are an advantage.

Top Tip 8: Footnotes


You’ve kept to the beat this far, so a few more notes before you leave.

Before you go on your school concert tour, make sure you have contact details of two senior teaching members back home, and they’re aware they are your emergency contacts. Obviously, you want no worrying moments whilst on your trip, but having these contacts in place is a reassuring aspect for you, your students and your students’ parents.

Also, remember to take your tour operator contact details, as they’ll provide support and peace of mind on logistics throughout your tour.

Your in-tune tip: count all passports, GHIC’s and EHIC’s before you set off and then put them in a box. Pass the box to another responsible adult on your tour and ask them to count as well. This helps verify all the relevant legal documents are accounted for.

Top Tip 9: We’re Here for Your Happy Travels


9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour: group of students laughing during a break

When I bump into students in their 30’s, the first thing they say is I was on this tour, the Austria tour for example… A tour is a major highlight of their life”

Jason Andrews, Rednock School

But please don’t worry too much!

We know how important a school concert tour is to you, your students and your students’ parents. Which is why, with over 55 years of experience in planning musical trips we’ve come to know a thing or two about taking a good portion of that worry away from you and resting it on our shoulders.

So, you can focus on all the moments on tour that blend to make a beautiful arrangement.

Moments centred on the connection between students and staff as well as the social, confident and musical growth of your pupils. Moments like students meeting on tour, getting married many years later and having a baby. Or moments like a nervous 12-year-old child pre-tour to the confident, outgoing and musically grown student post trip.

And all the barely heard notes that, when added to the mix, create a harmonious bond between all tour participants that lasts longer than a Beethoven symphony.

There you go, 9 top tips on how to plan the perfect school concert tour!

We hope this helps plan your trip. However, if you have any top tips yourself, or you want to talk to a Rayburn Tours specialist on a particular destination, please call or email us.

Happy travels!

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