Here are some ideas to move your studio forward this summer:
Hold a sight-reading challenge. Set out good sight-reading books from your library for students to choose from each week. Give out prizes at the end of summer for reading a certain number of pages.
Host a summer camp. You could hold your camp one day a week for a month, or four to five days in one week. It could be to attract new students, or a fun intensive for current students. I like “Way Cool Keyboarding” books by Musical Moments for great ensemble playing with beginners.
Attend a concert and invite your students. Give your students “points” in the fall for each concert they attend over the summer. Email notices of upcoming events in your area, especially free events for kids. There will be a free “Peter and the Wolf” performance in my local park in a few weeks, so I sent a flier out to all my families.
Get out all the fun music. Take a break from your regular repertoire and find something different and exciting to learn this summer.
Prepare for fall competitions. This is the time to polish up pieces that need to be ready to go in October or November. For ideas, see my blog on “Preparing for an Event or Competition.”
Organize your music and files. Check for overdue borrowed books. Label and file new music. Enter new music into your Music Teacher’s Helper library. I use cardboard magazine boxes on my bookshelves to organize my music into labeled categories, so that I can find books quickly.
Order a new computer or iPad game. Learn to use it yourself this summer so you can use it in your media lab this fall. Check out “The iPad Piano Studio” by Leila Viss.
Attend a workshop or seminar. Local colleges or music stores often host guest artists or speakers. Consider traveling a little to immerse yourself in a blues workshop, or an improvisation seminar.
Recruit new students. This is the time of year parents are looking for a music teacher to begin lessons in the fall. Make sure you are on top of your marketing strategies. For marketing ideas check out my blog on “How Do You Attract New Students?”
Try out Music Teacher’s Helper. If you don’t already use this fabulous tool, summer would be a great time to learn all it can do for your studio and your sanity!
Plan your studio budget. I swear I only make $.03 per hour after you take into consideration all the time I spend outside of lessons, and the number of “toys” it takes to keep me having fun teaching. But seriously, summer is a great time to plan for the money aspect of the next school year. List your projected expenses, and then calculate how many students you need, and what you need to charge for lessons this coming year.
Think through individual student needs. Summer is a great time to ponder each student, make a list of their personal strengths and weaknesses, and how you can best move them forward.
Decide on your “theme” for the coming year. My students are on a mission to find out what our theme will be for next year! Read my blog on “Themes Add Focus to Your Teaching” for more about how this can enhance your school year.
Look into Michelle Sisler’s games and motivational tools. Michelle is so creative! Every year she comes out with more and better ideas. Check them out at http://keystoimagination.com.
Get your instrument tuned and repaired. If you have been putting off this task, now is the time to get everything in tip top condition.
Learn new music. You could read through new music for ideas for your students, or brush up on some higher level pieces you will be assigning. You could also spend more time on your own musical repertoire.
Read a book. I am enjoying the book “Make it Stick” by Peter C. Brown, recommended on this blog site. If you can’t attend a seminar, a book is an inexpensive way to update and expand your thinking on a particular subject.
Get healthy. I’m serious. It is the only way you are going to live through next winter and withstand all the germs that are going to be traveling through your studio. Summer is a great time to make changes in your health habits.
Rest and refresh your spirit. Summer is a great time to take time for you! Do something you love but never get time for. Get outdoors, take a mini vacation, enjoy your kids and family, or just sit and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and be grateful for all you have been given.