Unlike most other professions, most private music teachers do not get paid sick days – if we get sick, we cancel the lessons, loose our income, unless we do make-ups. I am always curious to read other teachers’ studio policies and so far, I have only ever come across one teacher who has included teacher sick days into their studio policy – she gives herself one ‘sick-week’ a year, students still pay their usual monthly fee, and she does not have to provide make-ups! Someday I hope to implement such policy!
In the mean time, I am always consciously doing everything I can to prevent myself from getting sick, and if I do get sick, I count it a blessing when/if it occurs during weekends! The following are my stay-healty tips that I would like to share with fellow private music teachers:
1. Flu Shot – I try to do this yearly as soon as they are available. This year I got it done in late September. I know some people do not believe in this, but it has helped me from getting really sick.
2. Hand Wipes – I require my students to clean their hands with a wet wipe when they arrive at the studio. This prevents dirty fingers on my piano and helps to keep germs away. Some students are so used to this that they even come with their own hand sanitizers!
3. Throat Drops – I always have these handy to boost my immune system as well as soothe my throat from hours of talking. My favorites are the Burt’s Bees Honey & Pomegranate Throat Drops, and if I feel I have a soar throat coming, I will take the numbing Cepacol Throat Lozenges.
4. Stay Hydrated – I always have a glass of water next to me. I used to worry about having to go to the bathroom a lot, but staying healthy is more important!
5. Air Purifier – I have the Sharper Image Ionic Air Purifier, and totally swear by it! Those stainless steel, washable filters really do get very dirty from trapping viruses, dust mites, pollen, bacteria, and odors.
6. Essential Oils – I also believe hugely in the benefits of essential oils. I use it aromatically, topically, and internally. I have a diffuser that I use to diffuse my favorite all-purpose oils such as Purify and Lavender, I apply Breath and Past Tense topically to reduce Allergy effects and ease tension, and I take On-Guard and Lemon internally to boost my immune system.
The above add to my studio expense, but are so worth it! Of course, it goes without saying that one must have a healthy diet and exercise regularly for overall well-being. (I thank my two dogs for making me walk them everyday!) What do you do, fellow teachers, to stay healthy year-round? What has worked for you? Do you have a studio policy that protects your income from sickness? Please do share your comments!