I’ve teamed up with some of my favourite piano teachers to bring you the 12 Days of Christmas, Piano Teacher Edition. We have lots of exciting content to share with you over the 12 Days of Christmas. Check out the full list at the bottom of this post!
The last part of the year can get pretty crazy. There’s so much to do and it feels like time is on hyperdrive! It’s also a super busy time for most music studios with recitals, exams, holiday parties, music camps… But now that all these events are behind us it’s time to prepare for a brand new year! Here are five ways to reset your music studio after the holidays:
1. Review What Went Well (Or Not!)
Depending on how much energy you have you can review the last couple of months, or if you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic the whole year 😉 Take some time to think about what worked really well in your studio, and also what could be improved. Make a list of the activities/events/resources that were great, and a list of ideas you’d like to try next time around. Naturally I use Evernote for this!
This year one of my favourite activities for the lead up to the holidays was the week of Lucky Break Lessons. I’m thinking of making this a Christmas tradition! An area that could do with some improvement is incorporating more seasonal activities (I dropped the ball on this one this year!). I love these suggestions for fun Christmas activities from Mallory’s Music Studio.
2. Organise Your Space
It’s time to pack away the Christmas decorations and get your studio organised! Break tasks down into manageable steps to make it less overwhelming, schedule in some time to get it done, and think about a way to treat yo self once you’ve finished.
If you don’t know where to begin, then here are a few ideas:
- Find a better system for organising theory games, or if you’ve already got a good method (like this!) then make sure all the games are stored in the right place.
- Print/laminate/bind the digital resources and music you’ve bought and forgotten about.
- Find a storage solution for the more random teaching paraphernalia (game pieces, iwako erasers, washi tape). I got some drawers like these a few months ago, and love them!
- Create or update student folders.
- Sort through all (!) sheet music and books. This can be a mammoth task, so make sure to pace yourself!
3. Take Time to Plan
Having a break from lessons is the perfect time to work ON your studio instead of IN your studio. Brainstorm some business goals, map out important events and activities happening over the next year, and spend some time dreaming and planning. If you’d like some inspiration then check out Joy’s post on identifying your ideal piano teacher life at Color In My Piano.
This is also a good opportunity to get ahead with lesson planning. If you ever struggle with trying to fit everything in then you might like to try my lesson planning template. It makes it super easy to choose lesson activities and is available in the Free Resource Library.
4. Have an Event to Look Forward To
With all the excitement in the lead-up to Christmas, getting back to regular life (and regular music lessons!) can seem a little dull. Having something else to look forward to can help with that post-holiday slump. Here are a few ideas for events that students will love:
- Host a Bring a Friend week
- Plan a themed group lesson (I can help with that!)
- Try having a Topsy Turvey week
- Plan a field trip to a concert
- Start a Piano Club
- Organise a performance at a local rest home/school/community group
5. Try Something New
Challenge your students (or yourself!) to try something new in the next couple of months. It could be small, like a new theory game, or big, like adding a music lab. Choose something exciting and go for it!
There are lots of great ideas for music incentive programmes, whether you want something short term or long term. Do you want to focus on practice? Your students might want to Become a Musical Superhero. Is building repertoire a focus? A 30 Piece Challenge might be perfect. Do you want a longer incentive to keep your students motivated? Check out Musical Monster Mania.
New Lesson Resource
There are so many amazing music teaching resources around. I frequently have to put myself on resource-buying-bans or I would probably buy every single one of them! Here are some that are definitely worth a look if you’re ready to add something new to your studio:
- Piano Game Club
- Music Educator Resources
- Vibrant Music Teachers
- Supersonics Piano
- Compose Create
- Piano Book Club
- Melody Payne
- Susan Paradis
- Piano Safari
New Lesson Format
If the standard 30 or 40 minute individual lesson is perfect for your studio, that’s great! But if you’d like to mix things up a bit there are some great alternatives. One easy update is to have group lessons instead of regular lessons one week of every month (or alternate month). It might just end up being your students favourite week!
Another fun option is to have lesson times overlap for 15 to 20 minutes, so two students can work together. Nicola from Colourful Keys has some wonderful ideas for these Buddy Lessons. Or you could add a Music Lab so students have some dedicated time for theory and technology. If you’re wondering how to get started then Jennifer’s Free Music Lab Course has everything you need to know.
Don’t miss the rest of the posts in the 12 Days of Christmas, Piano Teacher Edition.
Check out all the posts in the 12 Days of Christmas series here:
- Stay Focussed and Productive with the Power of 1 at Colourful Keys
- 2 Things Every Music Teacher Should Do Over Their Break at Mallory’s Music Studio
- 3 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress This Year at Music Educator Resources
- 4 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Studio! at Violin Judy
- 5 Ways to Reset Your Music Studio After the Holidays at Pianosaurus Rex
- 6 Things That Should Happen at a First Piano Lesson at A Very Piano Blog
- 7 Tax Deductions for Music Teachers at Sara’s Music Studio
- 8 Questions to Bring Your Studio into the New Year at FunKey Music
- 9 Ways to Increase Your Studio Retention at Woods Piano Studio
- 10 Impressive Benefits of Learning Piano by Ear at Piano Picnic