Written by & under performance.

Preparing for the New YearEvery year, I take a two-week break in December so that both my students and I can enjoy the holidays with our families. After several months of hard work, we all need that time off to recharge our batteries.

But for me, the winter vacation isn’t all play and no work. While I don’t actually see students during this time, there are some important things I do in order to ready my studio, my students, and myself for the upcoming new year.

The first thing I do is physically clean out my studio space. This includes going through my music with a fine-tooth comb: reorganizing, donating, and replenishing my stash so that I actually enjoy (rather than dread) looking for new pieces with my students. I also clean out my storage closets, rotate student artwork that is displayed in my studio, and liven up my waiting room with a new plant or piece of decor.

Next, I take to my social media accounts and reach out to followers with holiday well wishes and year-end messages. Not only is this a nice way to connect, but it’s also a reminder of my studio (read: marketing opportunity).

But even more crucial is reaching out to my students and their families. Just before the new year, I always send an email thanking everyone for all their hard work and sharing some highlights from the previous year. Past successes are excellent motivators, especially since January is crunch time for my students who participate in Festival the following month.

Last but not least, I set my own goals for the upcoming year. What do I want 2014 to look like in terms of scheduling, financially, musically? I have a running list of goals for my studio in the notes app on my iPhone, because I like to refer to it often and stay accountable.

All that being said, there’s no better way to recharge for a brand new year than to relax and enjoy at least a few non-work days. Now that I have completed these preparations, I’m off to Florida with my family to ring in 2014. My hope is that I come back to work on January 6th feeling energized and ready to dive in full force!

How do YOU prepare your studio for a new year?