Last month, I shared with you that I’m taking the summer off for maternity leave. My baby was born a little over two weeks ago, and since that day, he has been my #1 priority.
But that doesn’t mean my students are “out of sight, out of mind” for the next two months. The last thing I want is for them to return in September after an entire summer without contact from their music teacher.
I think it’s important to keep the lines of communication open so that not only are they are reminded to keep up their studies, but also to keep up that connection we share during the rest of the year.
My students and their families were understandably interested in my baby’s progress throughout my pregnancy, and it was a frequent topic of conversation during lessons. So one of the first emails I sent after his birth was a studio-wide announcement — this simple gesture kept them in the loop, and it was so nice to read all the feedback from the families I see on a weekly basis.
No matter what the reason for studio downtime, it’s easy to send a quick email update every now and then. I did the same thing during my extended European vacation last summer.
The same idea applies to social media, as well. If you have a Facebook page or Twitter account for your studio, you can easily reach everyone at the same time by posting a status update or link. I wrote a blog post to share my news, and then included a link via social media. Though this isn’t as personal as an email, it’s not as time-consuming (and as a new mom, I’ve learned that I don’t have much time to do anything that isn’t baby-related!).
There are other ways I’m staying in touch with my students and helping them to keep up their musical progress during the break. These include sending music theory handouts and worksheets, repertoire recommendations, practice tips and encouragement to do so on a regular basis.
Three months is a LONG time to experience studio downtime, and it has been an adjustment thus far. Staying in touch has been essential, and I will be finding even more ways of doing so throughout the remainder of the summer. If you have tips to share for handling extended studio downtime, please share them in the comments!