It’s September, and chances are, you’re kicking off a new year at your studio! Perhaps you have a group of enthusiastic new students, an amazing group of skilled returning students — or a blend of both. Whatever the makeup of your student load for the year, it’s important to set them up for a successful year of progress and enjoyment. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Communicate your expectations to your students and their families. Do you have minimum practice requirements? Do you expect parents to participate in lessons and/or practices at home? Include these expectations in your studio policy and then remind returning students — who haven’t seen your policy in awhile! — through an e-mail or newsletter at the beginning of the year.
- Put an event on the calendar. Whether it’s a December recital or a January masterclass, having something on the calendar gives students and their families an event to look forward to and work toward.
- Put together incentives or achievement programs. The past few years, I have put together long-term practice goals for my students. Students who achieve the goals are awarded a trophy during our final piano recital in May. Make sure whatever incentive you do is affordable to you and also achievable for your students, while still requiring them to work hard to meet their goal!
- Find a fun piece to kick of the year with! Sure, your students need to get back to scales and arpeggios, but maybe there is a really fun piece that they could start with that is enjoyable to play and helps them feel good about their abilities — not something that will take them ’til Christmas to learn.
From my studio to yours, wishing you a fabulous year of teaching!