Anti-Nightmare Recital Preparation

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by Kate Powell One of the most time-consuming and difficult tasks in running a studio is planning recitals. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a studio of 20 or 200, there’s just something about event planning that brings out the craziest situations and most harrowing ordeals. I’ve compiled a list of ways to keep yourself… Read more »

10 Steps to Organize a Masterclass in Your Studio

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In a recent post, The Masterclass: Then and Now, I discussed the purpose and importance of a Masterclass. Masterclasses are an integral part of my studio and I usually hold two or three per studio year. I enjoy the benefits of having my teaching validated by another colleague and it is so helpful for students… Read more »

Changing and Enforcing New Policies

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Well, I finally did something I have been wringing my hands over for a long time. I made a couple dramatic changes to my studio policies. For several months before making the decision, I kept finding myself frustrated and feeling like a push over. Why? Well, the main problem was my payment policy. I had… Read more »

What’s Your Attendance Policy

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Instead of a typical informative blog post, I want to ask readers a question: What’s your attendance policy? Everyone is different. I’m curious about how others do it. What works best for you? What have been some mistakes you made and learned from in the past? Currently, my policy is students pay me at the… Read more »

Parents in Lessons

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By Julia Kossuth As the school year gets underway and both old and new faces begin to arrive in the studio each week, the individual—yet ever changing—dynamic with each student and their teacher begins to set in. One situation that tends to occur at least a few times with every new set of students is… Read more »

Minimizing Early Dropouts

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You can pick out the family within a few minutes of conversation — the kind who tells you they’re looking to “give piano/violin/dance/etc. a try”. They don’t give the impression of being overly-committed, and within a few months — when repertoire starts to become more challenging or when the exciting “newness” wears off, the student… Read more »

Interviewing Prospective Students – Part 2

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Interviewing the Transfer Student The interview process for the transfer student provides a window of opportunity. First, to see if your studio is the right fit. Second, to assess skills and knowledge, and third, a great way to start planning curriculum if it turns out to be a good fit! I have developed a form… Read more »

Practice, practice, practice!

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By Meridith Johnson Practicing.  This topic seems to be highly debated over the years under the umbrella of music education.  With so many different opinions and approaches, what is the best policy or view of practicing? How much should we as teachers require our students to practice?  Or what about students who put too much… Read more »

Interviewing Prospective Students – Part 1

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In a recent blog, I discussed the phone interview. The next step is to meet face to face. Before I accept a student, I always meet with both parent and student in person. Whether you call it a consultation, initial mini-lesson or interview, this meeting is a crucial part of my studio procedures. It is… Read more »

Evaluating Yourself as a Teacher

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Last month I wrote about how I use my completely non-professional equipment (as in iPhone) to record my students playing and allow them to hear mistakes, or record myself playing a passage they struggle with so they have a sample for home practice. I recently decided to use recording technology to record a few lessons… Read more »