farmers marketYou’ve finished your last lessons of the school year, thrown together a final recital and are ready to take a breather from all things studio-related. Rest and rejuvenation are important for studio owners, but don’t put your studio work on the shelf for too long — summer is a great time for advertisement and provides many opportunities to get your studio name into the community.

Here are just a few reasons the summer is a good time to advertise:

  • Parents have completed many activities from the previous school year and are beginning to think about what extra-curriculars they wish to enroll their child in for the fall.
  • As students move, graduate or decide to pursue another activity — you may lose some of your currently enrolled students at the end of the school year and need to replace their spots to maintain your current income.
  • Getting your name into the community during the summer helps current families along with your community see you as an active studio owner.

summercampThis year I will be offering my third summer camp at my studio. The past two years, my camps have been small. I’ve only opened camp up to current students already taking from my studio — more as an encouragement to keep them learning during the summer months. I would see six students at a time in my group studio at my house, offering 1.5 hour camps throughout the day for students.

This year, I’m going full throttle, offering a half day camp for the entire community. I’m renting a venue, hiring helpers and advertising. I’m nervous, but I’m also super excited. Here are some things I’ve had to spend the last few months thinking through in order to plan my summer camp:

  I have been meaning to start a newsletter for my studio, because it's a great way to stay connected and give information. Also- it makes you look extra professional. I sampled a few programs, including some paid ones, but I ended up going with Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp is free if you send less than 1,000 emails a month, so that's a great bonus. I...

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I know it’s only March, but I like to take advantage of the time off during spring break to begin planning my studio summer camp so that I can begin advertising in April. (And I can’t exactly advertise unless I know what it IS that I’m advertising.) In years past, I’ve offered camps where I work with one group (based on age/ability) for a couple of hours a day for the week. This year, I’m expanding my camp and bringing in a large group of all ages and abilities at the same time, dividing them up into smaller groups and hiring older, advanced students to oversee crafts and activities while I take turns working with students in the lesson portion of camps.

There are so many fantastic resources available for teachers and studio owners in the way of innovative crafts and musical activities. I’ve reached out to a talented group of bloggers from the Kid Blogger Network and rounded up some of their fabulous teaching ideas to provide a helpful, go-to list for crafts and activities as you work on your summer camp schedule:

lazyIs it just me, or do students seriously start lacking some motivation during the winter months? The “newness” of the year has worn off, holiday recitals are behind them, and the end-of-the-year spring recital is too far in the distance to really care much.

It’s frustrating for teachers.

So how do we as studio owners motivate our students and keep them moving forward instead of getting stuck in a rut? Here’s a few ideas:

  • Plan a winter event. It can be something informal and more laid-back, but still give your students something to work towards. Ask a local coffee shop if you can bring in a digital piano and have some students play their favorite pieces one evening, or talk to the library about having your dance students perform a number in the children’s section.