Program Development

By Alyssa Cowell We offer formal vocal training at The Catoctin School of Music. Many times students sign up for voice lessons expecting to learn a new song every week, or practice singing songs that they hear on YouTube or Spotify. This is not the purpose of voice lessons. Formal vocal training is all about evaluating a student’s current vocal technique and teaching them to change...

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music workshopAs a piano teacher, the bulk of my job is offering weekly lessons to my students. But if I stopped at that, I wouldn’t be setting my studio apart in my community or creating a wholistic learning experience for students of my studio.

Yes, learning technique, repertoire and theory on a weekly basis is of the utmost important. But I also need to provide my students with opportunities to perform, compete, create and engage with other music students and music professionals and in doing so, expose them to a variety of things within my scope. This creates well-rounded, motivated students and lets my students, their families and the community know that I am an active and thriving studio.

Here are some suggestions for things we can offer to our students that go above and beyond weekly lessons:

practicingWith a new school year in full swing, fall is a great time to motivate students and build strong practice habits. Many students are new and are highly motivated and looking for guidance. Returning students might feel renewed to do better than last year, perhaps re-energized after a summer off.

Capitalize on this “new year” mentality! Here are some ideas for setting up incentives and goals for the first few month’s of your students school year:

For the past 5+ years, I have run a fairly large studio out of my home. In that time, I've contracted another instructor who traveled to her students, while still maintaining a long waiting list. This winter, the two of us began toying with the idea of partnering to expand the studio and eventually hire another instructor. The idea became a reality a few months later...

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Ready. Set. Go! It’s that time of year. For me, there is only one more week until lessons resume. If you haven’t done so already, you, like me, are probably in the middle of scheduling all of your lesson times for the fall. I dread this time of year. Even though I take the month of August off, it is always a monumental task to find the perfect time for each and every student. The problem is that most of the time I spend way too much time worrying and stressing about it rather than just getting it done! I would rather be out enjoying the last rays of summer, but my fun is spoiled with all that is left undone.