Program Development

Every March, I attend the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Conference to refuel, recharge and reinvigorate my studio and my teaching. After a particularly brutal winter, I found myself frazzled, stressed and on the brink of Teacher Burnout!! Thankfully, I had scheduled time off to attend this year’s conference in the “windy city” of Chicago. The trip was just what I needed to replenish my energy, giving me a fresh perspective as well as gratitude for all that I do have!

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:

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 to hear the some of the same ideas reinforced...

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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.

Reignite the SparkNo matter how successful, motivated, and passionate you are when it comes to your career as a studio owner, it’s inevitable: at some point, you’ll need to add some fuel to the fire that drives your work.

Maybe you’re undergoing a shift in your personal life, or feeling burnt out, or just fighting a case of the winter doldrums. In any case, here are some ideas for reigniting the spark that made you fall in love with teaching in the first place.