Program Development

Since I first opened my studio back in 2007, I had a “no weekends” policy. I’ve had families ask about Saturday and Sunday lessons and music therapy sessions, but I always stood firm that I would limit my work week to 5 days. Until now.

The thing is, Sunday has never really served as a day of rest for me. After choir practice and church in the morning, I usually come home and work on a songwriting/recording project or prepare lesson and session materials, which works out nicely since my husband is usually busy watching football anyway. And on most Sundays, I head back to church in the late afternoon to teach my early childhood music class. So even though my studio was never open for business on this day in the past, I still was always in work mode.

This summer as I was planning my studio schedule, I realized that something would have to give. With a full load of students and no plans to downsize, my choices were to either work well into the night — 8:30 pm on most evenings — or open up a couple hours on Sundays (Saturdays will always be off the table).


The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. – William Arthur Ward

As summer draws to a close, I reflect on my studio goals for the coming year. September always provides an opportunity to begin anew! This year, I will strive to empower students to be accountable for their own learning. As the above quote states, the most effective teaching is that which inspires the learner. I would like to inspire my students to learn, not for me or for their parents, but for themselves. A tall order. For the students that already have a passion for music, this is easy. My job is simply to keep that flame glowing by assigning appropriate repertoire and challenges. For others, however, it can be difficult to ignite that spark.

Secret Weapons for ProductivityI’m on maternity leave this summer, so my studio is currently closed and I’m not teaching students. However, I’m still running my resource website for music teachers and therapists as well as doing lots of planning for the fall session, so that in combination with a brand new baby means I have to be super productive when actually have a few minutes to devote to my work.

Luckily, I have a few tricks and tips that I rely on when it’s time to get into gear, and since I know that running a studio involves lots of administrative work, I thought I’d share some with you.

TransferInterviewing 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 I use with a list of activities as well as questions that include the obvious (name, age, date of birth, grade in school, and school that they attend). I take notes on this form so that I can refer back to it later. After the initial questions have been asked, I launch into the following assessment activities.

by Eric Nanz My name is Eric and I teach Praise and Worship classes through The Catoctin School of Music.  I am excited to talk about the joy that comes with playing music for God.  But to start with, let’s ask the big question…why should we play music to bring glory to God and not to ourselves?  I mean after all, as musicians we’re pretty awesome...

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