performance Tag

blogOwning your own studio can be a bit lonely.  Especially if your studio is small, and you don’t have other employees and aides with whom you interact regularly.  But being a studio owner doesn’t need to be isolating.  There are many professional organizations out there that can provide opportunities for comraderie and collaboration and the reasons to join them are many.

Networking

When I first knew our family would be moving, I contacted the president of the local music teachers organization from the area where we were relocating.  When I got to town, I had coffee with her and discussed ways to get started with students.  She was incredibly helpful in helping me understand the market in my new town, and since her studio was full, she referred three students my way.  Through word of mouth, these three students grew to twelve students in a few short months.  Another teacher in our organization gave my name out to a local school, where I also picked up several students.  I have done my best to pay it forward; now that I have a waiting list, I have sent students to new teachers in our group and I know that they, too, have been grateful for the referrals.  It is my experience that teachers in these groups want to support one another and help each other grow their studios whenever possible.

DSC06240 copyMany years ago I instituted a policy in my studio about playing in outside ensembles. The policy states that beginning in 6th grade, every student must commit to a weekly ensemble experience outside of lessons and group classes (my core program includes a weekly private lesson and bi-weekly flute group classes). School band or orchestra, local area chamber music, youth symphony or wind ensemble, even a group of kids forming a rock band that agrees to meet regularly, all ensemble opportunities “count”.

Two common struggles of teachers/studio owners are motivating students and keeping students long-term.   These are, of course, related to each other.  A student who isn’t motivated to practice his instrument probably isn’t enjoying the experience and isn’t progrPejman-Recital-Hollandessing, and it’s likely that it won’t be long before his family feels the investment is a waste of money and decides to pull their child out of lessons. 

That said, I’ve never been one to implement reward programs to try to motivate a student.  I’ve known teachers who provide prizes or even monetary rewards for students who practice a certain number of times per week, but in my experience these can be ineffective and expensive.  Instead, I have found that providing students with performance opportunities motivates students to practice and in doing so, helps encourage a long-term relationship with the student and his family.

Carnegie hall Attention: Music Teachers! Do you know how your students can get to Carnegie Hall? Of course they have to “practice, practice, practice,” but you can increase their chances by recommending that they participate in The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program (TAP for short).

WHAT is it?

TAP provides a recognized national standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels. First of all, a bit of recent history: last year The Royal Conservatory Program partnered with Carnegie Hall to create TAP. Prior to TAP, the program here in the United States was formerly called The National Music Certificate Program (NMCP) and before that, The Royal American Conservatory Examinations (RACE). Though it is fairly new here, the Royal Conservatory was founded in 1886 as the Toronto Conservatory of Music. Interestingly, its founder, Edward Fisher, was a young organist born in the U.S. The Conservatory offically opened in September of 1887 and is now celebrating its 125th year. The mission of The Royal Conservatory is “to develop human potential through music and the arts.” Notable alumni include Glenn Gould who graduated from the Conservatory with highest honors at age 12.

TAP encompasses four main areas: repertoire, technique, musicianship, and musical literacy. The program covers all instruments, voice, and the academic areas of theory, music history, and pedagogy. The Piano Syllabus consists of ten Grades with a theory assessment requirement beginning at Grade 5. Included also are elementary and intermediate piano pedagogy, as well as diplomas in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy.

Spring Means Performances Giving your students the opportunity to perform is a great way to highlight progress, in addition to getting parents and others out to see what is happening at your studio. This article will touch on ways you might organize the recital as an opportunity to promote your studio, and to encourage and inspire your students. They are, after all, the reason your studio...

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