The beginning of the school year always seems to bring a lot of drastic and unplanned changes to my teaching schedule. Although we frequently spend hours ( or at least I do) obsessing over the most efficient teaching schedule to maximize the number students, and minimize travel, something always seems to come up in the first week. Many times this week I have received the following emails:
“Our student has quit band, we forgot to tell you”
“Our student no longer wants lessons”
“We have moved to another school”
“We can no longer afford lessons for our student”
If this were to occur in the middle of the school year, it would definitely create a gap in my daily teaching schedule at least for some time, but, luckily the beginning of the year is a great time to re load when it comes to your studio.
I have found emailing the parents of beginner students is usually a successful strategy when it comes to filling in holes in your schedule. Usually beginners are quite excited about instruction and this can provide a smooth transition in your schedule, so you do not miss a week of work at that specific time slot. Additionally you may try coming into their band class and doing a short performance to drum up interest.
Also, in the beginning of the year I like to avoid telling a student I cannot fit them in the schedule until I have a concrete understanding of what my schedule looks like. For me, this usually takes about one or two weeks. Often times when students drop you can reexamine your schedule and find moving a few during the school day lessons around can often times erase any gaps that can pop up, and simultaneously allow you to create time for students you were not sure would previously fit.
Rubank Elementary Method – Saxophone
Edited by N.W. Hovey. For Saxophone. Concert Band Method. Elementary Method. Instructional. Instructional book. Illustrations. 48 pages. Rubank Publications #RUBL41. Published by Rubank Publications (HL.4470030).
Music studio teacher is back from our summer vacation and ready to gear up for a new school year of private lesson teaching. Here are three things to consider when planning for the start of school:
Make sure to create your schedule and send proposed times out to all students with plenty of advanced notice. You need to allow enough time so that students could get back to you with potential conflicts, and alternate times could be provided, before school starts. Once the first day of school comes, if your schedule is not set you could be losing money.
The fall for my studio means students are working on their all region audition. Whatever the equivalent is in your studio, it is possible that your students may forget to bring the prescribed music to lessons, especially in the first lesson of the year. For this reason I scan all these excerpts and put them on my iPad, so that lessons can continue smoothly even if a student forgets his music.
The beginning of the year is a good time to revise your studio policy and send it out to all students as a friendly reminder about payment, etc. Also, you should take proactive steps to seek out and complete all paperwork required for background checks or school badges needed for the start of the school year.
Sonata No. 3
(Alto Sax and Piano). Composed by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). Arranged by Sigurd Rascher. For Piano, Alto Saxophone (Alto Sax). Woodwind Solo. Baroque. Difficulty: medium. Set of performance parts (includes separate pull-out saxophone part). Solo part and piano accompaniment. 11 pages. Published by Warner/Chappell Music (HL.347808).