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.