A teacher recently posted on Facebook:
I am starting to plan my first week-long (5 days) Music Summer Camp ever and I'm a little (ok...a lot!) nervous about it! I'm looking for some insight and advice on how to run a wonderful, fun music camp.
It made me think back to my first summer camp. Between you and me, I was pretty nervous:
Fortunately I got over my fears and overall my camp was a huge success:
But it was far from perfect.
This week I'm writing a series about my 3 BIG rookie mistakes. Today's post covers Mistake #1 AND how you can set yourself up for success!
MISTAKE #1 - MY CAMP WAS TOO BIG
For that first summer camp, I went all out. I packed 12 kids into my 2-room studio. Not only did I have a huge group, they stayed a long time - 5 HOURS a day for a FULL WEEK!
Yep - I went a little....overboard.
I'll give myself credit for being organized.
But at the end of the day - it was too many students for my first camp. And definitely too long.
DO THIS INSTEAD
I would have saved myself a lot of stress if I had:
In the end, I think I could have earned the same income, but with a LOT less stress!
A SNEAK PEEK AT MISTAKE #2
Make sure you come back tomorrow. I'll share with you the big mistake I made with planning camp activities and what you should to do differently.
(And don't forget about the Free Group Coaching Bonus that comes with Group Lessons 101. Valid only if you register by 3/31/18.)
OTHER CAMP POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY
I'm a big fan of digital music. It's a great way to customize the lesson for students and I love the convenience of immediate access to songs.
My go-to sites for digital music are Piano Pronto, Supersonics Piano, and Sheet Music Plus.
But just a couple weeks ago, I discovered a new online source of music - PracticeHabits Membership Community.
The music is beautiful. The website is easy to use. And best of all? It's a great value!
For a small monthly fee, you get:
I know what you're thinking - Are there any downsides?
Honestly, not really. If I had to pick one con - it would be that you can't view the music before you download it. BUT - you can listen to the song AND you can easily download it - for free, with your monthly membership. So it's really no big deal that you can't see it first.
Want a sneak peek inside? Okay! Founder, Chris Owenby, gave me permission to show you around. Check out the video below!
(Bonus! Christ gave me a coupon to share with you. Use the code "Tracy" at checkout to get 20% off your membership!)
Don't forget to get your discount!
Just use "Tracy" at checkout to get your 20% off!
Are you a member of the practicehabits community?
I'd love to know what songs are your favorites! Let me know in the comments!
At some point - we all need more income.
Just a few years ago, I was in this situation. Within a very short span of time, our dog had expensive (!) medical problems, my husband took a significant pay cut, and my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was completely overwhelming.
While I was grateful that our dog made it through, my husband didn't lose his job, and our son was still alive, it was absolutely one of the hardest times in my life. Both emotionally and financially.
I remember one day, finishing up a piano lesson, and feeling good that something was going right. My students were doing fantastic and it felt like I was making a difference in their lives. Plus - I was having fun!
At that very moment that I decided I needed to transition from "hobby to career." Seriously - I remember actually making a decision. I just "decided" and then I got to work.
You can do it too!
I know it's only January, but NOW is the time to start crafting a plan if you want to earn more money this summer.
Here are 4 things you can do to UP your income:
1. Start a referral policy
When I needed to get more money, the first thing I did was enlist the help of my current families by offering a referral credit.
But there was a twist.
Parents are busy. They won't hurry to pass your name around unless you give them a really, REALLY great incentive.
This blog post details exactly how I made a referral policy work for me. Try it. You have nothing to lose.
2. Offer summer Camps
Parents want their kids to do fun activities during the summer. Why not offer a piano camp? It's fun AND educational.
Better yet - If you offer a MUSIC camp instead of a piano camp, your students could bring a friend and you could really UP your profit. (Some of those kids might have so much fun that they actually register for piano lessons.)
Check out this post and this post for tips on how to have a successful summer camp. (And of course this is a wonderful resource!)
3. Teach online lessons
You probably know that online lessons are great for make-ups, but they're also a fantastic way to build your studio.
With the power of the internet, you can literally teach students across the globe!
One warning - Don't fall into that trap of thinking you should charge less money for online lessons. Why would you? You still have the same qualifications, lessons are the same amount of time, and you're teaching the same material. Don't lower your rate. In fact.....
You might consider charging a higher rate. That's what I'm doing right now. Yep, my Skype-only students actually pay MORE.
Why? When I lived in Dallas, my rates were higher. After we moved to a smaller city, I needed to lower my lesson fees, but I kept my Dallas students at the same rate even though they transitioned to online lessons.
Online lessons could certainly be a game-changer if you need more money. Definitely consider this option if you want to build your business.
(If you're uncomfortable with this, Teaching Online Lessons will get you up and going in no time!)
4. Consider adding Lab time
Piano labs are a win for everyone. YOU earn extra money, while your students get more learning time.
All too often, teachers rule out piano labs because they worry it'll cost too much to implement. That's not the case at all!
The truth is that labs can add extra income - with no extra time or expense on your part. Learn all about here.
BoNUS IDEA - CONSIDER TEACHING PRESCHOOLERS
Adding preschoolers is a great way to UP your income - both now AND in the future. Remember, if you are successful with those young kids, you can move them right into your piano studio. And hopefully keep them for years to come!
If you're serious about making more income in 2019, I hope these ideas help you out. Remember - NOW is the time to start making plans. Summer will be here before you know it!
Catch our Valentine's Day sale now!
Confession: When I was first presented the opportunity to teach online piano lessons - I said no.
And I almost lost my entire studio because of it.
Here's what happened. My husband got a job in another city and suddenly I was faced with a choice. I could start doing online lessons or lose all my students.
My first instinct was to say no to online teaching and that's exactly what I did. Truthfully, I was scared to death and felt really clueless in this area, so yes - I told all of my families to find a new teacher.
But as our move date got closer, I had second thoughts. My heart was so sad at losing those students - I'd spent YEARS teaching many of them.
So....I got brave. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and figure out how to teach online lessons.
I did it and you can too! (How? Check out the Upbeat Online Lesson Academy.)
Here are 7 reasons to consider adding this option to your studio:
1. Bad weather days.
We all have them at some point. Some areas get pounded with snow, many locations have tornadoes, while other places shut down with a heavy rain. Online lessons are a great solution to bad weather days.
2. Your student is sick.
We've all had students who have a little cold or a slight fever, but they still FEEL okay.
This is the perfect time to teach an online lesson! Kids don't bring germs into your studio AND they still get their lesson in.
(When students are simply too ill for a lesson, video lessons can be a great alternative to watch when your student feels better.)
3. Your student's sibling or parent is sick.
Ever had a cancellation because your student's mom is sick and can't drive? Or maybe your student has a brother who's ill and the parent has to stay home? Online lessons to the rescue!
4. You're sick.
What about those days that YOU'RE a little under the weather? Perhaps you FEEL okay, but don't want to risk getting your students sick. Online lessons are a great solution.
5. Your student's family has a conflict.
We've all had families with 2 kids who need to be in 2 different places at the same time!
This is the case with one of my current families. The mom absolutely loves being able to leave my student at home for her online lesson while the mom takes her other child to soccer practice!
Convenience is a big plus for many parents.
6. Your student moves.
People are transferred all the time. When your student moves to another state, you'll be grateful you can offer this option! I know I was.
7. You want more income.
If you need more money and you live in a small town, online teaching could be the perfect solution. It's a smart way to build your studio!
Bonus Reason - Your own child is sick.
When my son was younger, there were many times that he got sick and I had to cancel lessons. If I'd known how to do online lessons then, I would have saved myself a lot of time and money.
Registration is NOW OPEN for Online Lesson Academy!
Sara Campbell and I are SO excited about this coaching group because we're offering more than just action steps. Our goal is to give you real help and accountability. We'll make sure that you AND your families feel equipped to have successful online lessons!
In the Online Lesson Academy, you'll learn everything you need to succeed in this area: equipment, set-up, policies, teaching tips - we’re going to cover it ALL. We’re also including plenty of templates for you AND your parents.
Our goal is to make adding online lessons easier than you ever dreamed.
Register now - Registration closes soon! We'd love to have you join us!
Those of you who know me know I LOVE learning about productivity and planning. (That's one reason Sara and I offer our Planning Academy for Piano Teachers.)
I'm ALL about finding ways to maximize my time, so I can enjoy more time on the things that matter - my family and friend. Yes, teaching is fun, but I really want to enjoy life outside of piano too.
That's why I'm SO excited about this new productivity course from Crystal Paine. You've probably heard me talk about her before. I absolutely LOVE her courses (especially Make Over Your Mornings. I have no doubt this one will be great as well. (And the whole course is only $17!)
Best of all? if you register now to get on the waiting list - you get exclusive freebies!
I just signed up! Have you?
The course starts on January 1 and includes:
I'm SO excited and I'd love to have you join me! Let me know if you register!
I'll start with a confession: Sometimes I run out of time for theory.
Don't judge me.
Actually, I'm hoping you'll sympathize. Surely I'm not alone!
As you know, trying to fit everything into a 30-minute lesson is nearly impossible.
Of course, I do have some students who take 45-minute lessons and WOW! It's fantastic. That little extra time makes a world of difference.
Unfortunately, I can't move everyone to a 45-minute lesson. At least not right now. But let me tell you, this is definitely in my future plans!
In the meantime, I'm going to try a new idea this semester and see how it works.
What I'm Doing Now
Here's another confession: I don't have a specific routine for theory.
Maybe that's the problem. I'm definitely a "planner-checkbox-kind-of-gal" and I think it's time to get a more intentional plan of action in this area.
Right now, I tend to discuss theory concepts when they come up in music. (My preferred method is Piano Pronto.) And of course, I love playing games with students. So yes, I'm covering the basics, but I think my students would benefit from a deeper focus.
(And then I can check off that box. Because again, the planner in me needs that!)
Hello "Theory Week"
Instead of "squeezing in" theory here and there, I'm going to devote a full lesson to theory once a month. So 3 weeks out of the month will be learning music as usual and one week will be focused on theory.
I'm guessing we'll still be at the piano quite a bit that week, but it'll be looking at music from a "theory perspective" as opposed to simply learning another song.
I've heard other teachers do this with great success and I'm excited to try it out. (If you've done this, I'd love to hear any suggestions and/or advice.)
After all, experimenting is good. Sometimes we'll discover a solution that works great. Other times, our idea will completely flop! But if we never explore, we'll never know. (This book really helped me apply that concept to my studio.)
What Will My Students Think?
Honestly, I'm not sure how kids will react to this idea. You know I'll do my best to keep "theory week" fun and engaging - hopefully students will enjoy the change of pace.
I'll keep you posted.
Are you a planner like me?
Finding more time for theory really boils down to a time management issue, right? If you're looking for more ways to maximize your time management outside of lessons - I think you'll love this new productivity course from Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom.
You even get a cute printable just for getting on the waiting list!
4 Weeks to a More Productive Life starts on January 1st and costs less than $20. Included with that price you get:
Other Posts You Might Enjoy
3 Reasons to Play Games to Start a Lesson
4 Ways to Improve Your Studio When You Don't Know Where to Start
10 Ways to Reset When You Don't Feel Like Teaching
Hi there! I'm Tracy Selle. A Christian wife, mom, and author of 101 Piano Practice Tips. I'm also a piano teacher and founder of Upbeat Piano Teachers.