If you're a piano mom, trying to balance work and family, you'll love these practical ideas. They're from my newest webinar, Upbeat Moms (Get $20 OFF now!)
Upbeat Moms is all about balancing work and family. Because let's face it. Parenting is hard enough. Add in a business and it can feel overwhelming.
But it doesn't have to be that way!
Here are a couple strategies that experts discussed in Upbeat Moms. I just couldn't wait to share them with you!
1. CREATE "BUFFER TIME"
Most of the moms that I interviewed for my new webinar said this is the number one way they're able to balance work and family.
Instead of diving into lessons as soon as school lets out, they reserve the first lesson spot for their very own kids.
That's right! The valuable afternoon time that every parent wants is put on hold for 30 minutes while these teachers enjoy their kids. They have a snack together and get all the scoop from school.
As one expert put it..."If you wait 3 hours to talk with your children, they'll have forgotten everything they wanted to tell you!" Isn't that a great quote? If you're a mom - you know it's true!
After your quality time together, you can launch into teaching - guilt free!
By the way - all the teachers had a different name for it:
It doesn't matter what you call it, but the Upbeat Moms experts say it's improved their family life - BIG TIME!
If you're struggling to balance work and family, give it a try this fall. Maybe it'll help you too!
2. BEFORE YOU CREATE STUDIO POLICIES AND SCHEDULES, CREATE FAMILY PRIORITIES
Most piano teachers agree that it's necessary to have studio policies. Not only do your families need to know what's expected, you also don't want anyone taking advantage of you. It's protection that goes both ways, right?
Your family deserves the same attention. Set those priorities first.
What's important to your husband? What matters to your kids? How can you set your schedule around those things? The answer will be different for all of us. I'm not saying it'll be easy, but I guarantee it'll be worth it.
Best of all? By setting family priorities, you can let go of the guilt. You'll have peace knowing that your family's needs are being met. It'll be a weight off your shoulders.
BONUS TIP: THEY LEARN TO SAY "YES" TO WHAT'S IMPORTANT
Last year I blogged about entering my son's final year of high school. Because I wanted to treasure that time, I made some big changes. You can read all about it here.
Just yesterday I posted the update. What a year it's been! Matthew's headed off to college next month (Eek!) and I'm SO thankful I said YES to what really matters. You can do it too!
Upbeat Moms is all about helping you make smart choices with confidence. I go behind the scenes with your favorite piano teachers! (Click here to get $20 OFF!)
You'll hear from older moms who are now empty nesters. How did they make it all work? What do they regret?
You'll also hear from younger moms who are right in the middle of it all. What's working for them?
You'll be able choose the ideas that'll work best for your family. If your decisions reflect your top priorities, you can let go of the overwhelm. And that's something we all want!
Going after goals isn't easy, but hey - you can definitely increase your odds of getting there faster. Yay! ✅ Start practicing these simple steps and you'll bust out your goals in no time!
Let's get right to it!
1. STOP FOCUSING ON RESULTS
Gasp! But what about goal setting?! Can't I think about that?
Stay with me - I'm not saying to ignore results. In fact, I always START there during the planning stage. BUT... once the planning is done, it's time to shift gears and think about RESULTS.
Real success comes when you get laser-focused on the actual PROCESS of reaching your goals.
Here's where it gets exciting! Let's take a real-life example that all of us are familiar with: Going to the dentist.
No one wants cavities. Or a root canal. Just the thought is painful! Yikes! 😩 No, we all want to leave the dentist office with good news at every checkup.
BUT...it's not something that we think about on a daily basis.
We don't think "You know, I really should brush my teeth tonight so I don't have a cavity in September." No way! We just do the daily habit of brushing our teeth, trusting that we'll get a good outcome at our next dentist appointment.
That's how it should be with ALL goals!
Stay committed to focusing on the PROCESS and eventually you'll get the results you want. 😃
Let's run through a few scenarios related to teaching piano:
Example 1 - You need more students.
The fastest way to see real results is to focus on the PROCESS daily. What does that look like? You could:
Now focus on one step every day and you'll be registering new students before you know it! 👊 Click here to get the planner pages to help with this!
Example 2 - You need more money, but don't you want to teach more hours.
Instead of stressing out over a lack of money, focus on the PROCESS. You could:
Okay! Let's keep going! But first, I've got a worksheet just for you to help you map out YOUR ideal steps to reach those goals.
2. STOP DREAMING ABOUT YOUR GOALS
What? You don't want me to dream anymore?!
Well...it's good to dream. Just don't stay there! 😃
Here's the truth: When it comes to goal-setting, one thing that people miss is writing down their goals and reviewing them daily.
Oh, we all know we're SUPPOSED to do that. But few people ever do.
Real success comes when you actually WRITE DOWN your goals. (Don't roll your eyes at me. 🙄This really works!) Put your goals down on paper.
Here's a great exercise I want you to try. You'll see in no time how it helps you push past "dreaming" and gets you seriously focused on what you REALLY want.
Truth bomb! The second day I tried this, I literally couldn't remember what goals I wrote on Day 1. 😳 Embarrassing yes, but I'm keeping it real.
That's when I realized there was POWER in writing down your goals. It gives you the opportunity to process what you REALLY want. And REMEMBER what you wrote down. ✅ Cause some of us need that! 🙄
If you're after serious results, don't skip this step!
3. STOP LISTENING TO YOUR FEELINGS
Oh I know this sounds crazy! But hear me out! Many times in life we WANT to do things, but we don't FEEL like doing them.
Serious results come when you focus on what you WANT, not what you FEEL like doing.
Feelings come and go. Often, they'll lead us AWAY from our goals. Let's go over a couple examples and you'll see what I mean!
Example - You want to get in better shape.
I'll be the first to admit that some days I complain - I don't want to work out!
But WAIT! That's not really true. I WANT to work out. I just don't FEEL like it. There's a big difference! Don't trust your feelings when it comes to going after goals!
Here's another example - You want to rewrite your studio policies.
Most of us won't cheer "Yippee!" at the thought of working on this project. Nope. More than likely, you won't ever FEEL like working on it. But you know you WANT to get it done.
This is when you have to be a grown-up, ignore your feelings, and do SOMETHING. It'll bring serious results in no time!
Grab your Upbeat Planner Pages + Goal Setting Guide here! Before you know it, you'll be getting serious results in EVERY area of your life!
Here's a question that often comes up in Online Lesson Academy: Do you charge less for online lessons? (Not make-up lessons, but students who are 100% online students.)
It always makes me smile because my online students actually pay MORE than my in-person students. Gasp! MORE? Yes - they really do!
I'll give you the nitty gritty details on that in a minute....but first....
SHORT ANSWER - DON'T CHARGE LESS
Many teachers feel a little.....guilty about online lessons and want to charge less. I'll be honest, I don't get it.
Here are the facts:
WHY YOU CAN CHARGE MORE
Online lessons allow you to teach students who live absolutely anywhere. You have a lot more freedom when it comes to pricing.
When we lived in the Dallas area, my rates were higher. After we moved to a smaller city, I needed to lower my price, but I kept my Dallas students at the same rate. Even though they transitioned to online lessons.
If you want to build your studio (and your income!) you can do the same thing by adding online students who live outside of your area.
It's a great solution for teachers who live in small towns. You're able to teach students who live anywhere in the world - and yes, you can charge a higher rate.
HOW I STARTED WITH ONLINE LESSONS
When my family decided to move, I was faced with a big decision: try online lessons or lose my entire studio.
Believe it or not, I let my fears get the best of me - and I told all my families to find a new teacher. Yep! I really did!
But then, as our move date got closer, reality hit. I didn't want to lose my students. We'd invested SO much time together. Fortunately, I decided to get brave and go for it!
Thank goodness I did!! YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!
TEACHING ONLINE LESSONS
Do you want to add this option to your studio, but find yourself hesitating? You're not alone!
Lots of teachers are worried about technology. Or lack confidence with all the equipment. Or they're afraid they won't know how to troubleshoot. That's the very reason Sara Campbell and I created Teaching Online Lessons. (Click here to access our Valentine's Day Sale!)
Once you register, you'll be invited to join our Facebook Mastermind group. We're there for you with any questions you might have.
You'll be up and going in no time!
MY FAVORITE PRESCHOOL STORY...
It was an ordinary day at school, but not for my student. I'll call her Katie.
I was walking Katie to her makeup lesson and she was over-the-moon excited! Literally skipping all the way to my room with a BIG smile on her face.
Truthfully, I thought it was a little odd. Katie liked piano, but her excitement was a bit...over the top.
Fast forward 15 minutes and she looked at me with those big beautiful eyes and asked "When is my makeup class going to start?"
I was confused. "This IS your makeup class."
Then she reached up and patted her cheek "No, my MAKEUP class."
Oh my! Katie thought we were putting on makeup! Isn't that the cutest thing? And yes, her mother did give me permission to pull out the cosmetics the following week. To this day, thinking about it all still makes me smile!
Here's the point - preschoolers have a different mindset. They DON'T always think the way we expect them to. If we want to teach them successfully, we need to change the way we think.
If I could start over with this age group, here are 4 things that I'd do differently:
1. I SHOULD HAVE RESEARCHED MORE.
There are plenty of teachers who are successfully teaching preschoolers. I wish I'd spent more time learning from them first.
Sure I researched different curriculum, but there was a lot more I could have done to prepare. I wish I had asked teachers about:
To be honest, this is the very reason that Sara and I created Playing with Preschoolers. Hearing what worked for different teachers was a game-changer for me!
2. I SHOULD HAVE ADJUSTED MY MINDSET.
Don't judge me, but I went into preschool lessons thinking I'd teach piano at a slower pace. It honestly sounds dumb now, but I really didn't think that teaching preschoolers would be that different from my other elementary students.
Boy was I wrong. I needed a different mindset in many areas. Especially the idea of "piano lessons" verses "music lessons."
That alone would have helped my attitude AND my success.
3. I SHOULD HAVE CONSIDERED ALL MY OPTIONS.
First off, whether you teach preschoolers in private lessons, group lessons, or partner lessons - there is no WRONG answer. It's completely a personal preference.
My problem was that I defaulted to private lessons without really considering my options. The rest of my studio is private lessons, why would I do anything different?
That thinking was a mistake.
Again, I should have researched more. In hindsight, I would have chosen partner lessons. But of course, if you're looking to UP your income, a larger class might be the right choice for you.
Whatever you decide, the important thing is to give serious consideration to ALL the options.
4. I SHOULD HAVE CHOSEN TWO METHODS.
This was by far my biggest mistake: I decided on ONE curriculum, expecting it to work for ALL my students. When it didn't work for each student, I was left feeling frustrated and stressed out.
I'm not sure why I didn't consider this earlier. With my older students, I use different methods, depending on the child. I TOTALLY should have done this with preschoolers. Epic fail on my part.
Of course, if you're teaching to a full class, your program will obviously be geared toward a larger group.
But if you're planning on private or partner lessons, go ahead and find a couple methods that you like. Then you'll be ready to go to Plan B at a moment's notice!
NEED HELP GETTING ORGANIZED?
This FREE Rainy Toolbox will help you keep all your ideas organized. Being ready at a moment's notice is SO important when teaching preschoolers!
Click here to get it for free!
Yesterday's post was all about me going overboard with the size of my first summer camp. Today I'm sharing another mistake that a lot of rookies make.
MISTAKE #2 - I CREATED MY OWN CAMP PLAN
I thought organizing a camp would be easy. Plan a few activities. Do some crafts. Simple, right? Wrong!
For that first camp, I really should have researched what was working for other teachers. Instead, I simply brainstormed what things "might" work.
My big activity mistakes:
DO THIS INSTEAD
My camp would have been much better if I had:
In the end, I think it's important that your first camp be stress-free. You'll already be a little nervous because you're a rookie. There's no need to make it tougher by doing it all yourself.
A SNEAK PEEK AT MISTAKE #3
Make sure you come back tomorrow! I'll share the big thing I forgot all about. I'll also share how it impacted my marketing afterward.
If you're worried you might forget something - this free checklist has you covered!
And don't forget about the Free Group Coaching Bonus that comes with Group Lessons 101. (For those who register by 3/31/18.) Another great resource included with Group 101 is Sara Campbell's Music Blast Plan. You get daily schedules, a supply list, resources - it's all been done for you!
OTHER CAMP POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY
do you have a student who loves to color?
Each keyboard on the Color a Key Practice Chart represents one week of potential practice.
Have your students color a white piano key every day they practice. It's a colorful way to track their hard work!
I've also included another chart with longer keyboards.
Click here for instant access!
Other Posts you might be interested in
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.