I’m all about saving time. I love to really live each day. Nothing makes me more frustrated than a day spent muddling around trying to get small jobs accomplished. I’m sure you too have better things to do than wile away hours in front of your computer or in your piano studio office.
We all know there are always those parts of being a piano teacher that require some fairly mundane tasks. But… do not despair! Check out these 3 simple ways to save yourself heaps of time this piano teaching year.
Save Your Fingers for The Ivories, Not For Typing
Do you find yourself sending out the same email responses over and over? There is an easy solution! Create “canned responses” in your email program (or as a word document) that can be used when you are a) sending a receipt, b) requesting payment c) chasing late fees d) responding to a notice of absence… etc. etc. Don’t spend your time typing the same emails over and over again. Sit down one evening this week and write out templates for everything you are regularly faced with. BAM! You’ve just saved yourself a whack of time!
Lesson Plan By the Month, Not The Week… Or Day 🙂
The first of the month is the day to plan your lessons for the next 4 weeks. Set aside the piano teaching games you will use for each level (I split my studio into preschool, elementary and intermediate when planning), choose your supplementary material (I choose one “pretty” and one “fun” piece per level), prep for any upcoming special events and create a weekly theme (composing, lead sheet etc.) Finally, print and photocopy as needed and put it all into an accordion folder. BAM! Now you’re organized, feeling refreshed and ready for the weeks to come.
Choose Email as Your Means of Communication
Nothing stops you in your tracks on your way to a lovely day more than a phone call. When the phone rings, you either a) answer it or b) let the machine get it. These two options result in a) the person expecting immediate action or b) you needing to then call them back. It’s a waste of time either way and it’s not smart planning.
Give your email address as your method of communication. This way you choose when you respond (I suggest setting aside 30 minutes each evening) where you can sit down and blast through everything that needs attention. Phone calls require “How are you?” “I’m great!” “How’s your week been” “It’s been good” “Oh, while I have you on the phone…” etc. etc. It’s just not efficient.
Use the phone when you want to focus on relationship building with new (and old) families, or when signing up new students… but for all else, email is king. BAM! Now you can enjoy that nice, sunny day!
A few simple adjustments to how you structure your time can make a huge difference to your quality of life. Being a piano teacher is so much more than simply teaching lessons; but by working smarter, not harder you can avoid having your job take over your life.
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