Happy New Years Eve everyone! As you’re donning your party gear (or your sweat pants) and preparing for a night on the town (or on your couch) are your thoughts turning to the coming year?
I’ve never been a fan of making New Years resolutions, preferring instead to constantly reinvent myself… not just once a year. However, this year I’m taking a more organized approach to my creative energy and so I’m using New Years Eve as an excuse to highlight my most pressing goals for 2013. Will you join me in making a positive difference in your piano studio this year?
5 Resolutions for Piano Teachers
1. Build a strong relationship with 3 “fringe” families
Choose three families who are “fringe families” in your studio. These are the families who rarely phone, email or sit in your waiting area. Take a pro-active approach in building a strong connection with these families. How? Make a point of emailing or calling at least once every 3 weeks with a comment of kindness on their child’s progress. Mail them something at least twice in the next 3 months (I’m going to send them a gift certificate to our local coffee/chocolate shop) and remember any birthdays, special events or life moments that you know of that they will be celebrating. Strong connections in your studio are your most valuable retention and advertising tool. It’s worth the effort.
2. Add one piece of technology to your piano teaching
Integrate one piece of techology into your piano teaching. Add an ipad, iphone, recording equipment, youtube etc. etc. This is the way of the future (like it or not!) and your students exist in a world where technology is integreated into almost every aspect of their life. Don’t let this technology take over your teaching, but rather compliment it. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to be fun.
3. Choose your most pressing piano studio problem, and eliminate it for good
Do you struggle with students who don’t practice? Parents who don’t pay on time? Students with spotty attendance? Students who forget their books? Choose the issue that causes you the most stress and take the time to implement a plan to eliminate it from your life. Existing in “coping mode” is far from being pro-active. Often it takes just a day of thoughtful preparation to make a significant change. Don’t be fearful of the potential results – make the change and be flexible enough to alter as needed once the change has been made.
4. Set aside a total of 60 minutes a week to practice…yes, YOU!
This sounds easy… but it isn’t always! Set your alarm a bit earlier, turn off the TV a little sooner… do whatever it takes to steal some serious (yet do-able) “me” time on the piano. Start a binder of music you love to play so it is immediately at your fingertips and just enjoy making music for no other reason than personal pleasure. AND… commit to playing at least 3 different genres of music. Add jazz, pop, blues… change up your regular repertoire and watch your own musicality grow.
5. Go ahead… use us!
Commit to reaching out and becoming an active member of our online piano teaching community. Email us, comment on our posts with your questions or experiences, become a Facebook fan, enter our contests, give our products and programs a try, and contribute to our Idea Swap. You’ll have the benefit of connecting with other piano teachers world-wide and their experience and passion that comes along with this profession. Use the web as your daily professional development and know that we’re always online with a desire to help YOU succeed!
Happy New Years everyone – may this year you bring success and happiness in all forms.