The first few days after Christmas are always pretty lax. You may or may not have touched the stack of presents under the tree that are waiting to be put away, you may or may not have taken off your pyjamas…and you may or may not have even done the dishes from Christmas dinner…
But as January 1st rolls closer, the motivation to get back at ‘er starts stirring deep inside (somewhere deep inside and below the 3 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates you’ve been picking at since Christmas Eve). So, you banish the Christmas decor to the basement once again and pick every last pine needle out of your carpet… and then all of a sudden the return of lessons is just around the corner and you STILL haven’t done any of those projects you promised yourself you would do over the break!
Breathe Life Into Your Lessons With These 5 Simple Solutions
So, we’re challenging you to spend just half of one day (you can leave those PJ’s on) implementing these 5 ideas. It takes next to no time to get these in order, but it makes all the difference to a fresh start come January. Follow along and get the excitement of a new term in full swing!
1. Start a Studio Mascot Program. A studio mascot (or “practice pal”) was one of our most popular ideas and the teachers who implemented these furry companions in their studios saw immediate results. It’s social media sharing gold, the kiddos love it, and practice hours soar. Click here for the details.
2. Set up regular email check-ins. Regular communication with parents is key to having strong relationships that weather all sorts of “storms”. Spend just 20 minutes setting up 3 different email templates that you can then “copy and paste” into your email program, change the details that need to be changed and send a cheerful check-in to the parents of your students.
My most common check-in email subject lines/topics are “This weeks’ lesson was fabulous!”, “Could you help Anna with…” and “Goal reached! Congrats Taylor!”. Keep them short and simple, make the template as generic as you can, and then by changing just a bit of the email each time you can send off those puppies off with little to no effort. I send mine every Sunday evening.
3. Visually represent your studio in some way. Building a sense of community is important in your studio. Having a visual representation of all of your piano students in a prominent spot on your studio wall is just one simple way you can start this community-building. Print photos of your students and post them to star-shaped cut-outs, design a photo collage and frame it, post a pic of your most recent recital, print a photo book of student compositions/pictures etc. The sky’s the limit, but having something that your students can look to and feel as though they belong is important.
4. Commit to playing more. And we don’t mean playing the piano more. We mean game-based learning. By setting aside just 5-8 minutes of a lesson you can teach concepts in a way that makes a real impact and adds a huge amount of motivating fun to your lessons. Sending your students out the door with a smile does wonders for retention and getting the games in order really takes no time at all. If you haven’t done so already, check out PianoGameClub where members receive 4 professionally designed and kid-approved piano games each month!
5. Make one change to your advertising. Even if you are enjoying the benefits of having a full studio, you still need to have your name out in the community. Whether or not you are actively seeking students, it does nothing but good to have your name out there consistently. Spend just one hour re-vamping just one aspect of your studio’s advertising: your Facebook cover photo, your studio newsletter format, your advertising posters, your brochure, your business cards… anything. Just choose one and modernize it. Look to the “big guys” when it comes to style. What do you like about their ads? Make a list and then incorporate those aspects into your own advertising.
Small Goals = Big Gains
You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference these 5 simple changes can make to your outlook on the new term of lessons. It’s often just not knowing where to start that prevents us from making a change… so simply pick a day and start with number 1! All of these can be done from the comfort of your couch… and with or without Bailey’s in your mug… so no excuses 😉