It’s piano scheduling season, and this likely means your head hurts. It’s a time of year we all dread; a time of year that we try to forget is coming so that we can actually enjoy our summer vacations.
Unfortunately, the time for mindful avoidance has passed. Your phone is ringing and your email is dinging; parents are pushing for those perfect piano lesson time slots.
Making everyone happy during scheduling season is a more challenging job than being an air traffic controller. You have to deal with family schedules, family dynamics, and student personalities. While it’s tempting to take a hardline, “Here’s your time” kind of approach, you’re probably not keen on the risk of losing students.
So, pleasing as many people as possible is your only option.
How do you do this? How do you end all of your scheduling headaches? I wish I had all the answers. But I don’t.
Fortunately, the Teach Piano Today community does! If we put our heads together we can end our scheduling nightmares while creating a resource of strategies we can all rely on.
To accomplish this we need everyone to read today’s post below and then, in the comments section, share one tip for at least one of the problems (headaches) we describe. We’ll choose draw lucky people at random from those who leave comments to receive a free copy of our popular teen improv book “With Celtic Courage”. Winners will contacted by email – check the comments section on Sunday, August 4th to see who won!
If everyone who reads the Teach Piano Today blog chips in with a scheduling skill, the comments section of today’s post will be a resource we can all turn to for years to come!
Scheduling headaches can result from a thousand different scenarios. We’ve whittled the list down to the six most common complaints we hear from teachers this time of year. After reading through the list, choose the headache that you can help solve and share your solution in the comments.
Headache 1: Fighting For Prime Time
Is every single parent asking for “Thursday at 4:30”? Are families insisting that your primetime spots are the ONLY times that will work for their children? How do you handle this scheduling headache? First-come, first-served? Seniority?
In the comments section at the bottom of this post, type the heading, “Fighting For Prime Time” before sharing your solution.
Headache 2: The “Can’t Commit” Kids
Are the dance studios in your area slow to solidify their schedules? Are local hockey teams still confirming ice times? Often families are reluctant to commit to piano lesson time slots until they know the schedules of their children’s other extracurricular activities. Do you wait for other activities before confirming your own schedule? Do you place students into a “hope this works” time and then deal with the changes as they come?
In the comments section at the bottom of this post, type the heading, “The Can’t Commit Kids” before sharing your solution.
Headache 3: Sibling Swap
Do you have a family with three or more children who have requested a new time slot? The chain-reaction caused by moving a large chunk of time can wreak havoc on your scheduling as you attempt to accommodate this request. Do you move heaven and earth to make it work for your large families? Do you inconvenience other families to keep a large time slot of siblings together?
In the comments section at the bottom of this post, type the heading, “Sibling Swap” before sharing your solution.
Headache 4: The MIA (Missing In Action) Family
Are you checking your email and texts every hour, waiting for a family to respond to your scheduling information? Sometimes large pieces of your “scheduling puzzle” can be dependent on the answer from just one family. Do you wait for the family to reply before moving forward? Do you continue scheduling and cross your fingers that the time you offered them will work?
In the comments section at the bottom of this post, type the heading, “The MIA Family” before sharing your solution.
Headache 5: Friday Night Flight
Are you having trouble filling a certain day in your studio? Typically this difficult day is Friday as families prefer to leave weekends open. But with a busy studio, every time slot needs to be filled in order for all of your students to have a lesson. Do you save Fridays for new registrations? Do you only offer Fridays to families that are more flexible than others?
In the comments section at the bottom of this post, type the heading, “Friday Night Flight” before sharing your solution.
Headache 6: Schedule Complete?… Think Again
Has your completed schedule been disrupted by a last-minute change? Did the local school’s bussing suddenly shift by 15 minutes and now some of your early time slots are no longer accessible to your students? Just one change can send you back to the drawing board. Do you attempt to shuffle families? Do you ask for families to come forward who are able to switch times?
In the comments section at the bottom of this post, type the heading, “Schedule Complete?… Think Again” before sharing your solution.
Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise with the Teach Piano Today Community. With your help we can solve our headache hardships 🙂