Summer Teaching Survey Results

Thanks to all who responded to our survey! I loved reading your great ideas for summer lessons. Anyone have other ideas to add?

Tell us about summertime in your music studio – what do you do differently? What fun camps or activities do you have planned? What does your summer look like this year?  

  • This summer I am doing a 6 week course called “A Classical Summer”. Each student will be assigned a classical composer to learn about. 1-2 songs from that composer will be learned. Our weekly 30 minute lesson will be less formal as we work on compiling information on the composer & how to put the “report” together. We’ll be doing more hands on activities as well. On week 6, a group lesson will be held for each student to give a creative “report” on their assigned composer & then play their learned pieces. I have talked with my Piano Technician & scheduled a group lesson for week 4 to have him come & talk to the students about the piano, how it works, what “tuning” is, & also general information for the parents on what to look for when searching for a used piano to buy. I am excited to start summer lessons already!
  • I give students the option of four to eight lessons, paying four lessons in advance. We schedule on an individual basis, and we only do fun pieces of their choice and popular repertoire. If they are beginners, we continue in the lesson books. I always look forward to the break from every day teaching, and I enjoy looking for new music, attending workshops at my local music stores, and organizing my studio.
  • I require each student to pay for eight lessons. That gives me a few off, them a few off, but keeps them fairly consistent in lessons. I also try to be more flexible with scheduling. Students who want more than eight lessons can pay for the extra lessons one at a time. I tend to do more games in lessons and work on fun songs to keep summer exciting!
  • I offer “packages”of either 4, 6, or 8 lessons where families choose to take that many lessons during the summer. Once upon a time when I made my packages larger (8 or 10 lessons), I had so many families that didn’t take lessons because they didn’t want that many. I figure I would rather see students (and get paid for) 4 lessons than nothing. Generally all my students take lessons, with the exception of those that are out of town all summer. Families choose which days they come and request times that work best (mornings, late afternoons or evenings). I don’t promise them the same time each week they come like I would during the school year. I also offer a summer piano session where students without a piano come and take 6 lessons, usually 1 lesson each week. This is like a merger between standard private lessons and a piano camp. Obviously students aren’t excepted to practice on a piano between lessons (I encourage them to practice finger numbers, note names, etc) and if they wish to buy a piano and keep taking lesson in the fall, I essentially start from the beginning again. Currently about half the students that do the trial session continue with lessons so it’s a great way to acquire new students. (it’s essentially a 6 week interview, so I know what to expect come fall!)
  • My summer is the same as usual. In my part of the world, Canada, kids go to school from Labour day until the end of June, so we break for the summer and come back refreshed and ready to go when school starts in September.
Jennifer Boster

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