Archives for 26 Apr,2016

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Dear MTH blog readers,

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It has been a while since I last posted! I hope everyone is doing well. My life has changed tremendously since last October – I gave birth to my first child! I have been enjoying the joy of motherhood 🙂

As music teachers, I am sure we all agree that music education is one of the greatest gifts we can give to children. My daughter is almost 7 months old now. I first sat her down in front of the piano when she was 4 months old. We do a lot of singing, sometimes she listens to me play while I wear her in a baby carrier, and sometimes I hold her tiny hands and we play simple tunes.

Many of you probably have experience teaching your own children. What were your challenges? I have taught some students whose parents are music teachers themselves, and I often wonder if I would send my daughter to another teacher when she is old enough for formal lessons. What about those movement classes? I know there are Music For Young Children, Kindermusik, MusikGarten, etc. Anyone has any experience with those? As a busy private studio teacher, I never explored those programs, but now that I have a little one, I am contemplating becoming a teacher for one of these early childhood music systems.

I welcome your suggestions and advice! If you are interested, I have set up a Facebook page where I am sharing my experience as a new mother teaching her daughter to appreciate music and play the piano. I hope to hear your feedback!

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Summer lessons…

Do you lose students (and income) over the summer? Are you tired of the same old same old? Would you like to infuse new life into your summer lessons? Would you like to keep your income and promote your studio?

Here are 15 options to consider:

  • Break it up into three-month-long “semesters” and let families choose one, two or three months of summer lessons.
  • Teach piano students to play by chord symbol.
  • Zero in on a specific genre (folk, country, pop, blues, classical…)
  • Immerse the studio in theory. Use games.
  • Teach students a new instrument (guitar and vocal students could learn some piano, while piano students could learn to match pitches vocally, or learn some guitar chords/teach them all to play recorder…).
  • Use a video series, such as Mark Almond’s Piano for Life. or see Reuben Vincent‘s article in Music Teachers Helper blog.
  • Use an online series such as podcasts from James Dering.
  • Show them how to create their own arrangements.
  • Teach composition. Have them put a favorite poem to music.
  • Choose a theme and songs to go with it (oceans, animals, bugs, space, summer fun…).
  • Have a duet summer, and pair up students for lessons. Or just bring them together near the end.
  • Have an ensemble summer and teach them their own parts alone, then bring them together for a few weeks before they perform as a group. Add other instruments.
  • Teach every student one or more songs on several instruments (piano, guitar, recorder, voice,percussion,  bass…).
  • Many churches look for special music in the summer–teach them appropriate songs. Take on an older student as an apprentice—let them teach with your supervision.
  • Put on one-week camps, emphasizing rhythm, technique, note-reading… Ideas from TeachPianoToday.com,

More camp ideas from Sara’sMusicStudio.com

How do you change it up after the school year ends?

Have a stupendous time teaching summer lessons!

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