Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Building community in the studio and promoting during the holidays

Last month I wrote about building community and catching the interest of prospective students through group workshops. Thanks to those who provided valuable feedback on my last article. I will continue to explore the avenue of workshops in future posts, but this month as we embark on a new year I want to give you a creative way to acomplish the two above goals during the Holiday season.

I wanted to allow my students to not only build community within the studio this Christmas, but I also wanted them to reach out to our community at large. To do this affectively took some planning and input on everyone’s part, and we had to think about Christmas back in September!

I started out by creating a Christmas party online survey for students and parents to fill out. You can find an online survey website that suits your tastes and needs by doing a Google search. I use
You can view my survey here.

My students gave dates and times that worked well for them, and there was an overwhelming vote in favor of caroling at a nursing home and having refreshments here at the studio afterwards. They chose not to do a gift exchange, and in today’s tough economy I completely understand.

As musicians my husband and I have ministered at various local nursing homes, so it wasn’t hard to find one who was more than happy to have my students and I sing carols for their residents.

I also knew that filling students up on sweet holiday treats and not allowing them to exert energy would make some very happy parents… 😉 This is where we introduce family-friendly Christmas group games. These are also very easy to find online via a Google search. I found our games here.
We played the “Night Before Christmas Memory Game” and “Christmas Carol Pictionary”.

My MTH account came in handy while planning the party, as I added the event to everyone’s online calendar and uploaded lyrics to carols for my students to print before they met me at the nursing home. I was also able to easily contact former students and invite them to join the festivities as well.

So, on December 19 my husband and I made all the treats and prepared the house for the students’ arrival. While I headed to the nursing home to carol, my husband volunteered to stay home and make the hot chocolate, coffee and holiday punch.
We really had a great time together, and I know this will be an anual tradition. When students return to school after the holiday break, they can tell their friends of the fun they had at the Christmas celebration.

How do you celebrate the holidays in your studio? Do you have a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party with your students? Have you found ways to allow your students to share the gift of music with the community? I would love to hear what you’re doing or have done to celebrate the holidays within your music studio!
No matter what you do to celebrate this holiday season, I hope you and your students have a safe and wonderful time with family and friends, and may you have a prosperous year in 2010!

About the Author

My name is Miranda, and I live with my husband and our cat in West Michigan. I have been activly involved in music since my early childhood, singing in various choirs, worship teams and as a soloist throughout my community. I started teaching voice while still in high school. My first student was the daughter of a very good friend. This friend home schooled her children, and this was a great oppor... [Read more]

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