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Studio Newsletters

Since the start of the year I have been producing a monthly Studio Newsletter. I initially started the newsletter as a method of communicating with parents of the students that I teach in schools. In contrast to the parents of my home studio students, whom I usually see weekly as they drop off/pick up their children, there are some of the ‘in school’ parents that I only see once or twice a year at recitals. So far I have found that there are three main uses for my newsletter.

The first is the practical ‘house keeping’ – it’s an easy way to inform parents of term/holiday dates, exam/competition entry dates and upcoming recitals. It is also easy to have subtle reminders that lesson fees for this term are now overdue, or to remind parents of your cancellation (I find this often needs reminding around winter, when a large portion of the students catch colds and need to cancel/reschedule lessons).

The second use for the newsletter is to inform and educate parents. I use the newsletter to highlight appropriate articles from the Music Teachers Helper Blog (eg. Practice tips, sight-reading tips, how to accompanying well, etc), or to pass on articles from journals that I believe will be interesting. I always write a short section on a current theme that we are focusing on in the lessons. This month’s theme is a focus on fluency, in the lead up to the end of year competitions and recitals here in Australia. Last month’s theme was breathing with the music. One other use for this section of the newsletter is to inform parents and students of my own professional development. Studying music involves lifelong learning, and I believe it is important for my students to see that learning does not stop once they leave school.

The third and more unexpected benefit of the newsletter is as a publicity tool. I have gained a few new students for my waiting list after the parents of current students have forwarded my email onto other people who are interested in lessons.

So if you are considering writing a newsletter, I strongly encourage you to start. If you are unsure what you can write about to fill a whole newsletter, start slowly (perhaps one newsletter each quarter) and remember that you can draw on articles from many resources, rather than writing the newsletter in its entirety yourself. When distributing the newsletter, I email it to all parents (using the very easy ‘Email Students’ feature of Music Teachers Helper) and also print a few copies for parents to read while they are waiting for their child to finish their lesson in my home studio. I also pin a copy to the noticeboard outside the rooms at the various schools I teach at.

If you do write a newsletter for your students, please leave a comment with additional ideas for content below.

About the Author

Nicole Murphy
Nicole Murphy is a pianist and composer residing in Queensland, Australia. She has been teaching both piano and composition privately and in schools for over 8 years, with students currently ranging in age from four years to eighty-five years. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours Class I) from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and is currently working towards a Masters of Music. As a freela... [Read more]

5 Comments

  1. Kal Voice Studios

    Hi,
    In our newsletter, I may include surveys to get feedback from my students and parents about community activities, recitals and so on. I may also include a trivia question or fun fact. For instance, in our November 2009 newsletter I asked when Thanksgiving became an official holiday here in the United States.
    Seeing that our “resources” page is overlooked and many families aren’t even aware of the resources available to them via this page, we’ll now begin highlighting 1 or 2 resources in each letter.
    There are times I do “policy points” to review commonly confused or forgotten points made in the studio policy. I try to change my quote on our site each month, so I’ve been including those quotes in the newsletter as well.
    As you said, articles are great! Recognizing student achievements both in and out of the studio is fun as well.
    Those are just my thoughts. I’d love to hear what others have to say!

    In Christ, Miranda

  2. Sherri Lynette King

    Hi
    In my newsletter, I have a section called Music in Motion- Students who are making music in the community. This section highlights students who use their talents outside the studio. Examples are performing in community theaters, playing or singing in church or volunteering at local senior homes. I encourage students to take pictures to put in the newsletter. This activity has become a very popular section.

    I also start my newsletter with an article of a famous composer. I found that students and parents love to read about the great composers.

    Sherri Lynette

  3. Ronnie Currey (Editor)

    Great article. The article and comments really motivated me to start sending out a newsletter. The only thing I could not find in the article was what site do you use? Or do you design it on Word, then send it as an attachment? I would like to read suggestions from many of you. Thanks again!!

  4. Kal Voice Studios

    Ronnie,
    I create the newsletter in an HTML editor and I send it via: http://www.lettermelater.com by using Outlook Mobile. This works for me, as I use my Pocket pC since I’m not near my computer too often.
    Hth, and have a great day!

    In Christ, Miranda

  5. Geraldine

    I use Microsoft Word, choose the Newsletter format and just go from there. I print it in a pastel paper and insert it in my music students folder. I also send it parents through email. Hope this helps!

    Geraldine