I am a teacher who does not usually struggle with fixing a vocal problem or finessing a vocal line, but does struggle with keeping herself organized! I have three assistants at this time who help me overcome this deficiency. One manages my scheduling, a second manages my billing, and the third manages and arranges my student’s and vocal group’s performances. The latter two work just a few hours a month. The former oversees any lesson changes I need to make to accommodate my directing and performing or changes that may be requested by my students and their families, and she usually works 10 hours or so a month. [···]
Have you ever felt burn-out in your teaching? Perhaps you put all your energy and time into teaching your students, whether they be 3 or 123. Now, after several months of intense teaching without a substantial break, it is time to strategize and rejuvenate. Not all in the following blog are my own ideas… many have been contributed by wonderful fellow teachers in the business who have experienced what many of you may be facing at the moment.
- Attend Workshops – by attending music workshops, those creative juices will begin flowing again! Be inspired by others in the business, discover new ways to present a topic to your students, and enjoy what you do. Other conferences through the Music Teacher’s Association (MTA) also are great opportunities to meet others. www.mtna.org
- Schedule Breaks – take a day off. Sleep in. Get a manicure. Get a massage. Eat Chocolate. Take care of you (the teacher)!
- Break the routine up by scheduling various types of recitals (formal & relaxed, themes, Christmas camp, summer workshops, and much more)! This not only helps the teacher, but provides a great means of motivation for all the students.
- Try something new… new music and new games for your students will help them stay motivated and energized about music. Move the equipment and instruments around in your studio space, so it seems new. Perhaps have all your students of a certain levels spend most of their lesson time on computer software (highlight or find new computer games for the lab through www.musiclearningcommunity.com). Or, have everyone work on duets for the recital. Teach your students to dance a Minuet.
- Put on an uplifting CD and just listen to the music without worrying about the technical aspects and fretting about how to analyze the structure with a student. 🙂 Watch a DVD, crank it, sing, dance, and remind yourself that there IS joy in music.
- Join online groups and share. Knowing that you are NOT alone is very helpful. Yahoo Groups is a great source for camaraderie in music studio aspects and issues of all kinds.
- If there are any students who particular curl your toenails the minute they walk in the studio… find a way to remove them from your studio or address the issues in a pleasant way.
- Organize a fun incentive program going on each year… and don’t do the same one twice in a row.
Just know you are not alone. [···]