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Welcome to a New Decade of Teaching! - Dr. Carol Ann Barry

Greetings to all of you far and wide,

2020 brings us the opportunity to build a new and better teaching model in the decade ahead.  Where would you like to be in 2030?  It’s a fair question, and one we all need to consider as we navigate our studios and performances in the years ahead.  If you have read my previous posts, I speak of a five year plan and a one year plan.  Short-term goals that build toward that longer more involved goal you have set for yourself.

The world seems full of new year’s resolutions–many of which are perhaps too far reaching and likely not optimistic.  For many of us, our hopes and dreams are often dashed by March 1st if not sooner!  So, how about this–during the next week plan one goal for your teaching or your studio business that you accomplish between now and June.  As I have often said, summer is the very best time to reassess and plan for a new school year.  There’s nothing wrong, however, in doing something really short-term.  Educationally, January through June is the heaviest, most consistent teaching time we have.  There’s only spring break to contend with and of course, the weather (depending upon where you live.)  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1.  A theme or multiple ensemble opportunity for students at your spring recital.  Example:  Essential Keyboard Repertoire series actually has a volume of piano trios!  How about a few groups (maybe just 2) that prepare one of those pieces?  You only need one piano!  Families with siblings are a great place to start.

2.  This year, 2020, is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and there will be lots of Beethoven worldwide!  How can you and your students honor Beethoven during this anniversary year.  In the fall, my studio will be having a “Beethoven Birthday Bash.”  I will be researching IMSLP for small early unpublished pieces of Beethoven as well as the sonatinas and other works for my students to prepare.  Younger students could play some of the arrangements of Beethoven themes found in the method books.  As you teach now, note where those options are and plan something!  Finish off with a Piano Cake for the reception.  Check with one of your more creative moms!  A piano cake actually is not that difficult to make.

3.  Include a skill between now and June that you tend to neglect.  Transposition?  Sight Reading?  Improv?  What’s your pleasure?

You will be amazed at just how many options you have right in your studio now that do not involve purchases or a big investment of your time.  The idea is to make things look fresh and new to our students as they have just resumed lessons in the new year.

Good luck with your ideas!  Write them down in a notebook and pick and choose as you have the time–it’s worth it for our students and the success of your business and teaching success.

Musically yours,

Carol Ann