Blog Stories

Add New Skills This Year to Your Curriculum

With the waning days of summer, comes the realization that soon all schools will reopen and the regular fall schedule of private lessons will commence.  Considering how important skills are to the overall development of your pianists, now is a great time to plan for...

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Pacing the School Year

It’s almost over...summer is quickly setting with the sun.  Soon we will all be back at the regular school year schedule. it seems once August begins, the slow but steady march to the start of the school year begins.  Perhaps it's the endless ads on television for...

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Student and Parent–Two Relationships to Manage

It takes little time running a piano studio to realize that teachers must nurture not only the student relationship but also the parents.   Not only does that double your contact time, both relationships are very different.  For example, weekly lessons afford the...

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Designing a Year Around Calendar that Works!

On the many blogs available for music teachers, one theme that continues to surface is the issue around summer lessons and the loss of income.  Of course, if you are running a school with group classes, those are dictated by start and stop dates and summers may be...

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Planning Summer Lessons for Success Part 1

With the beginning of April, it's time to consider how your studio will handle summer.  If you own your own business, chances are you have tried several approaches over the years.  Generally, teachers lament the loss of income and unsteadiness that summer can bring. ...

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Are You Practicing? Reviving Your Playing Skills

It happens to all of us.  Long teaching hours, family demands, church work, personal life errands.  What happened to the practicing you did regularly so long ago?  Realistically, for many of us, diligent daily practice began deteriorating once you were no longer in...

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Incorporating Concerto Work in Your Program

As a young teenager, my first concerto moment was the Bach Concerto in F Minor, movements 1 and 2.  It was a stretch even then and a whole new world of learning pieces with more length.  Add to that my first experience playing with a second piano, and you have a full...

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All Together Now! Recitals with Flair!!

In my last blog entry, I began to outline some of the ways you can be creative and add a "theme," genre, sets or group projects to your recital offerings.  Today I would like to suggest just some ideas for ensembles that can be done in your studio.  When we realize...

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Adding Variety and Interest to the Studio Recital

In last week's post, I discussed the many possibilities that offering multiple recitals per year can add to the quality and interest in your studio.  This week, I would like to offer just some of the ideas for creative programming.  Expanding your horizons both in...

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It’s A Wrap! Dissecting the Spring Recital

There's nothing like it--walking back into your home or flat realizing that the year-end recital program is Done and Done.  That was yesterday for me.  I always feel like celebrating.  No one faltered badly.  We had 36 players comprising almost 40 duet teams and...

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What’s In Your Studio Policy?

It's that transitional time--school will soon be out, recitals are wrapping up, and summer session is beginning.  If you haven't already, it's time to plan your fall registration and paperwork.  My fall registration is due by June 1st for a July 1st "new year" start...

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Increasing Lesson Length

One of the greatest predictors of success and progress that is often overlooked is lesson length.  Often studios make no requirements on length of the lesson.  Many times a young child of 6 or 7 years starts at 30 minutes per week but somehow that length never...

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Get Ready for Summer Reading!

I'll bet they are sitting right on your shelf--books you bought at the last conference or even ordered or picked up for yourself that remain unopened and just waiting for you to decide to get motivated and read!  I'm the same way.  With the busy teaching weeks and...

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Managing Student Music and Scores

It seems that during the past two years I have had a harder time ordering music and receiving it in a timely fashion.   Last fall the hurricane in North Carolina and other east coast states delayed the delivery of music books and materials by more than a few weeks. ...

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How Much Do You Charge?

Many years ago, How Much Do You Charge was the top question I received when answering an inquiry.  With patience and a clear curriculum outline of my studio teaching, however, I have gradually learned to offer parents an answer that is most revealing of the quality of...

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My Student Forgot His Books….

It happens.  Just last Thursday, a student walked in and counted on his dad to put the books in the piano bag, but alas......no books except one.  If yours is a studio like mine where everyone has different repertoire and even the kiddos in method books have different...

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Plan for Summer Success Part 2

Last week's post covered the financial and student retention issues involved with an enhanced summer program.  This week I'd like to explore the many options you can consider for your studio!  Let's look at a few: 1.  Summer Camps--generally, a piano camp can last 1.5...

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Prepare for Summer Success Part 1

Piano teachers often lament that a downside of teaching is the economic slide during the summer months.  While it is understandable that students (and teachers !) will take vacations and come and go during these months, it doesn't have to mean financial upheaval for...

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