It's May, and in many parts of the world that means it's time for spring cleaning. The temperatures are warming, the trees are budding and we may be throwing open the windows of our studios. Are you feeling the urge to refresh your music studio? Here are a few ways to make your music teaching space feel clean and organized.
Consider how your students enter your music studio.
Do you have a separate location where you go to teach guitar or violin? Or do you teach piano in the living room of your home? No matter where you teach, you can make your students' first experiences in your studio reflective of the summer season and your priorities as a teacher. Perhaps you could add seasonal pillows to the couch where your students wait for their lessons. Or you could post a composer's biography on the door as students enter.
Update information posted on studio walls or bulletin boards.
Do you have a place where you list upcoming studio events or concerts? Do you have your policies or rates posted within your studio? Now is a good time to make sure all of this information is up to date and reflects what parents and students usually look for when they come for lessons.
Reevaluate your studio's physical setup.
Where do you sit while you're teaching? Where does your student sit or stand? Is there a place for parents to sit? Can they easily take notes during the lesson? Consider the materials you use most often: tuners, method books, an abacus... Are those within easy reach of you? Is your instrument in an accessible place where you can reach it easily to demonstrate to students?
Perhaps try switching things around in your studio for the summer months. Position yourself by the door, instead of your student. Move your bookshelf so your materials are even closer to you. See if your students notice the changes! Does it affect engagement or concentration levels in lessons?
Build community through your studio space.
Your students may not be in your music studio at the same time, but there are ways you can introduce them to each other and have them get to know each other even when they're not physically present. Perhaps you could put photos of all of your students on the wall of your studio so students and parents can see they are part of a larger group. Take pictures of your students with funny props, or holding signs that share one goal or piece they are working on.
Perhaps consider displaying an updated list of students who are working on recitals, or passing off a level in a method book you use. Seeing the names and faces of other students will help kids feel like they are part of something larger than their one-on-one relationship with you as the teacher.
Refresh the tools use use to teach and manage your studio.
As you've established your music teaching studio, you've made decisions along the way: which method to teach, what training to receive, which instrument brand you prefer, the kind of chair you like. Your smaller tools might include the type of tuner or metronome you use. Larger tools could include methods for notetaking and digital tools for communication. Spring is an ideal time to evaluate if these tools are all working for you. Do you want to make any adjustments?
Wrapping up the school year is a natural time to prepare for and announce changes for next school year. Use the summer months to test new approaches and see what works for your students. Then by August, you can embrace changes with confidence and experience.
What else do you do in the spring time to refresh your studio experience? For more ideas on how to optimize your music teaching space, watch Episode 3 in our series, Setting Up An Independent Music Teaching Studio either on Udemy or in your Duet account.