How do you handle summer downtime?
July 3, 2023
How do you handle summer downtime?

On our Facebook discussion group recently, we asked teachers how they handle the possibility of changing teaching schedules during the summer months. After all, those of us teaching school-aged students find the rhythm of our year following the school calendar. So we may be confronted with three months of unpredictability and lighter work loads from June through August.

We noticed a few different kinds of reactions to this calendaring reality. See what you think of these reactions:

Enjoy the downtime. Some teachers readily accept that the summer months will be less busy than the school months. For some, this is a welcome respite. It gives an opportunity to going camping or traveling or visit family. Or maybe work on personal projects.

But the slowed income can also be a real problem. With more leisure time comes less revenue, which can make it hard to enjoy the downtime.

Schedule different types of lessons. Even though your students may not be available to continue regular, weekly lessons, you may still want to fill up your schedule. Some teachers consider camps or limited time event. For example, piano teacher Ann Lowry of Michigan describes her summer classes: "I schedule a series of one-week camps during the time I'm home in the summer. I have one week of theory classes, another week of improvisation, and another week of ensemble playing. This way, I can work during the weeks I want, and it gives my students (and other kids in the community who might not be my students yet!) the chance to work on other skills."

Continue a subscription based tuition. Subscription-based tuitions are becoming more and more popular, which Duet wholeheartedly supports. Rather than treating your music studio like a nail salon - somewhere someone might go once in a while when their schedule allows - subscription-based tuition allows you to treat your studio like a gym, where a client pays the same amount every month to secure their place even if they don't attend every week.

In this model, you might have previously calculated the total number of lessons you will teacher in a year (40? 48?) and divided that by 12. Then, the studio family pays the same amount automatically every month regardless of the number of lessons in a particular month. So you might teacher five lessons in March but only two in July, but it all works out! Your salary stays the same, and the student gets the promised number of lessons.

For a full discussion of subscription-based tuition, schedule a free call with consultant Kelly Riordan or watch the Tuition episode of Setting Up An Independent Music Teaching Studio in your Duet account.

How do you deal with summer inconsistency? Do any of these tactics apply to you?