Forum Q&A's, Studio Business

Forum Q&A | Saying Goodbye to Piano Students Before Moving Away

At our last Forum Q&A discussion, we talked about new year’s resolutions for piano teachers!  Click here to view the responses.

Over the weekend, I received an email from a reader who is preparing to move and must say “goodbye” to all her students.  I’d love to start a discusion about piano teachers saying goodbye and moving, so here goes:

Have you ever had to move and “give away” all your students?  How did you break the news?  Was there anything you were able to do for your students to make their transition to a new piano teacher easier?  What other advice can you offer to a piano teacher who is preparing to move? 

I’ll post my answer in the comments below, including the “goodbye letter” I wrote for my students last Spring when I moved after graduation.  Please add your own thoughts to the comments below!

Early Childhood Music, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Music Theory, Printables, Teaching Piano

Just Added: Musical Alphabet Cards

There are others who have shared alphabet card printables similar to what I’m posting today, but I’m adding mine to the mix anyway.  🙂  I wanted some that would work well to print onto colored cardstock paper.  Since I don’t have a color printer, this is an easy way I can still get colorful things to use with my students!

I used these cards with my new weekly Homeschool Music Class (just started last week, thanks to Sheryl’s recent post at her Notable Music Studio blog) and with my Piano Readiness Class.  My students LOVED making “musical alphabet snakes” in order to learn how the musical alphabet is different from the regular alphabet.  Included in the pdf is a card which outlines some other possible activities to do using the cards.  These activities work great in both group settings and private lessons.

Do you have some other activities to share that involve alphabet cards?  Share them in the comments!

To Download: visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to the M’s for Musical Alphabet Cards.

  Musical Alphabet Cards (275.9 KiB, 15,722 hits)

Forum Q&A's, Professional Development, Studio Business, Teaching Piano

Forum Q&A | Safety Practices for Traveling Teachers

Wow, last week’s Forum Q&A received some great responses about advertising!  Thank you, and be sure to read what everyone had to say by clicking here!  As always, it’s never to late to add  your thoughts to the discussion.

A few days ago, I received an email from a Color In My Piano reader with this question:

When traveling to a new students’ homes, how can you screen students before agreeing to teach them?  What kind of safety precautions can be taken before going to a stranger’s house (especially an adult student)?  If they sound questionable on the phone, is there a way to politely decline giving them lessons?

Please leave your advice in the comments below!

Photo Credit: CarlosLie | CC 2.0
Interviews, Rhythm

Teacher Feature | Mariel Mohns

It’s halfway through the month already, which means it’s time for a…

Teacher Feature!  🙂  Meet Mariel from Mississippi!

Please tell us about your piano and/or teaching background!

I started taking piano lessons when I was 4 years old and loved piano, but when I was in the 5th or 6th grade, I quit lessons for various reasons.  I continued to play through middle school and high school, and started working on more advanced repertoire on my own.  Since I didn’t have a teacher, however, my technique was very limited.  I was accepted into the Lawrence Conservatory of Music for college, and with the help of my very understanding studio professor, learned proper technique skills I needed to really develop as a pianist.  During my freshman year of college, I taught a few students and HATED it. I never wanted to teach again (I didn’t have the patience for it), but after taking the piano pedagogy courses in college and learning how to formulate lesson plans and a bit more about childhood education, I absolutely fell in love with teaching and knew I wanted to start a private studio!!  Continue reading “Teacher Feature | Mariel Mohns”

Composition, Technology

Hear my New Piano!

I promised over a month ago that I would post a video so you could hear my new piano!  I wanted to wait until after I got it tuned, of course, and recently I finally got around to recording something.

In this YouTube video, I’m playing a short piece I composed during undergrad called “Contemplation.”

This is a piece I composed in 2007 during my senior year at Hope College. It was written for an assignment for a Form & Analysis theory course for which we were supposed to compose a piece using the Schenkarian techniques we were studying in class. The structure of this piece is based on a descending line using scale degrees 3-2-1. This descending line is also used on a more micro level as a motive throughout the piece.

In the next video, I am playing a piece that my six-year-old student back in Central Michigan composed before I moved away.  He composed a melody called “Goodbye,” and wanted me to compose the left hand part for it.  I was so touched by his request!   Continue reading “Hear my New Piano!”

improving as a teacher, Professional Development

Studio Marketing: The Studio Newsletter

You may not immediately see a connection between your studio’s monthly newsletter and marketing…but there is one, I assure you!  Marketing means promoting your studio, which includes keeping current customers of your service satisfied.  One of the keys to keeping customers satisfied is over-delivering: giving more than expected.  Newsletters are one great way to over-deliver.  And so, in continuation of our series on studio marketing, we are talking today about studio newsletters.  🙂   Continue reading “Studio Marketing: The Studio Newsletter”

Professional Development, Studio Business, Technology

Studio Marketing: Communicating Value Through Your Website

Have you ever visited a website and been completely overwhelmed with the amount of information, ads, links, and CLUTTER?  Have also you ever visited a website and been impressed by the graphics and the ease with which you could find information?  This post is going to offer some tips for organizing and effectively communicating value through your studio website.

Studio Websites: A Necessity

Having a website is an important part of studio marketing.  In a world where the internet is now the first place parents turn for business information rather than the phonebook, teachers need to maintain an online presence.  The good news is, it’s a pretty affordable and easy way to market yourself as a piano teacher (see the resources section below) — definitely more affordable than an ad in the Yellow Pages!  Continue reading “Studio Marketing: Communicating Value Through Your Website”