I know Valentine’s Day is over, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to fall back in love with an old flame… in this case, your piano studio. Around this time you’re probably feeling the 7-month itch; the newness of the school year has worn off and there are things about your studio that are starting to get on your nerves.
It may not snore, leave the toilet seat up or forget to take out the garbage… but some parts of running a piano studio are as unromantic as a vacuum cleaner on Christmas morning.
But the love you once had is still there. It just needs a little oomph to bring it back! Here are 7 tips to help you fall in love with your piano studio all over again.
1. Date Night
It’s likely that most of the time you spend in your piano studio is time spent teaching. But when was the last time you just puttered? Set aside one evening to re-organize and decorate for spring. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months. Change up the wall decorations. Add three things to your space that makes you happy. Get a babysitter for the kids if you need to – but set aside a few hours for some quality time with your studio. It’s amazing how just a few small tweaks can affect your outlook and your enjoyment while teaching.
2. Reenact the Past
Think back to those heady days when your piano studio was young and fresh… when every new student who called was a fist-pumping event… when every student achievement felt like a personal triumph. What were the things that excited you the most? New books? Recitals? Studio Events? Re-visit one thing that you “used to do” and incorporate it into your lessons this week.
3. Strut Your Stuff
I’m the first to admit that I regularly wear yoga pants when I teach; I’m a mom and I spend my non-mom time on the computer… yoga pants just work for my lifestyle. However, when I do dress up to go to work I find that my entire mood changes. Create a new teaching outfit this week – accessorize or wear a tie; dress as though you have an office job and strut your stuff as the professional you are.
4. Tell Yourself How Wonderful You Are
Okay, you can do this subtly… my favorite way of giving myself a little pat on the back is to have my students play me a piece they could play a year or two ago. Sit across the room from them instead of right beside like you normally do so they can give you a mini-concert. Remember how hard they had to learn to master that former piece. Then, ask them to play their current piece. Reflect on how they could not be doing so without YOU!
5. Try Something New
Pick a niche market that you haven’t taught before and market to this new group of people. Are you stuck teaching only 8-11-year-olds? Change up your advertising strategy to attract seniors, university students, or preschoolers. A new perspective on piano lessons may be just what you need to keep you on your toes!
6. Double Date
Piano teaching can be a lonely profession, so get to know the other piano teachers in your town. Join your local music teacher’s association. Attend professional development seminars (the big box music stores tend to host these frequently) and expand your musical social network. If you’re too competitive to rub shoulders with the piano teacher across town, then make friends with the violin teachers 🙂
7. Shower Yourself With Gifts
There’s nothing like some new bling in your hands to make you feel attractive. In this case, the bling is new resources and you’re going to be attracting the attention of your students… but it works! Skip the daily cup of Starbucks and instead treat yourself to a new resource to spice up your piano lessons for the next month. Choose something that is different than you would normally introduce. You’ll surprise yourself and your students… and surprises are wonderful. Check out the WunderKeys Bookstore for piano teaching resources you certainly won’t find anywhere else
By following these 7 easy steps you’ll be back in synch with your piano studio and any quarrels you may have had with it will be long forgotten. It’s almost spring… it’s the season of love. Jump right in and re-discover your affection for teaching piano.