It’s April – but summer is just a few months away. If you haven’t started planning your summer teaching program – you may find yourself with a Swiss cheese schedule (holes everywhere – get it?)
With some creative planning, your summer schedule does not have to be stressful.
I like to pack my July and early August with fun singing activities, a few small group classes, and an “Adult Summer Tune-up” package for occasional students. This allows me to:
Keep a very busy schedule during the summer
Have some FUN with my students (and families)
Change up my routine (change is GOOD)
Offer new services to my current students/families
Meet (and assess) new singing students
Work on harmony skills with my students
Get students caught up on theory work (Theory IS fun!)
A well-laid out summer lesson plan keeps my bank account happy and allows me some extended family vacation time. Obviously, you will need to be somewhat flexible due to family holidays, but there are great opportunities for a busy lesson studio in the summer!
Here are some ideas to consider this summer.
Change the curriculum. Inspire your students to continue lessons this summer with some fun singing activities. Ditch the conservatory rep and find some great contemporary tunes for your singers. Step away from the piano and give your accompanist skills a break. Use Karaoke tracks (you can find FREE ones on Youtube), so you can WATCH your students carefully and work on their performance skills. For those of you who have the equipment – allow your students to work on microphone technique.
What about a Karaoke class where singers get to sing for each other?
Songwriting/Composing: Many of our singers are interested in songwriting. Secretly you are helping them with singing and music theory and giving them a creative outlet too. Songwriting activities work well for small classes too. Students can share ideas and be inspired by each other.
Duet, small ensemble, or choral class – Why not get your singers to work together on some choral music. Invite them to bring a friend if your studio is looking for new students in the fall!
Theory classes – I LOVE teaching theory. I always offer a summer theory class. I am an Ultimate Music Theory Certified teacher, so my classes are a BLAST.
Welcome the occasional voice student – During the school year – occasional (drop-in) students can be problematic. But in the summertime a win-win.
A few years ago I started the “Adult Summer Tune-Up” program. This program is a 4-week intensive private lesson package where adults can get some quality voice lessons without making a full-time commitment. I highly recommend making it a 4 or 6-week program with 1-hour lessons so they can dig deep into some solid training. This program allowed me to fill in my summer schedule (quickly) and also meet some wonderful new singers (bonus). I contacted several local communities and church choirs with my program offer, and my schedule was full within a week! The adults that enjoyed the tune-up program became full-time students in the fall. (Bonus!)
The Three “P’s” for summer lessons
Planning – start now. Get your ideas ready and look ahead to your schedule. See what opportunities you have to offer some new programs. Avoid weekends, especially holiday weekends and don’t forget to book your time off too! Families are starting to plan summer vacation so the sooner you know what you are doing the more likely they are to participate.
Promoting (this is so important!) – Once you know what your plans are – tell everyone. Send out email blasts to your current students and your friends and colleagues. Have a recital coming up? Perfect. Make an enthusiastic announcement about how awesome summer singing is. Print up flyers and give them to everyone. Use your social media outlets for good (no more cat videos people!) and get the word out. Remember to ask your people to “share” your posts. Promote your summer programs with a Facebook ad. (You need a Facebook page for your business to do this) A simple “boosted” post can get the word out quickly.
Prepare – get your promotional materials, teaching materials, handouts, music, and microphones ready for a busy summer season.
Happy Summer Singing!