What determines the health of a piano studio? Is it based on how the students perform at federation, competitions, or recitals? Is it based on the length of your waiting list? Or the number of students who continue music in higher education?
Maybe you feel that the health of your studio is based on how few headaches you have to deal with on a regular basis.
While all of these can and sometimes should be evaluated, my proposition to you is that one of the most important aspects of studio health is also the easiest to avoid.
I’ve always felt like I’ve had comfortable relationships with my studio families, but in the past few years I have tried to take my communication with them to the next level.
And after consistently doing this – week after week, month after month, and now year after year – I have come to believe that one of the most important measures of my studio’s health is how well I establish and maintain relationships with each family.
Of course, I will naturally feel more connected to some than others. And on top of that I certainly don’t want to feel like an annoyance to any of them with my methods of communication. I certainly want to maintain a healthy teacher-student break down.
But building strong relationships with each family means that my students will perform better, because each family better understands what needs to be done. It means I will have a longer waiting list, because they are more likely to refer me to their friends. Whether or not my students go on to continue music in higher education doesn’t matter, because they will have a deep knowledge and love of music that will transcend where the rest of life takes them.
And you know what? You will likely have less headaches to deal with as well. Your studio families will be more likely to approach a problem sooner if they feel they can confide in you with whatever needs arise. They will be much more likely to hear from you when you need to address an issue as well. And your policies are more likely to be respected because they understand you as a person, not just “the piano teacher”.
Last month, we talked about scheduling quick, easy, and individualized communication that can go a long way in developing healthy studio relationships. You can check it out the 4 Sentence Magic here 🙂
For this month’s piano hack, I’m reminding you about 4 pages that are updated monthly here on the blog.
Each month I share a Family Music Challenge, Book of the Month, Practice Tip, and fun listening example to encourage my studio families to engage with music in fun ways outside of lessons and regular practice sessions.
I simply send a newsletter email each week that highlights one of these and any other information they need to know for the week. You could easily send out a monthly newsletter with the same information all at once. Looking for examples? Check out my student newsletter page here 🙂
To make life as easy as possible for you, I’ve shared these 4 music elements on pages available here on the blog. Feel free to link or copy/paste images to share with you students each month. (Please do not alter the images in any way.)
You may be surprised at what your studio families take the time learn and experience together when prompted! And your families will certainly feel loved and cared for in their entire journey of music learning – from the lesson to required practice to over all music learning 🙂
So how do you know your studio is healthy? First take a close up look at your communication and relationships. Seize every opportunity to make the most of how you communicate – both individualized and all-studio communication. Remember that the greatest wealth is health, and any time spent on building strong studio relationships will reap beautiful rewards!
Click on the pictures below to see what my students have been receiving so far this year 🙂