Tag Archives: music studio

Fall Checklist for Children’s Music Studios

With the turning leaves and cooling weather of fall, children start back to school. Teachers have had an all-important  break, and are refreshed and ready to face a new year and often times, a new set of students. Early childhood music studio owners and teachers often run classes year-round while teaching the same groups of children as they progress in music. However, Fall still presents an opportunity for educators to reinvigorate their children’s music programs. Four ways in which to do that include outbound marketing programs, refreshing teaching space, reviewing lesson plans, and stocking up on classroom materials.

Perform Outbound Marketing to Grow Your Studio

Children’s music studio owners know that in order to sustain and grow their business,

it’s important to feed new students into the program. The following outbound marketing programs can help grow the number of new music students, and in turn, revenues.

  • Referral Programs – Provide incentives for parents to invite other parents to join your studio.
  • Eblasts – Whether you are using your own internal email list, a purchased list based on your target demographics, or a list offered by local organizations, emails can be very effective.
  • Direct Mail – Postcards or letters with incentives towards targeted demographics or neighborhoods are most helpful when repeated periodically.
  • Organization/Group Opportunities – Organizations such as the PTA, Mommy’s Groups, Neighborhood Facebook pages, and other organizations for young parents offer sponsorship and outreach opportunities.
  • Social Media – A fairly inexpensive way to reach out to potential customers while sharing your brand and benefits.

Refresh Your Teaching Space

Creating a space that is conducive for learning is very important for students’ cognitive performance. Here are just a few ideas for making your teaching space new and inviting to students:

  • Provide ample space for each student – As your classes grow, so should your teaching space!
  • Get organized to reduce clutter – A clean classroom helps students focus on the lesson and the teacher, not distractions.
  • Add a splash of color – Having a colorful classroom, such as carpeting or wall hangings, adds excitement and gets kids excited to come to music class.

Review Lesson Plans

While many lesson plans are “tried and true,” reviewing and looking at them in a different way can be exciting for even the most experienced educators.

  • Think if new world examples to explain established concepts – Explaining concepts with something students can relate to makes a better connection to the subject matter.
  • Each review uncovers new revelations – We often read books and watch movies multiple times because of things we may have missed the last time around.
  • Review aids recall – Just as with studying any subject, review always helps to recall information. Thorough knowledge of material gives teachers confidence.

Stock Up on Classroom Materials

Children’s music classrooms often have many more tactile materials than traditional classrooms, so having an ample and operable supply on hand is very important:

  • Plan for growth – While you may be reluctant to carry inventory over your expected class size, you don’t want to turn a windfall of new students away because you don’t have the necessary materials.
  • Wear and tear – Many materials, especially musical instruments, can experience the same wear and tear as children’s toys. Proper sound and tone are also important when teaching musical concepts.
  • New edition – Written materials often go through various editions and may have subtle changes and corrected errors. Check with your publisher to make sure your materials are up to date.

The new school year presents a time for teachers and students to re-energize their love of learning. Taking some steps in the children’s music classroom can help create new growth in the program as well as nurture a positive learning environment.

The Roles of the Parent and Teacher in the Children’s Music Classroom

We have all heard about “helicopter parenting” (and from time to time may be guilty of it ourselves), where a parent injects themselves into the activity, experiences, or problems of a child, particularly in educational institutions. While this kind of involvement in a child’s education is considered detrimental to their long term well-being, parental involvement and participation in the early childhood music studio is highly encouraged. The following synopsis is based on a series of podcasts from Musikgarten that delves into the parental role in an early childhood music and movement classroom.

Parental Roles in Early Childhood Music Education

When exploring the role of the parent in the physical and psychological well-being of children in the classroom, one of the most important benefits of parental involvement is that the caregiver can immerse themselves into the experience and become an active part of the learning process.  Through modeling and participating, not only does the parent get the enjoyment of making music with their child, but also benefit from the bonding that happens during the process. In the earliest stages of childhood, children have been mimicking their parents for some time, so having them alongside in the music classroom seems natural. Today’s caregivers are bombarded with optional activities for their children, but most do not ask for full participation other than to perhaps register, transport, and provide snacks. It can be daunting for parents to adjust to this role in a classroom setting, especially when surrounded by other parents. So, there is also modeling going on between the teacher and the caregivers, as well as between parents. And because the teacher is leading the activities in the classroom, the parent’s main role is to simply be present and have fun with their child.

The Role of Early Childhood Music Teachers in Making Parents Feel Comfortable

Just as a child may feel apprehensive and nervous about a new classroom setting, teachers should keep in mind that parents and caregivers may also be feeling self-conscious about participation. While they may regularly participate in instructed group activities such as yoga or church groups, being asked to sing and “act silly” in front of others can be intimidating. Physical or psychological limitations may also make the caregiver hesitate to participate in activities, such as confidence in singing or getting up and down on the floor.

Just as with the child, the teacher’s role is to be aware of reluctance in the parent as well and provide a comfortable atmosphere in which to participate. In addition, it’s important to remind caregivers that their child craves their participation, whether its singing or movement. The child does not care how well the parent sings, but loves to hear their voice because of the comfort it provides and a sense of safety since birth. Teachers should continue to encourage the parents to participate and find the level of comfort that will prompt participation.

One interesting result of good parent participation is as a child eventually finds their voice, they may actually ask parents to participate less by putting their hand over their mouth or even asking them to leave. While it is important to encourage the child to find their own voice, it’s also the teacher’s role to tell both that the class is a family class and should be shared together. As the child grows older, they will not only find their voice, but also be able to share that voice with others in a musical setting.

Parent and caregiver participation in the early childhood music classroom setting is important in the healthy development for a child’s love and understanding of music. The comfort and modeling it provides is invaluable to developing an affinity in learning and creating music. In addition to music curriculum, the teachers role is to encourage both parent and child to participate while simply having fun.

Back to the Children Music Classroom Post Pandemic

As with about everything else, we are all very tired of topics being written on the Covid-19 pandemic, and are ready to move forward to normalcy. As we cautiously move back to in-person school settings, there are several things that children’s music teachers and other educators say have changed in their classrooms. The CDC has provided its Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools, but in private educational settings  such as early childhood music education, policy is often left up to the school administrators, music studio owners, or even classroom teachers. With parents’ opinions and levels of anxiety about a return to the classroom differing, most educators cannot control parents’ decisions on whether to send their children back into the classroom. What they can control, however, is their own classroom policy to clearly communicate to parents how they intend to move forward. Here are some helpful tips for putting together your own post pandemic classroom policy:

Teachers Tips for Returning to In-person Music Teaching   

  • Publish and Post a Written Policy – Whether parents prefer to take every precaution, or feel that they are unnecessary, most will certainly want to know how your classroom will be managed. Distributing and posting your policy on the matter will give them the information they need to decide, and they will thank you for it.
  • Clearly Define Your Mask Policy – Parents are making decisions on whether their children will continue to wear masks in public settings, and you don’t want to surprise them one way or the other. If you are not requiring masks outright, consider a mask optional policy. While it may muffle singing a bit, it puts the ultimate decision clearly in the hands of the parents.
  • Social Distancing – Children’s music classrooms are a very communal experience, often with activities such as circle time and close contact such as hand holding. Teachers should consider whether they are going to practice social distancing in their classroom, and clearly communicate the rules to both parents and students alike.
  • Vaccination Policy – In many early children’s music classes, especially with infants, the parents are often attending and personally involved. Therefore, a vaccination policy is important to communicate to parents whether you require adults to be vaccinated in your classroom or not.
  • Classroom Hygiene Procedures – Whether it’s Covid, the flu, or even a cold, it’s safe to assume that most all parents do not wish for their child to get sick. Not only does it mean suffering for their child, but also time that might have to be spent away from work, or potential to infect other family members. Clearly explaining your classroom cleaning process for parents, as well as offering sanitizing products around entrances and bathrooms help to offer greater peace of mind.
  • Sick Policy – We are all accustomed now to the question “have you felt sick or had a fever in the last two weeks?” Teachers understand how quickly a sickness can spread around a classroom of children, whether a simple cold or something worse. Clearly state your policy for participation if a child or parent is currently sick. With all of our newfound experience in remote learning technology, some teachers may even offer remote participation as an alternative for sick parents or children.

Children’s music studio owners and teachers understand that clearly communicating with your parents and students is important for the long-term success of your business. Whether its marketing or curricula, keeping parents in the know serves everyone. Clear communication is no different for returning to in-person learning. While you ultimately get to make your own decisions on the policies of your music studio, parents ultimately decide on what they deem in their children’s best interests. In the end, most all parents will appreciate you providing the information to make their own decisions about returning to the music classroom.