another question from the new girl!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread
Hi again! How many of you teach in the Summer? (I plan to.) My daughter takes from another teacher (she won't sit for me!ha!), and this teacher doesn't teach in the Summer. I took all year long when I was growing up. I feel that the child becomes "stale", or they may even decide not to come back in the Fall when school starts. I know that nowadays, sports have become priority in the Summertime, but I would think that the parents would make the kids find time for piano practice, as well. I don't think times could have changed that much. Or is it parenting? So, what do you think? Teach in the Summer, give the parent a choice, or wait until Fall?
-- Deanne (email@example.com), February 24, 2002
A lot of parents choose to take a break in the summer after having a whole year of lessons. Myself a parent of two kids in piano lessons, I understand that. We try things in the summer that I wouldn't commit to for a whole school year. As a piano teacher, I like to offer something somewhat "different" during the summer from the usual routine. In our city day camps are very popular: tennis camp, art camp, band camp, gymnastics camp. A whole week of an activity. It can involve your whole morning, or just a an hour or so. I do two different camps: a Composition Camp for a week, and a Keyboard Ensemble Camp for a week. We meet Mon thru Thurs for an hour to work on that particular week's focus. I've gotten pretty good response, and the kids are still keeping their music up. Another idea..... my piano year doesn't end until end of June (I found out that the dance studios and gymnastics places in my city end then). I was hesitant at first to keep going thru June, but I did it and it's worked. Then the students only have off two months. Also.... about kids not wanting to start up again in Fall: in May I have students "re-register" (which means they pay their new book/materials fee for the upcoming school year). I know who's planning on coming back, and any parents who are wavering come August, remember that their non-refundable book fee ha
-- Miss Alix (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 26, 2002.
Last summer was the first summer in 20 years that I took a break. Boy, did I enjoy it! I taught only 3 students that I really wanted to teach, taught the occasional lesson by request, but otherwise nothing. I came back refreshed and renewed and ready to go for the year.
I did give the students summer assignments and about 2-3 weeks before lessons started again I gave them each a call to remind them to prepare for their next lesson and reviewed what I wanted them to do. It worked for me. We both got a much needed break and they were prepared for their next lesson.
One thing I like to suggest to my students' parents is that spend time during the summer listening to classical music, maybe invest in some new CD's and listen with the kids. Some of them did it and seemed to really enjoy it since it was a family thing. They let kids pick out some of the CD's and I made some recommendations.
-- Arlene Steffen (email@example.com), February 26, 2002.