Monthly Archives: April 2018

You are browsing the site archives by month.

No Stress Summer Piano Camp

Have you ever gotten frustrated with the lack of attendance at summer lessons? Do most of your students just take the summer off? Are you trying to plan creative ways to increase summer income? I have found summer camps an excellent way to increase my income.

Several years ago I embarked on my summer piano camp experiences by holding a preschool summer camp, which you can read about here, here, and here. The next year I expanded to add a half day elementary camp and each year I have expanded on my summer camp offerings. Currently I offer a preschool half day camp, elementary all day camp, and intermediate all day camp. This year I will be adding field trips to the intermediate camp.

If you are planning to offer summer camps but aren’t sure where to start by deciding the type of camp you want to host, elementary, preschool, etc and if it will be all day or half day. 

Pick your dates:

Usually, I like to survey parents to find out popular dates for camp. I set up a free survey through Survey Monkey. I ask date preferences, if they would prefer half or all day, and any misc questions I may have for that year. If it’s your first time holding a summer camp, you could also ask what their interest level is in a summer camp.

Choose your curriculum:

Once you have the level of camp you want to hold you need to choose a curriculum. Though I love planning and creating games for my students I find it easiest to have a pre-written curriculum to jump start my planning. Some my students favorite games and camp themes have come from Sheryl Well’s blog. Sheryl’s camps are well designed and easy to implement. You can check out her summer camp materials here.

I have also used Joy Moirin’s composer camp and music history lapbooks. You can find those here and here

Choose your price:

Once you have your camp type, and dates, it’s time to decide on a price. It’s a good idea to check and see what other camps are charging in your area. I choose to charge less than other camps because I hold my summer camps out of my home. But don’t charge too much less. The price range may look like quite a larger chunk of money up front but remember to factor in the hourly rate you would like to make.

Choose your location:

I choose to hold my camps in my home so we have easy access to a yard so we can have a water day. But you can also choose to host your camps in another location, perhaps at a church, or other community facility. You should also factor in cost and price of the camp into your location as well.

Identify your Ideal Size:

How many children will you allow in each camp?  What do you consider full and do you need an assistant teacher? I recommend if this is your first year starting with a small. group I personally find 6-8 students is easily manageable on my own and still profitable.  Personally 8 is a perfect size if I do not have another teacher assisting. If I have more than 8 students I have found having an assistant teacher important, and often necessary to help the camp run smoothly.

Once you have an idea of the type of camp, dates, price, curriculum etc it’s time to advertise your camp. A simple PDF with an enticing description of camp is an excellent start. Though You can email the info out to families, I find it also valuable to chat with each family in person, so they can see how excited you are about camp.

If you are planning to or decide to host a camp this summer I would love to hear about your camp plans!

 

How I Keep a Consistent Piano Teaching Income During the Summer

Frustrated with lower income during summer months? Do most of your students take the summer off? Do you feel like you loose students during the summer months or does your studio grow? After years of frustration and financial challenges in the summer I finally decided to make a few changes. For students to hold a slot for summer lessons, I now require they purchase at least a minimum package of lessons.

I changed summer lessons from tuition based on the number of weeks I teach in the summer to 3 package options for students. In order to guarantee they have a time slot for the fall they must purchase at least one of the packages of lessons for the summer. I then allow them to schedule private lessons any week I am in town. This has helped me predict more accurately how many students I can accept into open slots for the fall and has cleared up any confusion about students who take the summer off but then expect a lesson slot in the fall. I

Because I choose to offer summer camps parents can purchase a package of 9 private lessons, 6 lessons plus a half day of camp, or 3 lessons and an all day camp. I often encourage the camp packages as they are usually an excellent financial return on my time spent teaching. Camps are also a great change of pace and super fun for students to participate in.

If offering a camp isn’t your style but you still want to offer something different offer a package of private lessons and perhaps a few group class throughout the summer, a special ensemble opportunity, or learning a special skill in lessons such as composition. Another fun option could be to hold a fun mini summer recital to keep students motivated to practice and take lessons through the summer.

What is your favorite way to keep your income up during the summer, do your summer lessons need repackaging to help make your time more profitable, are you trying something new this summer? I would love to hear about it!