Five Helpful Resources for Suzuki Violin Teachers…
1. I loved this post from Teach Piano Today titled, “How to Turn Your Difficult Piano Students into Your Favorite Piano Students.” It is such a helpful and timely reminder for me of the impact I can have in the lives of my students.
2. One of my big takeaways from Philip Johnston’s book, The Dynamic Studio, was the power of giving your students a reason to stay. It is not enough for our students not to have a reason to leave, they need compelling reasons to stay in the studio. One of my new strategies for adding reasons to stay is an epic studio raffle challenge. Students will earn tickets for the days they practice, as well as other defined challenges and goals (listening, etc.) At the end of the semester we will be holding a drawing and the prizes will be sa-weet. Tickets to the local amusement park, arcade, etc. I am investing some money in these prizes yes, but if it gets even a few of my students fired up about practicing I will make my money back in continued tuition payments. If you are interested in holding a practice challenge in your studio, I recommend checking out this article by Philip Johnston:
3. Have you downloaded Heather Figi’s Spring/Summer Packet yet? It has some fantastic pieces and exercises like Down-Up-Up Twinkle (Great practice for Minuet I!), Backwards Mystery Pieces, and more. I downloaded this packet to use in my group lessons today and I can’t wait to see how the kids respond to the backwards mystery pieces. It’s going to be a riot. I already know. The packet is only available for a few more days so get over there and download it. You won’t be disappointed, and it’s free so…win-win!
4. I’ve really enjoyed reading How Muscles Learn: Teaching the Violin with the Body in Mind by Susan Kempter this month for the Plucky Violin Teacher Book Club. It’s been a great refresher on what excellent posture looks and feels like and how to help my students achieve it.
5. This fall my teaching schedule is 100% booked, AND I have a bunch of students on my waitlist for January. I really stepped-up my marketing game over the last few months. I overhauled my website, re-branded my studio, raised my rates, and I’m gradually changing my studio culture. Bree Lewis’s book, The Handbook of Marketing Strategies for Music Teachers: 88 Free and Low-Cost Ways to Book Your Studio Full was an invaluable resource during this process. One of the most successful marketing strategies I tried from her book was taking advantage of locally-based Facebook groups. This tip was pure gold, and there are many more ideas in the book that I haven’t even tried yet. Right now, Bree is offering a coupon code for the next few days for $20 off, so now is the time to buy! You can purchase the handbook here, just use AUGUST for the coupon code to get $20 off.
What are your best violin-teaching tips and resources? Please share in the comments!