Making Your Health A Priority Can Save You Money and Time!
A few weeks ago, I came down with a terrible cold. I started feeling a little crummy on a Thursday evening, and it got worse and worse. I was coughing uncontrollably, had lost my voice, and felt like I had been hit by a truck. It was awful. To make a bad situation worse, my toddler, preschooler, and my husband all got it too. We were a mess. Did I mention we were getting ready to move at the same time? Yeah. Not good.
One of the worst things about it though, is that if you are a private violin teacher like myself you don’t get paid sick days! I ended up canceling a whole week and a half of lessons. That’s a lot of time and money. There’s no way to find an extra twenty hours to do make up lessons. A little cold put a real dent in our finances.
As music teachers, our greatest music teaching business asset is not our instrument, teaching space, or tech gadgets. It is our health! Our physical health allows us to actually do our job so we can get paid, but not only that, it’s the difference between uninspired teaching and energetic and engaged teaching.
It’s not so easy to be fun and exciting when you are exhausted and have no energy.
How can we protect our most important music teaching asset?
1. Make sleep sacred. This one is tough when you have small children interrupting your slumber, but that doesn’t make you totally powerless! Go to bed early, sleep in a little if you had a rough night. Take a nap! A twenty minute nap can do wonders! Takeaway: What is your bedtime? Pick a time, and STICK TO IT. Netflix can wait.
2. Stay hydrated. This is especially important for musicians! We have to keep our joints and ligaments properly lubricated.
3. Eat healthfully. Eat for energy and nutrients. Fill yourself up with foods that truly nourish your body. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc. Stay away from processed foods that give you quick high, only to leave you crashing in the middle of your afternoon lessons.
4. Exercise. If you want to have a good day and a good attitude, exercise. Exercise to brighten your mood, raise your endorphins and give you energy! Beginning the day with moderate exercise can help you power through a long teaching schedule. Not to mention, playing a musical instrument is an athletic endeavor, you need to strengthen your muscles to be able to withstand long periods of playing and teaching.
None of these are a surprise, I know, but in tandem they can protect you from minor illnesses (which we see a LOT of working with small children.) Teaching music in a fun and engaging way requires lots of excitement and energy from the teacher, and we have to get that energy somewhere! Treat your body like the gift it is, and it will serve you well.
In today’s world, where so many children are now obese and facing preventable diseases like type II diabetes, modeling good health is an important step we can take to help those we serve. Don’t hide your healthy habits, let your students see you caring for yourselves, and who knows? They may be inspired to do the same!
How do you make your health a priority and cultivate healthy habits? Please share your tips in the comments!
Are you a Suzuki Teacher? Subscribe to our teacher newsletter, and we will send you a weekly email with updates to the blog and our free parent education pdf, What Every Suzuki Parent Needs to Know, for you to use in your own studio.