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Teaching in the Summer #962923
02/12/07 10:01 AM
02/12/07 10:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 107
california
T
Tara Offline OP
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Tara  Offline OP
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T

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 107
california
I usually take the summer off from teaching, but have been giving some thought to continuing thru the summer this year.

Im curious as to how many teachers teach during the summer monthes and what it is like for you.

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Re: Teaching in the Summer #962924
02/12/07 10:20 AM
02/12/07 10:20 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,597
Mo.
sarabande Offline
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sarabande  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,597
Mo.
I teach during the summers but students tend to miss more lessons during the summer. Some students have to change their lesson time to the evening as they are in day long summer camps. Some are able to come during the day.

I haven't charged students for missed lessons in the summer like I do in the fall and spring. I'm planning to change that for this summer. I'm going to charge a flat rate due at the beginning of the summer for the entire summer regardless of the number of times the student comes. The cost will work out so that if they don't miss any lessons, they will in actuality be getting a certain number of lessons free. If they happen to miss a few lessons, they won't have been penalized cost-wise.

Re: Teaching in the Summer #962925
02/12/07 11:09 AM
02/12/07 11:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 38
OH
mjelle Offline
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mjelle  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 38
OH
I like teaching in the summer. A lot of kids seem to have more time to practice since they are not in school, and have less activities. We usually get more accomplished in the summer. I don't think this is true for all students though. Some just get in that summer mindset, and want to enjoy their summer, and pool visits and such come first. I wish more students would take advantage of the summer for lessons though. Think about all the time they spend doing homework, they can spend on piano in the summer! Wishful thinking maybe!

Re: Teaching in the Summer #962926
02/12/07 11:24 AM
02/12/07 11:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
California
D
dumdumdiddle Offline
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dumdumdiddle  Offline
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D

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
California
Summer months can be a bummer for your income as many parents decide to take a 3-month break. I decided to change that and make my teaching year a 10-month year, breaking for July/August. I'd been researching local dance schools and found that they went until the end of June, culminating w/their recital. Since the public schools in my area ended mid-June, I would schedule my recitals just prior.

In July and August I do a variety of weeklong music camps, with each day being a different theme. Kids come for 2 hours a day for 5 days.

I know many teachers who require students take 6 lessons in the summer to reserve their spot in the Fall.


Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild
Re: Teaching in the Summer #962927
02/12/07 01:21 PM
02/12/07 01:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 222
Northern California
Knabe26 Offline
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Knabe26  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 222
Northern California
I teach year-round, with the summer months being no different. My students can take up to 4 vacation weeks, not paying for those weeks, with one month's notice. I also ask that not more than two of those vacation weeks be used in any one month, so that students will be paying for at least a half month. I offer makeups, if possible, for those additional weeks taken off. Most just skip them. July and August are my leanest months. I do occasionally have students who want to take the summer off. When they do that, they come back in the fall to an available slot, but it might not be the slot they left.

I also like that there are fewer activities in the summer. Most of my students practice more then than during the school year.

Perhaps another reason year round works for me is that we have multiple school districts in the area, plus private schools, of course, and some are on year-round rather than traditional schedules.


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Re: Teaching in the Summer #962928
02/12/07 05:44 PM
02/12/07 05:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 384
Alberta, Canada
Piano&Flute Offline
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Piano&Flute  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 384
Alberta, Canada
I give students the option of summer lessons and advertise the summer as the only time of the year when students can pay for the weeks they want to come...no charge for weeks they are out of town. I push for summer lessons with beginners especially explaining that a student who has only been taking lessons for a few months will most likely forget everything over the summer. I am debating the idea of running summer group sessions this year, maybe offering more opportunities to work on duets or ensemble pieces. It's a tough situation around here though as the expectation is that summers will be lesson free.


Registered Private Piano and Flute Teacher
Re: Teaching in the Summer #962929
02/12/07 07:17 PM
02/12/07 07:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,995
Williamsburg, VA
Piano*Dad Offline
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Piano*Dad  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,995
Williamsburg, VA
My son's teacher used to take the summers off. So that's when I found another teacher over the summer. Kids who are motivated can make GREAT strides over the summer, and my son has done so every year even when he takes six week breaks for summer academic classes and family vacations. There's nothing like all that free time to create an environment in which 2-3 hours of piano per day seems easy to manage.

BTW, his teacher now offers some summer classes.

Re: Teaching in the Summer #962930
02/12/07 08:30 PM
02/12/07 08:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
What a fun topic wink

Like D3, I work a ten month teaching year. Summer lessons are much less stuctured, are a bit longer, and I offer parents a discount on a 2nd lesson taken the same week. Usually I restrict lessons to T-W-Th, so I can enjoy extended weekends with my wife thumb

I have found that students who are in town and study through the summer often progres more in that 8 wk period than in the Fall term!


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Teaching in the Summer #962931
02/12/07 08:39 PM
02/12/07 08:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
Ken Knapp Offline

2000 Post Club Member
Ken Knapp  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,583
Pennsylvania
My piano teacher has lessons over the summer but has two breaks throughout the year. In June he has a recital and there are no lessons for two weeks following the recital. In December he also has a recital and no lessons for the month of December.

During the summer he charges week to week rather than by the month.

Ken


Ken

Hammond Organ Technician
Piano Torturer
Re: Teaching in the Summer #962932
02/14/07 12:59 PM
02/14/07 12:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 255
Kailua-Kona, HI
P
PianoTeacherKim Offline
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PianoTeacherKim  Offline
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P

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 255
Kailua-Kona, HI
I teach most of the summer, though anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of my students take summer off. I plan my income on the teaching year, though, because I just never know what will happen in the summer!

I usually take August off entirely - it's the most common vacation month, and I end up with the most cancellations as families are trying to do things before kids go back to school.

My adults are grateful that I teach in the summer! smile

Unquestionably, for kids, summer is a great time to take lessons. Practicing goes up and stress goes down.

Best,

Kim


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Re: Teaching in the Summer #962933
02/16/07 09:39 AM
02/16/07 09:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 107
california
T
Tara Offline OP
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Tara  Offline OP
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T

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 107
california
Thanks everyone for all that interesting info. I agree that summer is a time (or should be!!) when kids have a lot more free time to practice.

It sounds like for most of you, it is definately a different "feel" than the rest of the year as far as regularity, number of students, etc. Thanks again for your valuable input. Tara

Re: Teaching in the Summer #962934
02/16/07 04:46 PM
02/16/07 04:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 166
Michigan
nuteachr Offline
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nuteachr  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 166
Michigan
This is what I do:

I teach for 6 weeks out of the Summer - mid June to the end of July. This gives me the month of August off to plan for the following year.

Because students are off and on vacation here and there, this is what I require:

I charge a flat rate, per lesson for the Summer Session.

The Summer Session is 6 weeks long.

In order to "hold" or "reserve" a place for Fall Enrollment in September, I require all students to take a minimum of 4 lessons (1 month) during Summer Session. To maintain flexibility with the students' schedules, I allow them to take their 4 lessons (or all 6 weeks worth if they choose) in 3 ways:
1. 4 (5 or 6) lessons in consecutive weeks
2. 4 lessons scattered throughout the 6 week period
3. a one-week (4 or 5 day) workshop.

This structure has worked great for me! Students don't go for 3 months without practice, I get my time off (August) and I still get a paid for the month of July!

Hope this helps

Re: Teaching in the Summer #962935
04/19/07 06:46 PM
04/19/07 06:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Stanny  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,461
I usually teach about 1/2 my students in the summer. Those who take usually improve much faster since they have more time to practice. This summer, I'm going to teach my summer session from June 4- August 1. I have 3 packages available...9 weeks, 6 weeks and 4 weeks, and ask for payment in advance. I hope this works out to be easier than last summer, when kids were always asking off for weeks for camp and vacations.

Nuteacher, I like your idea of requiring 4 lessons to hold your fall spot. I'm going to add that to my policy!


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
Re: Teaching in the Summer #962936
04/20/07 02:01 PM
04/20/07 02:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26
Texas
O
okietransplant Offline
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okietransplant  Offline
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O

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 26
Texas
I teach five lessons in the summer. I schedule them around vacations and camps. (I do like nuteachr's idea of a six-week option). If I had a set time period that I taught, I don't think I would have many students. But I do take off a week here and there, to go to convention or vacation. I don't require the lessons at this time, but I may move to that point (I'm paying for my daughter's private college tuition starting next year!). I really encourage the summer lessons and try to make them fun. This summer, I am offering a piano ensemble option - if I have enough sign up. It's amazing how much kids can learn during the summer, and it's also amazing how much they regress and forget without summer lessons.

Re: Teaching in the Summer #962937
04/21/07 06:05 PM
04/21/07 06:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,642
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,642
Boynton Beach, FL
These are some great ideas! I always have trouble with students "forgetting" their lessons, or telling me that the mean to take summer lessons and just forget to call to set them up. I like the idea of paying for them all in advance, so that if they forget, I'm not obligated to reschedule. What do you guys do to encourage students to sign up?

I'm also thinking of offering a piano (or voice) group lesson. Any suggestions on how to do this (how long per day, how many sessions and how often, etc)?


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Teaching in the Summer #962938
04/23/07 11:51 AM
04/23/07 11:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
Chicago 'burbs
lalakeys Offline
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lalakeys  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
Chicago 'burbs
I "officially" teach all year, but I am much more flexible during the summer months, as usually my students (and I!) want to take a couple of weeks off to relax, travel, etc.

I encourage my students to continue taking lessons regularly throughout the summer, with maybe 3 or 4 weeks off (letting me know at least a month in advance when they will be gone). Sometimes I schedule an informal recital at the end of August, as a celebration/performance opportunity for those who want to show off what they've accomplished. And most parents seem to realize the value of continuing the discipline of piano study through the summer months. Some students actually find that they have MORE time to practice without the distraction of homework, field trips, etc.

Just what works for me ! smile


Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

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