Summer is always a tricky time for music teachers. You want your students to continue taking on a normal schedule if possible but many families travel extensively in the summer. So as a teacher you have to be prepared for the drop in pay during the summer months.
The past few years I taught piano, voice and oboe at a school of music here in Charlotte, NC. It seemed like a pretty good deal as far a summer lessons went. Students were required to take 6 lessons in order to obtain VIP registration for the fall. People would twist and turn their schedules and gripe and complain, but mostly they seemed to fit those lessons in. Only 1 or 2 of my 35 odd students would take more than 6 lesson. Everyone was just so busy in the summer. On the surface, it seemed beneficial to have a required amount of lessons.
Fast forward to this summer. I am teaching exclusively from my home studio and I was really worried about how summer was going to pan out. While not wanting to pressure students into lessons, paying my bills is important as well. So, I highly encouraged my students to take lessons if they were in town. If they are traveling, don’t worry about it and you don’t pay for that lesson. However, if you are here I expect to see you in the studio those weeks if at all possible.
Talk about surprising. Almost all of my students are taking a full schedule for the summer. We are moving lesson days to accommodate summer plans, but the students are really stepping up to the plate. The flexibility of being able to change lessons with little notice is really keeping the lesson going.
So fellow teachers I would encourage you to give your students a little wiggle room in the summer. They might surprise you with their dedication.