Summertime is beautiful and summertime is TOUGH.
You know how it goes. Your piano students all seem to disappear off of the planet around the end of May.
Its called the Summer Slump. And by "slump", I mean your bank account!
Yep, this is a tough time of year, because as we all know, if piano students are not sitting on your bench, you are not getting paid. And your piano families do not want to be tied down to lessons during a busy summer and they definitely don't want to pay for lessons they aren't taking.
So, your income takes a nose dive and you are left figuring out how to meet all of your bills sans your regular income. There's nothing fun and carefree about that, is there?
What to do, then, about the Piano Lesson Summer Slump? Is this inevitable and teachers just have to go with it?
Not at all.
Picture, instead, your summer enrollment does not change by even one single student. Picture your students coming through your studio at their regular lesson time, so you don't have switch the calendar around and your own personal schedule. Picture your students engaged with their lessons, looking forward to continuing on, and you not losing any momentum during these blistering hot months.
This is possible.
But its up to you. YOU have to have the plan. YOU have to have the policies in place. YOU have to have a strategy for tackling summer.
Here's how this works:
1. Have a lesson policy where students MUST continue on during the summer months or lose their spot in your studio.
2. Communicate the importance of consistent lessons -- both for the student and for you. Be very clear on the importance and your expectation.
3. Provide an alternative for students who will be travelling during the summer months.
For instance, you're going to miss two lessons? No problem, come to the Summer Piano Party - its included in your tuition. .
Or, you can't be here for the month of July because you're staying at your dad's house? No problem, make sure you come to Summer Music Camp in June - its included in your tuition.
If neither of those hinted options work for you, what can you do? What can you offer in place of those missed lessons so that your clients feel that they are getting the most bang for their buck?
4. Add in something fun to help your students see summer lessons in a slightly different light. I know one teacher who throws in a craft for her elementary students during the summer. In my own studio, I just started a "Music at the Movies" theme to help liven up my summer lessons.
Mind you, not something that's a ton of work, but something that's different and special for your students.
I get it, this is hard -- your students disappearing in May and then coming back in August hoping to get their time slot back. You can avoid all of this by implementing those four simple steps.
Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
For more great, easy to implement theme for your studio, check out the pianolessonmom.com resource "Music at the Movies: A 5 Step Kit for a Great Studio Theme"