I don't know about you, but I struggle with Spring Cleaning. I always have grand plans -- I print out cleaning charts, mark it out on my calendar, do one day of it, and then flop. That's it.
That's because Spring is just still crazy busy in my household and studio. In my home, my children are wrapping up their school year, so that means final projects, studying for finals, and endless events that don't seem to cease until July 1.
And then, in my studio, I'm running theory exams, doing piano parties, planning for a recital, and prepping/advertising for summer music camps. There is little time to live out my best intentions of cleaning up.
So, I just have decided (um, now that I failed) to not do "Spring Cleaning" this year, and if you are checking out the date of my post, you can see that I was about to fail in making a "Summer Refresh" as well. Nevertheless, yesterday, I buckled down and put in three hours, refreshing my studio space.
But, this was no ordinary cleaning session. This was a fun cleaning session. I poured myself a tall bottle of ice water, because I'm good like that (ok, I'm lying -- it was because it was about 900 degrees in my house!). I propped open my laptop to stream Netflix and kept one eyeball on "Call the Midwives" while I cleaned. Yeah, it was fun!
Here are some of the things I did:
1. Gathered all of my leftover Art Loves Music Camp stuff from three weeks ago and filed it away for the next time I use it (in a couple of years).
2. Went through my working files and printed out extra copies of scales, assignment sheets, and other documents that I pull out for each lesson.
3. Updated my student binders -- I have one for each teaching day, with a tab for each student. Went through those and added documents and other things that had been floating around.
4. Filed finished projects from my Preschool Music Class. I do a yearly portfolio for each little preschooler, and needed to file the most recent projects. That would be horrible if I lost them!
5. Refiled random music books and sheet music that just seem to pile everywhere. (Anyone relate?)
6. Cleared my supply shelves of random things. A birthday balloon, leftover from April, anyone?
7. Restacked my composer biography books. Put away some Dr. Seuss books that had somehow (yeah right, hello 7 year old!) gotten tucked in there.
8. And more random stuff that I don't remember . . .
Can I tell you that, going into this week of lessons, I feel awesome? Like a piano teaching super star! Why? Because I simply cleaned up a bit.
Did I have time to add the cute labels to my music bins like I wanted? Nope.
Did I have time to laminate that set of file folder games I made like 10 years ago? Nope.
Did I even have time to dust my piano? Nope. (But I will get my 13 year old to do that tomorrow).
See, the problem is, we think that our work on our lesson space has to be EPIC. We have to organize this and organize that! We have to make it the most organized, cute, stylish, modern, professional, welcoming piano lesson space that ever existed.
No, no, no. Piano Teacher Friend, just do what you can for an hour or two.
Do the most crucial things that will bring peace to YOU and then be good with waiting to get to the other things.
So, here, let me help you. I want you to jot down a list right now. A good old fashioned brain dump -- all the things you want to do in your lesson space. Don't censor yourself. If its on your mind, write it down. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Done? Ok, good, now circle the 3 - 5 things that will give you the best reward for your time invested. You might want to make cute little labels for something, but do you need to make more assignment sheets instead? Again, whatever will bring you the most peace, meaning you know it is something that needs to get done.
Now that you have that list of 3 - 5 things? Voila! That is your summer refresh list.
Open up your calendar and find an hour and write it down. On a specific time, on a specific day.
And then, when you get there? Do it. Give your piano lesson business a little TLC. Do a summer refresh and see the remarkable difference it makes for you and your lessons.
Trust me -- a little summer refresh goes a long way. You'll be glad you did it!