You know what happens . . . the yellow school buses start travelling through the neighborhoods and it becomes inevitable: your schedule starts to get shaky fast.
That's right folks. It's Fall. The time of back to school, Fall leaves, and crazy schedules.
Make no mistake, your students (and their families) are going through great upheaval right now. Trying to find a new rhythm. Trying to figure out the new school year. Trying to remember that they have to buy more ziplocs for all of those kiddo snacks. (OK, maybe that's just me.)
So, this time of year is crazy-making for your families, and trust me, it will leak into your piano studio. You may have students needing to urgently change piano lesson times or you may see an uptick in student no-shows.
Breathe deeply, Piano Teacher, this is normal and you (and your students) will get through it.
Here are two important things to remember:
1. Keep your piano lesson schedule YOUR piano lesson schedule.
It is so tempting to stray outside of your piano lesson boundaries for students whose needs have changed. I get it, believe me. You love that student, and suddenly, they need Wednesday mornings at 3:45 a.m. as a lesson time.
Tempted though you may be (really?), I strongly encourage you to keep your schedule your schedule. Remember all that work you put into determining when you will teach piano, and when you won't? Make sure you stick to that.
You deserve a steady schedule. Your family deserves a steady schedule.
So, do what you can to accommodate your student's changing needs, but only if it stays within your given lesson hours.
2. Be patient while your students - mostly their parents -- are figuring out THEIR schedules.
It can be nerve wracking to field text after text from students who are not sure if they can or cannot make Tuesday or Thursday or Saturday. Be patient.
This is stressful for you, but it is even more stressful for them. They know they are messing with your schedule too, but they are hoping you can still fit them in.
So, honor that desire and give them space for their stress by being patient. Listen to their concerns, tell them you will get back to them, and just let everything settle a bit. Chances are VERY good that their schedule will change yet again before you even get back to them, so just be patient.
Piano Teacher Friend, I know this can be a stressful time of year within your studio. Just know that it is, and make sure you are staying true to YOUR schedule, and patient with THEIRS, and you will be fine.
Trust me on this - you'll be glad you did.