Navigating Concert Week Chaos: A Music Teacher's Survival Kit
Concert week—the grand finale that puts on display our and our students' hard work! Yet, the journey to that moment can be a bit tumultuous at times. Fear not! Here's your shortcut to concert week success without losing your cool (and all your sleep that week).
Embrace Early Planning: Start early, plan wisely. Craft a roadmap with rehearsals, sectionals, and practice goals. I use this notebook to keep myself organized! Share the plan with students and parents for smooth preparation. Try to have deadlines in place earlier than you actually need those things completed in case you experience delays.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Ditch the solo act and delegate tasks to students or parent volunteers (this can feel so hard but be so rewarding! Students thrive when given responsibility appropriately). Whether it's setting up the venue, managing costumes, or handling backstage logistics, there's strength in numbers. A shared load eases the burden.
Organizational Magic: Master the art of organization. Utilize tools like spreadsheets and calendars to tame rehearsals, attendance, and communication chaos. I love using Attractwell for contacts, keeping organized, and sending info to students' families since I am self-employed. And don't try to remember it all on your own! Timers and to-do lists are my best friend.
Spread Positivity: In the midst of tension, sprinkle positivity -- laughter helps so much. Celebrate small victories and reassure students that their hard work is paying off. One of my greatest mentors' motto was, "Cheerful and flexible. If you can't be cheerful, be flexible. If you can't be flexible, be cheerful! And if you can be both... GREAT! Do that."
Strategic Rehearsals: Conduct smart rehearsals. Identify and prioritize challenging sections early in the week for a smoother performance. Talk less and sing/play more.
Create a Supportive Environment:
Amidst chaos, cultivate a supportive atmosphere. Encourage, uplift, and acknowledge the ensemble's hard work.
Self-Care is Essential: Don't forget yourself! Get rest, stay hydrated (without the caffeine that can hurt your voice -- this is my favorite go-to for non-caffinated energy), and take short breaks. Your well-being is crucial.
Master Communication: Keep everyone informed about schedule changes and expectations through emails, newsletters, and social media.
With early planning, teamwork, positivity, and self-care, you're not just surviving concert week; you're thriving. Embrace the excitement, enjoy the music, and make this week a crescendo of success. Cheers to the magical symphony you're about to create! 🎵