Navigating Concert Week Chaos: A Music Teacher's Survival Kit

Navigating Concert Week Chaos: A Music Teacher's Survival Kit
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! 🎵

How to Keep Track of Your Students/Clients Without Losing Your Mind

How to Keep Track of Your Students/Clients Without Losing Your Mind
When I first started teaching music outside of the public school system, I was so disorganized with how I kept track of student/client contact information and interested leads who hadn't yet signed up for classes but wanted more details sent to them in the future.

I had little slips of paper everywhere... or a page in a random notebook with email and phone contact info, but I misplaced these things frequently and was horrible at following through on sending people the info they'd asked for.

This was a huge part of what was holding me back from being successful -- just staying organized. Until I created a system for keeping track of these important pieces of data in a way that was duplicatable and that I could keep up with.

Win!

Here's my 3-Step System:

1) Collect contact information in a consistent way. Don't do it on paper one time and in a spreadsheet another time and your CRM system (here's what I use as my all-in-one system) a third time and your email contacts a fourth time! Be consistent so that you always know where to find the info you're looking for. Once I stopped changing it up all the time, I didn't spend wasted energy and time looking for someone's contact info.

2) Use tags to organize people's contact info. Chances are, you teach multiple types of classes or lessons. I utilize tags in my CRM to keep track of what people were giving me their contact info for so that I don't waste time or brain space trying to remember what they needed. I can also quickly shoot an email to my whole tagged list for a specific interest that way with just the click of a button. Win!

3) Use landing pages to seamlessly send collect people's contact info and send them the information they were interested in! If I'm participating in a fair of sorts or have a booth at a homeschool convention or somewhere, having a place for people to enter their info in exchange for me sending them the info they requested automatically (without me having to manually enter anything) saves SO much time and ensures that they receive the info they asked for without human error of my forgetfulness or busy-ness.

If you're not familiar with the idea or verbiage of a landing page, here's an example. I have created a list of self-employed music teacher budgeting tips that I wish I'd had when I was just starting out. If you'd like to have it, you can grab it here. The process of entering your info in exchange for the specific list I mentioned is what I'm describing above. If you don't have a way to seamlessly do this with your offerings, I encourage you to find a CRM/landing page/email campaign system that allows you to do this. It saves SO much time and energy on my end and frees me up to do the fun stuff -- making music! Here's what I use for mine if you need a recommendation.


How do you keep track of client/student contact info?