Transitioning Back to In-Person Lessons During/After the Covid-19 Pandemic

[Just for fun…here’s a selfie taken after chopping off 12 inches of pandemic-time hair and donating it to Wigs 4 Kids!]
Hello readers!
I hope you all are well. Here in Michigan, we are in the midst of BEAUTIFUL summer weather and it feels as if the worst of the pandemic is behind us (which I would certainly like to believe is true!). The current full vaccination rate in the state of Michigan is 46%, which is also the current rate in the U.S. as a whole (as of June 2021). In my local county, the full vaccination rate is even higher at 60% and the rate of reported Covid-19 cases per day is down to low single digits.
With these facts in mind, I have started transitioning a few of my students from online lessons to in-person lessons at my home studio. (You might recall — 75% of my students are in Ohio from before I moved and they will remain online.) I am taking a number of precautions, because I would much prefer to err on the side of caution and keep everyone healthy if I can help it!
In case you happen to be in the same position and might find this useful, below is the wording I used to communicate my precautions and expectations to parents via email.

Hello students, 

I just wanted to send a note to let you know what to expect when it comes to precautions for our in-person lessons. Even though the Covid-19 rates are low in Michigan right now, I’d still like to play it safe and err on the side of caution. I am excited to be able to be back together in-person with my students, and I hope you are too! 

Just so you know: My husband and I have both been vaccinated, and so has my mother-in-law who sometimes watches our 16-month-old daughter. 

And here are the precautions we will take here at my in-home piano studio:
 
– Please ask your student to use the bathroom at home before leaving home. But if needed, the bathroom here will be available to students. 
– Anytime 5 minutes prior to the lesson start time, students may be sent to the front door where I will welcome them. I prefer parents don’t come indoors unless necessary, but we can chat on the porch before the lesson time starts if you’d like! During the lesson, parents are welcome to wait in the car or run errands. 
– An air purifier will run during the lesson time. Surfaces will be cleaned with antibacterial wipes between students. 
– When students enter, they should be wearing their mask (and I will be, too). Students will be asked to remove their shoes and wash their hands using hand sanitizer. We will use hand sanitizer again at the end of the lesson before I send them out to your vehicle. 
– Should the student (or anyone in the family) get sick or learn they were exposed to someone with Covid-19, please notify me. I would prefer to err on the side of caution and keep everyone as healthy as we can! And I am happy to accomodate an online lesson as needed for any weeks we decide not to meet in-person. 

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns as we go along. 

Thanks so much! 
Joy

For any and all studio communication, I think it’s important to use a friendly yet professional tone and use clear, concise language — and that’s what I tried to do in my email above!
In case you haven’t seen it, there is a helpful resource from MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) you might be interested in checking out as well: Legal FAQs for Reopening Music Studios.
PS: Stay tuned because tomorrow I will share a free printable poster for reminding students to remove their shoes, wash their hands, etc. when they arrive at your studio! Update: Visit this post to view the printable poster!

Your turn: How are lessons going in YOUR neck of the woods? Are you teaching online, in person, or both? I would love to hear from you! I’m sure we all have plenty we could share about our experiences over the past year or so.

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Printable: Welcome Poster for Piano Studio

In yesterday’s post, I talked about my gradual transition from online lessons to in-person for my Michigan-based students (my Ohio-based students from before my move will remain online). As promised, in today’s post I am sharing a free printable poster you can use to welcome students and help remind them of your protocols when they first arrive.
Any time students come for their first lesson at my studio, I find it’s important to “train” them, so to speak, with my expectations such as removing shoes, washing hands, etc.. After welcoming students at the door, this involves stating something like: “Whenever you arrive in the future, I’d like you to remove your shoes here, wash your hands here, and then head to the piano!”
I thought it might be useful to post a friendly poster with these reminders, in case it helps students remember what to do the first few times they arrive until it becomes a habit. I laminated it and use poster putty to hang it where it will be easily seen.
I created a few different variations of the poster, in case you might like to use it! I’ve included versions with and without masks (for pandemic times and non-pandemic times). And there are versions included for using hand sanitizer versus washing hands in a sink.

To download this PDF, visit the Printables > Studio Business page and scroll down to “Welcome Poster for Piano Studio.” Enjoy!
  Welcome Poster for Piano Studio (158.9 KiB, 165 hits)

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TC247: It’s Just a Paid position! with Rachel California king

Have you ever felt that sense of dread or burnout over teaching? Well, today’s member spotlight really shines a light on this feeling that we all have from time to time.
Rachel King had these negative feelings for quite a while but, thankfully, found a way out of it which is what she shares in this episode. She is now enjoying her teaching like never before.
I’m so thankful because Rachel really lets us into her life and how she’s feeling. She also shares the shift she made, how it came about, and the impact it has had on her teaching and students.

0:0000:34:54

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[03:34] Rachel shares an update on her current studio and students.
[04:36] Her feelings regarding her teaching before.
[07:29] What she did to make herself feel enthusiastic in teaching again.
[11:12] How she felt after her mindset change.
[12:23] The outcomes that happened after.
[14:13] The reaction of students to the change.
[15:53] Her new approach to teaching students.
[17:32] Feeling less anxious and frustrated about lessons.
[19:30] Rachel talks about liking her students better and students performing better after the change.
[20:00] The changes she saw in her relationship with money and the income that she’s making.
[20:58] Being able to stand firm on her studio policies and increasing rates because of her new mindset.
[24:29] Rachel’s response on emotional investment in teaching.
[27:54] How Rachel found out about TopMusicPro.
[30:33] Sharing how she justifies the investment she’s making at TMP.
[31:54] Future plans for her studio.

Transcript of the show
If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

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Newzik is a unique digital score platform that lets you work in real-time with other musicians. With over 100,000+ users, Newzik lets you organize your scores in a digital library accessible at all times, enrich your scores with multimedia files including YouTube videos, and most importantly share your scores and markings in real-time with your band, your students, or your entire orchestra. Newzik offers a free-forever option as well as affordable subscriptions with unlimited storage and extra features such as Maestria, the first Optical Music Recognition technology based on artificial intelligence, which lets you turn paper into interactive digital scores.
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