Essential Summer Tasks: Creating a Year-at-a-Glance Calendar

Essential Summer Tasks: Creating a Year-at-a-Glance Calendar

Essential Summer Tasks

As a music teacher, planning is everything. I know from experience that a month of solid planning during the summer makes for a much smoother rest of the year. Grab a piece of paper or your favourite calendar app on your computer and let’s go over some of the things you need to consider.

School Calendar

Start by getting a copy of the school calendar for every school division that your students may attend. You may need high school, elementary, public, private, rural or city ones, depending on your particular teaching situation. Not all of the holidays and teaching inservices will line up across divisions, so you’ll have to make some decisions about which days you will teach and which days you won’t.

Major Performances

Figure out when all your personal gigs, students recitals, and music festivals are. Schedule in any extra rehearsal times that those might involve. Even if you don’t know the exact dates, make a note in your calendar so at the very least you will know approximately how busy you with be that week. Also allow some time for extra prep those events might involve: sorting out books for music festival, preparing food for recitals, putting up posters around the community for gigs, etc.

Professional Development

Next, map out any professional development things you might have planned. Conferences, symphony concerts, recitals, musical fundraisers, etc. If you don’t have anything scheduled, find something to go to. It’s so important to keep growing as a musician and hear other performers.

Studio Promotions

Finally, decide if you want to run any special practicing incentives, holiday activities or advertising pushes during the year. With your performances and professional development items in place, you’ll know which months are freer to do things like this. For example, I like to run a practicing incentive with Halloween candy in October, have a summer themed “music party” for my group classes in February, and I do an extra advertising push in January if my studio numbers are low. If I don’t put those things on the calendar, I’ll remember them last minute and be scrambling the week of.

Sample

So what does one of these look like in real life? Here’s mine:

July

Clean up Studio

Organize Music

Order Choir Music

Summer Concert (gig)

August

Advertising Push

Email Parents

Update Studio Policy

Update Studio Website

Fundraising Concert (gig)

September

Allow extra time for emails

Prepare for MYC Conference

Decide on Church songs

University Choir Promotions

October

MYC Conference

Halloween Practicing Promotion

Thanksgiving

Studio Performance at Villa

University Choir Workshop

November

Start Christmas Recital Baking

Pick Christmas Music

Remembrance Day

University Choir Workshop

University Choir Concert

December

Christmas Recital

Purchase Student Presents

Christmas Concert (gig)

Christmas Musical extra rehearsals

Christmas Musical

January

Choose Music Festival Songs

Fill out forms & collect money

Advertising push

Prepare MYC kids for composition festival

University Choir Workshop

February

Summer Music Party

Practicing Incentive

February Break

Valentines Day

University Choir Workshop

March

Choose Recital Songs (for those not in festival)

Accompanist Rehearsals

Studio Performance at Villa

Spring Musical Auditions

University Choir Concert

April

Music Festivals

Organize Books

Easter

Start Spring Recital Baking

May

Spring Recital

Hand Out Returning forms

RCM Theory Exams

June

RCM Practical Exams

Spring Musical Extra Rehearsals

Spring Musical

That’s all there’s to it!  Keep this road map handy for the rest of the year and be one step closer to mastering your time management.

Seasoned teachers, is there any essential summer task you think we should cover in the following posts?  What do you do in the summer that helps you keep the rest of your year saner?

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