Extra, Extra, Read All About It….Easy and Effective Music Studio Newsletters Darlene Irwin     September 06, 2015

Do you send out a Music Studio Newsletter at the beginning of the teaching year?

Well, if you don’t, then maybe this year is a good time to start! Communication is the key to running a successful music studio. Having your own Music Studio Newsletter is a great way to kick off the teaching year in an organized and professional way.

I are probably wondering....where do I start?? In this blog post, I’d like to give you some quick and easy ideas on how to effectively write your own Music Studio Newsletter. A simple letter format works best for me because I have quite a bit of information that I want to share and I need the extra room. However, if you are feeling creative, you could also use a fancy template that allows you to add pictures to give your newsletter a little more punch. Programs like Word or Pages have sample Newsletters that you can easily adapt for your own use.




Planning Steps for Writing Your Music Studio Newsletter

Organize your Information Before You Start to Write

  • Plan your teaching schedule well ahead of time. How many weeks are you teaching during the year? When are you taking holidays? When do lessons end for the year? Parents need to know this so they can plan their own holidays.
  • Set dates for your important events such as master classes and recitals. Parents can add these events to their calendars at the beginning of the year. Students are more likely to attend if they know the dates well in advance. Make sure that you have all other important deadlines and dates for things like exams, auditions and festival classes.

Start with a Friendly Introduction

  • Begin by welcoming all returning and new students. You can also highlight any new programs or activities. Be enthusiastic….let your students know how excited you are to see them again. 

    Explain Studio Programs or Incentives

    Highlight Student Accomplishments

    • Students and parents love to hear about the successes of other students in your studio. It helps to make them feel part of the group. Make sure that you have permission to share this information. 

    Review Policies and Procedures

    Share Other Important Information

    • Include other information such as teacher qualifications, specific requests i.e.wash hands before lesson, where parents should park, how you would like to be addressed by students, piano tuner information, what is the best way to contact you etc.

    End on a Positive Note

    • Your newsletter can help set the tone for the entire year. It also helps to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings. Be positive, encouraging and excited about the upcoming year.

    Include a One-Page Studio Calendar

    • A yearly studio calendar is a great way to keep everyone organized. I make a copy of my Studio Calendar for my students and then tape it in the back of their Student Music Organizer. That way, we can refer to it all year long.

      Free Downloads

      1) Click HERE to download the first style of Newsletter - a simple 5-page  format without pictures or graphics. The file is an easy-to-use Word Document (doc). Feel free to copy, add, change, or delete whatever you like. Once your newsletter is completed, re-save it as a PDF file for mailing to parents and students. It's best not to send your original document file.

      2) Click HERE to download a 6-page WORD template for a fancier Newsletter with pictures. It looks better, but there are a few of drawbacks to using this format. It's a little fussier to work with and it has limited writing space because of all the graphics. Even as a PDF, it's also a much larger file (6.1MB) . This is a consideration when you are sending your newsletter electronically. 

      3) Click here to download a handy 2015/2016 Studio Calendar Template. All of the statutory holidays have been added plus all deadline dates for Royal Conservatory (RCM) exams. It’s in a FILLABLE PDF format, so you can easily add your own dates for events and deadlines specific to your own studio.

      In conclusion, I’d like to share with you a statement that I always include at the end of my Music Studio Newsletter.

      “It is very important to me that your child enjoys their music lessons.
      My primary goal as a teacher is to assist my students
      to develop a love of music that will last for a lifetime. 
      Remember, teaching is like a triangle.
      The parent and the teacher are at the bottom supporting the student at the top.
      Working together as a team is the best way to ensure musical success. 
      I am looking forward to another exciting musical year together.”

      Once you have completed your Studio Newsletter and Calendar, you can quickly and easily e-mail both files to all of your students.  Parents will be grateful that you took the time to keep them informed and students will know what you expect of them throughout the year. Have fun writing your own Music Studio Newsletter.

      ♥︎ Remember - Great Music Comes From the Heart ♥︎

      Shedding Light on Effective Studio Policies Darlene Irwin     August 24, 2014

      A lighthouse stands as a symbol of security and safety. It helps sailors to navigate through rough waters and avoid the rocks along the shore. Having solid and effective studio policies in place will help you, as a teacher, avoid many unnecessary problems and conflicts. It’s important that everyone knows where you stand. You will find that your parents and students will have more respect for you as a teacher if you have a set of clear, concise rules and procedures in place. And, more importantly, they need to know that you will stick by those rules. That can sometimes be very difficult. Some of the policies that I have in place are because I had a difficult situation with a parent or student and I needed to address it. And, of course, there are always exceptions. These situations can be dealt with individually, at your discretion. But it is so important to have studio policies written down.


      Here are some simple ideas that you can use to formulate your own studio policies.

      • For teachers who are running their own business, collecting money can be one of the biggest problems. The first thing that I explain in my policies is how I expect the fees for lessons to be paid. There are many different ways to do this. After trying various approaches, I have come up with a system that works perfectly for me. 
      • I refer to the lesson fees for the year as tuition. After all, I am running a music school. I teach 35 weeks a year. I have divided those weeks into 5 terms with seven lessons for each term. 
      • In May, I e-mail the registration form to the parents along with a copy of my studio policies. I ask that this form be returned by the end of the June along with 5 post-dated checks for next year’s tuition. 
      • The date for the first check is always 2 weeks before I start teaching. That way, I know that all the funds will have cleared the bank before the first lessons in September.
      • I spread the dates for collecting the other 4 checks throughout the teaching year. One is cashed in early October, one in late November, one in late January and one mid-March. That way, all tuition is paid by mid-March.
      • It's not a good idea to have the 3rd check dated for mid-January. There are too many post-Christmas bills. It works much better to have it dated for the end of January or the beginning of February.
      • I always send a reminder to parents by e-mail the week before the check is cashed. I also write a reminder in the student’s Organizer. It’s easy for a parent to forget about a post-dated check.
      • I let parents know in the studio policies that all activities throughout the year are covered in the tuition. That includes Master Classes and Recitals. I include theory instruction in their lessons and I don’t charge extra to mark practice papers for theory exams. Parents appreciate knowing what they don’t have to pay for!
      • Once a check is cashed, I don’t give a refund. I also ask for one-months notice if they are stopping lessons. This will not always happen, but at least I have it written down.
      • I ask that attendance be regular and punctual. I let them know that if they arrive late, I will not make up the time. 
      • For illness, I ask for 24 hours notice if they have to cancel a lesson. I do charge for a lesson if it is cancelled at the last minute. I do not make up lessons if students are away on holidays. 
      • If parents know ahead of time that their child is going to miss a lesson for other reasons (sports games, school events, birthday parties etc), I will give them suggestions as to who they could switch with. It is their responsibility to arrange that switch and then let me know who they have switched with. Parents really appreciate this flexibility.
      • I have included a copy of My Studio Policies with this post. These policies are a result of years of experience and they have worked very well for me in my teaching. However, it’s important to stress that what works for me may not work for others. Every teacher and every area is different. If you wish, use this as a starting point to come up with policies and procedures that work for you. 

      As private music teachers, we have the best job ever. I love what I do! I love working with my students and inspiring THEM to love music. It’s great to see the excitement in their eyes as they grow and progress. It’s music to MY ears when one of my students says to me “I LOVE that piece!” I consider it a privilege to nurture their love of music.

      But it’s also important to remember that you are running a business. And in order for you to run your business effectively and professionally, it is imperative that you have written studio policies. May you have smooth waters as you sail into September this year. 

      ♥︎ Remember, Great Music Comes from the Heart ♥︎ 


      Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis