Every single one of my current students has a birthday in the summer or fall. Come to think of it, my birthday is also in the fall.
That makes for an enjoyable few months of festivity, but it can be challenging to come up with ideas to celebrate student birthdays.
If you’re looking to shake things up a bit in your studio this year, try one of these birthday celebration ideas.
1. Lead Them On a Scavenger Hunt
Write some of the music terms or symbols the student has been learning on flashcards and tape them to bows, balloons, pieces of candy, or anything else birthday-related.
Give the student a piece of paper with each term or symbol listed and let the hunt begin! Once they find them all, they get a prize – or maybe they get to keep the pieces of candy!
This is a great way to add a little bit of review into your celebration, because we teachers just can’t help ourselves that way.
2. Conduct an Interview
Sit down with your student and interview them.
Ask them what they enjoy about music lessons, what kind of pieces they have the most fun playing, what their favorite chords or keys are, etc.
Be sure to include the student’s name, age, grade, and the date of the interview. Add some stickers, doodles, or other decorations to the page to dress it up and make it festive.
It will make a great keepsake for them, and it’s fun to watch how their answers change and progress year by year!
3. Unlock an Exciting New Skill
Use your student’s birthday as an opportunity to introduce a new skill that they’re excited to learn.
Maybe your violin student can start learning vibrato, or your piano student will start to study jazz improvisation. Or maybe you have a student who has been curious about transposition for a while and is ready to learn how it works.
This is a good way to keep them motivated and excited about their lessons!
4. Make Them Your Decorator
If you have a bulletin board or whiteboard in your studio, reserve an empty space off to one side. Let your student draw or decorate it any way they’d like for their birthday month.
You might need to save several empty spaces if you have multiple birthdays in the same month. Make sure the student signs their name by their section so others can admire their handiwork as well!
This is a fun thing for the kids to look forward to as their birthday approaches, and it also gives them a little sense of ownership and being part of your studio.
5. Give Them a Special Song
This is a favorite tradition among my students. They look forward to getting a “Special Song” to learn for each birthday.
Sometimes they make requests if there is a certain piece they want to learn. Other times I surprise them with something I hope they will like.
The budding athletes have had fun learning their favorite team’s fight song or Take Me Out to the Ballgame. One student is in the process of collecting all of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and another one loves anything that can be played at a fast tempo.
It gives them a challenge to look forward to, and it also reinforces the idea that music itself is a gift. That’s a win, right?
How do you celebrate student birthdays in your studio? Leave a comment below!