Summer is here!
If you teach lessons year round, then you know it can be a challenge to keep your student’s attention during the school break.
Now matter how much they love lessons, it’s tough to compete with beach days, water parks, campfires, and upcoming family vacations.
So how can you keep summertime lessons fresh and exciting for your kiddos?
Here are ten ways to keep them engaged all summer long.
10. Decorate Your Studio for Summertime Fun
Maybe you can bring in some flip-flops and an umbrella for a beach theme. A kiddie pool can be used temporarily for sheet music storage.
Or you can go coastal with lighthouses, striped fabric, and nautical decor.
If bright colors, streamers, and balloons are more your thing then go for it…you could recreate that backyard barbeque feeling right there in your studio.
Whatever theme you choose, it will get your student’s attention and make their lessons feel a little more “summery”.
9. Start a Summer Practicing Challenge
It’s no secret that a student’s normal practice routine tends to get disrupted during the summer months.
One way to change this is by starting a summer practice challenge.
Have kids (or their parents) keep a practicing log for the months of June, July, and August and set a reward system for kids who meet certain milestones.
Tip: You might want to set different practicing goals for different ages and skill level to make the milestones more attainable for younger students.
8. Go on a Musical Field Trip
A lot of kids have more open schedules during the summer break, which gives teachers some opportunities they don’t have the rest of the year.
Take advantage of this by organizing a field trip with your students. You could visit a music museum, go to the symphony, or attend an open-air concert.
It’s a great time to expose your kids to more of the musical world outside of your studio.
7. Study Summer Repertoire
“Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is an obvious choice.
You could also go for Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “La Mer” (The Sea) by Claude Debussy, or a more modern summer theme with music by The Beach Boys.
Your students will love the fun and seasonally inspired additions to their usual repertoire.
6. Compose a Piece for Father’s Day
With Father’s Day coming up in June, it’s a good opportunity for kids to try out their composing skills.
Have them work on a piece to surprise their dad, grandfather, uncle, or another important male figure in their lives.
They can even decorate their notated composition and play it in a video recording.
What dad wouldn’t love that?
5. Teach a New Skill
Summer is fresh and exciting, and a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the year.
You can capitalize on that feeling by doing something completely new in your studio during the school break.
Maybe you can study a certain style of music like ragtime or Baroque counterpoint.
Or you can introduce your kids to the wonderful world of improvisation.
There are a ton of options. So much to teach, so little time!
4. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Kids love a good challenge. Add a little variety to their summer lessons by hiding an object in your studio each week.
Keep a chart for each student and let them cross off the items they find.
Award an end-of-the-summer prize to kids who have found all (or most) of the objects.
Bonus points if the objects you hide are music-related (an etude book, a treble clef, a metronome, etc.)
3. Host a Music Festival
Get your students excited about summer lessons by giving them something to work towards.
You can host your own outdoor musical festival for family and friends with food and live music provided by the students themselves.
This is a fun, fresh spin on more formal studio recitals.
Plus, nothing motivates kids like having exciting goals to complete.
2. Vote on a Studio Motto
This is a fun way to get your students involved in planning for the next school year.
Choose a few sayings you love as a potential studio motto and let the kids vote on their favorite one.
The winning motto can be a key part of your lesson planning in the fall.
1. Host a Summer Music Camp
If you want to broaden your students’ horizons while keeping things light and fun in the summer, you should consider this.
There are so many possible themes for a summer camp.
Maybe you want to teach your students all about sonatas, or focus on sight-reading.
You might use Saint-Seans The Carnival of Animals as a jumping-off point for a study of music about various animals.
You could take this opportunity to introduce your kids to some non-Western music, such as traditional Japanese music.
The possibilities are endless, plus it gives music teachers a chance to make some extra income during the summer months.
That’s a win-win, right?
What are your students’ favorite summer activities? Let me know in the comments!