Are your students dragging a little bit after the holidays? Are you trying to beat the January doldrums by spicing up your music lessons?
If so, then this post is for you!
These winter activities will brighten up your studio and add a little more color to the gray, hazy days of winter.
10. Turn Your Studio into a Winter Wonderland
This is a fun and easy way to add some sparkle to your post-Christmas routine.
Try decking out your studio with snowmen, snowflakes, pinecones, icicles, or anything else that catches your fancy.
Your students will love walking into the room for the first time after the holiday break and seeing the magical wonderland all around them!
Alternatively, they could help you decorate by contributing their own winter-themed drawings, garlands, or paper snowflakes to make the studio shine!
9. Pin the Carrot on the Snowman
This wintery twist on a classic game is a good way to help young students move around a bit and get some energy out of their systems before (or after) lessons!
Blindfold each student, spin them around, and then see who can pin the carrot nose on the straightest.
If you want to make the game slightly more musical, style the snowmen after a composer you’ve been learning about and see if the students can guess which one it is!
8. Host a Winter-Themed Concert
A lot of people attend Christmas recitals, concerts, and performances, but after the new year their social calendars become more bare.
Instead of opting for a Christmas performance, try pushing it back to January.
You will have less other activities to compete with, which makes scheduling easier.
You can go all out with the winter theme by playing wintery music and serving hot chocolate afterwards!
7. Create a Study Unit on Winter Music
If you can’t beat the snowstorms, you might consider joining them.
There are a lot of study options.
You could dive into Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons or The Seasons by Tchaikovsky.
The Nutcracker is always a crowd-pleaser, or you might want to go a more popular route with “Frosty the Snowman”, “Let It Snow”, and “Winter Wonderland”.
Whatever you choose, this study unit will help you and your students get into the spirit of the season.
6. Start a Practicing Challenge
Kids are sometimes bored and unmotivated when they come back from Christmas break.
They also have probably not practiced as much over the holidays as usual, which can make it hard to get back into the routine.
If you’re struggling to get them excited about music again, try turning it into a challenge!
Have your students document their practice time during the week for a set period.
When you reach a certain goal (for example, a total of 100 combined practice hours for the studio), reward them with a pizza party, some new, exciting music, or another treat.
Kids love a good challenge, and this is a good way to get back into the swing of things after Christmas.
5. Hold a Snowman-Building Contest
This one requires a little bit of planning than some of the other winter activities, but it would be a lot of fun.
Hold a studio-wide snowman-building contest to liven up January (or February)!
Encourage the kids to build a musical-themed snowman. Maybe they can build Frosty the Pianist, or model their favorite composer, or create a choir of snowpeople all set for rehearsal.
You can judge the final entries or appoint someone else to do the honors, and the winner gets a prize!
If you have a wide range of ages in your studio, you might want to divide the contest into older and younger ages to make it a bit more fair.
4. Practice Sight Reading with Snowflakes
This is a fun game for the kids and a good way to get in some sight reading practice.
Cut some small pieces of manuscript paper and write a few notes with varying rhythms on each one.
Then cut out some paper snowflakes and attach a musical excerpt to each one.
Put them in a box or a bag and have your student pull one out. See how many excerpts they can play correctly in a row!
3. Have a Winter Piano Party
If you’d like to put on a Christmas party for your music students but your December is crazy busy, try planning a winter party instead.
You can decorate, put on some winter-inspired music, play some musical games, and serve some winter snacks. I personally love these cookies that look like melting snowmen.
By delaying the party for a few weeks, you can give the kids something to look forward to after Christmas while also making your holiday schedule less hectic. I call that a win-win!
2. Start a Coat Drive
If you want to get your studio more involved in the community, try gathering coats, scarves, and gloves for those in need.
Kids love to rally around a group project, and you can make it extra fun by decorating the donation box with music notes or composer drawings.
Maybe the students can write some encouraging notes to go with the coats for extra warmth!
1. Go Caroling Together
Who says caroling is just for December?
If you’re in the mood to shake things up, take your students to a local shelter or retirement home to play or sing together.
This is a great way to get involved in your community while also setting some goals for your students to work towards.
What are your favorite winter activities for your studio? Let me know in the comments!