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10 Tips for Fall Scheduling: What to Do When the Seasons Change

blog post for music teachers about scheduling students in the fall

The seasons are changing and that means it’s time to launch your Fall teaching schedule. Here are ten tips for Fall scheduling for a music lessons studio:

Start by evaluating your current schedule. What’s working and what isn’t? This is a great time to make changes to your schedule if needed. Many teachers use fall as an opportunity to change the days they teach by moving students into a more condensed schedule. 

Take into account the changing seasons when scheduling. Fall is a busy time for many people. Extracurriculars, including ensembles and sports start up again throughout the fall, and younger students will start to have homework again. Make sure you ask students to give you all of their availability, even if they would prefer to keep the same spot they had in the spring and/or summer terms. 

Think about your students’ schedules when creating your own. Will they be able to make lessons during the week or do they need weekend availability? Do you have any students who could be more flexible with daytime scheduling? 

Be flexible with your Fall schedule. Things always come up and you’ll want to be able to accommodate your students’ needs. In months where scheduling is more of a challenge, consider offering a “make up day” to accommodate the need for more availability. 

Make sure you allow time for breaks, meals, and travel. While a lot of teachers like to teach the evening hours straight through from 3pm-7pm, adding a half hour for dinner or catching up on lesson notes can make for a much more enjoyable evening lesson block. The time off is great for your organization and energy! 

Be aware of holidays (Fall break, Thanksgiving, and Winter break) and other events that may impact your schedule. Many people travel during the holidays so you’ll want to be sure to have plenty of availability before and after these dates if you are making up lessons. If you have planned for these weeks off in a monthly flat rate tuition calculation, communicate studio closures several weeks in advance. Sending additional reminders a few days before helps to eliminate any potential confusion for your students. 

– Keep your schedule as simple as possible. The more complex your schedule is, the more likely it is to get messed up. Avoid every-other-week lessons or inconsistent scheduling with students, especially during your peak teaching hours. 

Don’t be afraid to make changes to your schedule if needed. As your studio grows, you’ll need to be flexible and make adjustments accordingly. This may mean adding more days, creating a make-up day once or twice a semester, or even moving to a flat rate tuition policy. 

Communicate with your students regularly about scheduling changes or cancellations. This will help avoid any confusion or frustration. Using Duet Partner as a studio management tool will help to automate your scheduling, billing and communications.

Be sure to have a backup plan for when things don’t go as planned. Whether it’s a last minute cancellation or you need to reschedule a lesson, having options available immediately will help keep your studio running smoothly. Provide openings through your Duet Partner calendar, consider a substitute teacher for the week, or be flexible with other planned studio closures in order to accommodate any emergency changes. 

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful Fall schedule for your music lesson studio!

By Kelly Riordan

Kelly Riordan Sep 26, 2022 Studio Management

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