Photo credit: kconnors from morguefile.com
You’re just about there! The school year is coming to a close soon, your guitar class is ending, and you and your students are thinking about relaxing in the sun. That’s all good, but don’t check out just yet. Before you head for the beach, check out these 5 things you must do before the end of the year.
1. Retention Strategy
Be sure to tell your guitar students to sign up for classroom guitar next year. This will keep them playing music and keep you looking indispensable in the eyes of your administration. If you’re not a guitar player by training, don’t worry! Next year your guitar class will focus on helping your students play more musically. You will explore the fretboard, a few advanced chords, more complex rhythms and articulation, etc. If you want to learn more, sign up for the Teaching Guitar Workshops for the summer.
2. Suggest Activities
Building off of 1: keep your students engaged and playing guitar by giving them a place to start. Give them warm up sheets, chord charts, lead sheets to songs that you played, a list of area music stores, and teachers with whom they might study privately. Give them enough ammo to get in a few minutes of practice over the summer; it’s better than not moving their fingers for 2 months!
3. Praise the….Admin
Even though you were in the trenches, the school couldn’t run without administrators. Thank your administration for their support. Show them how many kids want to sign up for guitar next year (see Retention above). This will tell your administrators that you have a bunch of engaged kids that want to come back for more! If you want to know when to say, “thanks”, check out #5 below.
4. I’d Like to Thank Mom and Dad
A great last note for your final concert is to thank the Moms and Dads of your students. They are definitely part of the equation and recognizing that fact will help them realize just how great you and your guitar class are.
5. Bring the Noise
You must have an end of the year concert/banquet. This will make it real for your guitar students (…why are we playing?). And, in terms of recruitment, a guitar concert will show every student in the school that classroom guitar means time in the spotlight. Additionally, a concert gives parents and administrators a chance to see the results of your classroom guitar program. It makes all of your work and the work of your students tangible.
After 9 – 10 months of kids playing music in your guitar classroom, you’re definitely going to have wear and tear. First, check out your instruments for any repairs that are needed. Often you will have to clean 10 months of dirt off every guitar and change out the strings if you have not been doing it regularly. You will probably want to clean and sanitize chairs, music stands and other equipment. Look around and straighten up. Make sure your room is in great shape for your next act in September!
7. Stay Ahead of the Curve
If you want to be a great guitar teacher, keep learning. Find a teacher with whom you can take a few lessons, attend a TGW this summer (alumni are welcome and learn a lot the second time around!), and/or visit Justin Guitar or a similar online source – he’s awesome.