Hi Team,

We’re entering the new year and the final wrap-up stages of our renovation.  This means that we are ready to go back to some semblance of normalcy, with some newness.

So far this calendar year we’ve been running a successful promotion to plug gaps in schedules and add new students.  This has been working well, and we’ve extended it to the end of the month with the intention of further beefing up schedules.  For those of you that were patient throughout the autumn with some patchiness or light areas in your schedules, thank you!

On the normalcy front, there are a number of areas that you will need to return to a higher standard on:


Dishes are to be cleaned after use.  Garbage & Recycling will be eliminated from studios as you do not appear to care which is which.  All garbage and recycling can go directly outside to the large bin.  You should only be using the plastic auto-sealing tumblers for coffee.  Ceramic cups/mugs are for parents.

Shoes and boots are to be removed upon arrival at the school, and should go on the shoe rack in the office, not in the hallway.  They are a tripping hazard there.

SoWs and Posts

Student of the Week cards have pretty much ground to a halt.  Get back on these – there will be a change that will affect students on these this year, so it will be important to keep them up.  One a week per studio, with few exceptions.  Review the methodology in your Ops manual.

Posts will be discussed in greater detail in your reviews, and in a subsequent update by email and the manual.

Teacher/Sub forms

Unfortunately, many of you have been neglecting to do this.  When you don’t submit your forms:

  • Your students/parents don’t get informed of subs (which they are within their rights to decline)
  • I don’t adjust schedules for internal teachers
  • Guest teachers do not receive an email from me that specifies their responsibilities and expectations
  • Guest teachers do not get paid because there is no sheet for me to review and check off at month’s end

All of these things make us all look somewhat unprofessional to the families we cater to, as well as our guest teachers (who may think twice about coming again).  If you are away for any reason, please complete a form.  At the very least, any of the missed items therein will then become an admin issue.

Ops – General

This is a good time to review your Ops manuals.  Once in a while it is good to remind yourselves of the general standards and goals.  Music Together teachers: we’ll do this together as part of the MT-specific additions being made at the moment.  You can expect this mid- to late-February.


We are going to be on recital time sooner than you might think.  Take some time to set a recital goal with your students – even if they won’t perform – because having things ‘performance ready’ is a good way to stimulate achievement.

Our Fall recital was small-ish.  I’d like to see a more substantial showing in the spring.

Locking up at Day’s End

If you are the last person at the school at the end of the day, you are expected to turn off lights and lock the door.

Looking ahead

Those of  you that made recommendations for longer lessons in the last reporting period – good job!  We had a fairly high percentage response rate to that.  This is a good sign, as it indicates happiness and trust in what we are doing.  In a couple of cases where the students did not bump up their lengths, the response was still positive; Some deferred to the next school year, and one conversation also revealed some practice disconnection.

Practice disconnection happens frequently as we enter the early winter (holiday season).  It can happen for a number of reasons, but one of the best things you can do – here or in your private studios – is to have a goal setting conversation right before or right after the holiday break.  Find out what is interesting musically to your students, and ask if that is something you’ve been doing enough of in your lessons.  Before the holidays we did this with one of Tim’s students, and it changed the student immediately.  She has since bumped up her lesson length and has had her lesson process re-energized.  Check out this graphic and article excerpt to see how the year commonly unfolds for students.

For all of you, start thinking about who you could make recommendations for in the coming period, and see if you can’t choose a few students that are borderline to put a little extra effort into, so that you can say to parents “we’ve worked really hard lately, and are ready for longer, more challenging lessons”.  This bit of foresight now can make a huge difference to your studio over the post-June period, and have a great effect on the school overall.


If you have not already completed your annual review, please do so now.  They are due.  Meetings will be announced shortly.

Studio Decor

Please email me your favourite musicians on your instruments.  It is my intention to create posters that will have trivia information bubbles over top of these musicians to create rooms that not only have some representation of the instruments taught in them, but also some educational value.  If you can do that in the next couple of days, that would be best.  I would love a balance and mix of traditional musicians with modern and pop musicians (within tasteful boundaries).  Thanks!

Desk Coverage

Generally speaking, you will see more of me in the front office in the coming months.  It is clear that this is desired by teachers and parents alike.  I have a standing rehearsal on Tuesday evenings, and will do better in keeping you informed of when I am off-campus.

The occasions when I will need to be away from the desk, but still at the school, I will set up the paging button so I can be summoned.

There will likely be a few other areas of focus to get on this year, but this is a substantial start!

I am looking forward to another very busy and growth-oriented year.