As alternating bands of rain and snow move through during this time of year here in New York, I can’t help but think of summer. My California girl heart is always ready to see the flowers bloom and to enjoy the sunny outdoors…
But when it comes to our studios, we can do more than just dream about summer right now - we can plan it! Now’s the time (if you’re in the northern hemisphere) to think about creating unique studio offerings that are a summer win for you and for kids.
Here’s why summer is the perfect time to create a group singing class for kids:
Parents are always in search of good activities for kids over the summer - ones that keep kids engaged but don’t take over the family schedule
Kids don’t have the same socializing time during the summer as they do during the rest of the year. Group classes allow them to connect with, support, and learn from one another in a different environment
Kids are not stretched to their full bandwidth with school, homework, and activities, so they are able to dedicate more focused time to their singing practice
Summer is great time to help kids gain confidence in themselves before going back to school in a new grade (and sometimes a new school)
But it’s not just the kids who benefit - here’s why summer is also the perfect time for you and your studio to offer a group singing class:
Group classes increase your studio’s visibility and reputation in the community
Students in summer group classes may be interested in becoming private lesson students in the fall
More students per hour equals more pay per hour for you
You can customize the group class schedule to create more time for yourself during the summer
In addition to the reasons above, group classes also…
Create a culture of singing in your community
Teach children empathy and compassion for their peers
Encourage team building, inspiration from peers, and collaborative singing and performing skills
Allow teachers to share knowledge with more children at a time
Allow kids who can’t afford private lessons to still benefit from singing lessons
Group classes also help kids who love singing but don’t feel ready to sing by themselves to have a supportive environment to learn and grow.
Have you heard the story of the tiny mustard seed? It’s the same with kids - sometimes the “smallest” of talents can grow into something incredible if it is nurtured and fed. ALL kids have the ability to sing, and ALL ability levels should be welcomed and encouraged to grow. Sometimes it’s the shy singer or the brand new beginner who end up becoming one of the strongest performers over time!
If you’re thinking that teaching a group class sounds like a lot of work, wrangling songbooks, choosing repertoire for lots of students, managing who is singing what songs…there’s an easy solution that will allow all of your students to work together without spending all that extra time and effort…
Choose one songbook that will be used for the entire class. If you are teaching a beginning age/stage class, my Singing Kids’ Songbook is ideal for this! Published by Hal Leonard, this songbook contains 15 songs, each with its own activity pages that can be used during the class and for practice assignments. You can either choose the repertoire kids will learn (I typically choose no more than 1 song for every two classes at most) or let them choose songs from the book.
Having all the kids sing the same song is a great way to save time: everyone learns and practices together. Teachers can also encourage kids to appreciate one another’s similarities and differences from one another when they hear each other sing the same music. Singers who are more shy about singing by themselves can also gain confidence having other singers join them.
If you’ve never taught a group class or want to learn new ideas for teaching a group class, you can check out Creating and Teaching Group Singing Classes. This self-paced online course is filled with everything you need to know about how to create and teach an in-person or online group class! And all of the information can easily be adapted for any age or stage even through the adult years.
Want to do even less work? Pick up my done-for-you lesson plans for the first six songs of the Singing Kids’ Songbook. You’ll get step-by-step instructions for every song for the first lesson, detailed suggestions for the second lesson and beyond, and lesson tips videos to inspire your teaching. You’ll hardly have to lift a finger! ;)
I’d love to hear about your summer teaching plans. Write to me and share your thoughts - I always love hearing from you!
Wishing you a wonderful season of planning,