3 Reasons Why Your Studio's Piano Registration Is Overwhelming

Why Piano Registration Matters In The Upcoming Year

Why does piano registration have such a huge impact on the upcoming year? Because the decisions you make before you ever send the studio registration form are ones you have to live by (warts and all). At least until the next registration season starts. This can work out very well for you with 3 simple questions.

Behind the Scenes Peek

While I have found a way to balance running my boutique studio, home life and personal development (at least most days), it wasn’t always like this.

In the first years I ran my piano studio, there were a lot of long hours and a lot of me telling the twins “Sorry, sweetheart.  But, mommy can’t look right now.  I have to get this done.”  And after telling the boys I couldn’t spend time with them one too many times, I came to an important realization.

What was the point in leaving a full-time teaching position if I still wasn’t going to make my life outside of work a priority?

That was the year that I really thought about why my piano registration affected my life outside of my studio.  It was the year I realized that I had to be intentional about my schedule and set realistic amounts of time for the tasks that needed to get done.

I’m not saying things were perfect the next year.  But, they were a huge step in the right direction.  And each year, I tweak my policies so they fit a bit better with the life that we want for our family.

If you are wondering more about that journey, read “Work Life Balance as a Piano Teacher and Studio Owner“.

3 Questions to Ask About Piano Registration

It may be tempting to just change the dates on all your registration documents year to year and call it done.  But this is not getting ready for registration.

I completely understand the jigsaw puzzle that is called studio scheduling and how tempting it is to put full energy into that. As a travel teacher, I used to juggle each family’s preferred day and time along with making sure my teaching route best utilized the hours I had set aside for teaching.  Those two pieces of information rarely fell into alignment without a little jiggling. As an online teacher, I don’t have the travel component but need to budget for screen breaks.

That’s why these 3 questions can make or break your upcoming year.

1. What Is Happening in My Personal Life?

You don’t live in a bubble. You have more to your life than work, right? Because if you answer “no”, we need to talk.

I love what I do as a career. And, I see myself teaching, composing and presenting well into my 80’s as long as my health holds up. The joy and fulfilment I get each day is amazing!

But, it isn’t everything. And, it shouldn’t be for you either.

Each year, my husband and I sit down to talk about our schedule for the next academic year.  When I am getting ready for registration, it’s our time to talk about what we each want to accomplish career-wise, what we think our kids will need from us, and how on earth we will make time for all that to happen. As our kids have gotten older, it’s inviting them into that conversation so they start thinking long-term as well.

Having the “hard” conversation each year means you can have balance. It means knowing what is reasonable to expect from yourself. And, what those closest to you need from you.

There is no point working at rapidly growing the number of students you teach privately if you know you’ll be taking care of aging parents, young kids or recovering from something yourself. Set yourself, and your relationships, up for success by taking a realistic look at what your upcoming year may look like. This is what successful studio owners do so they can have long running businesses with a great reputation.

2. Are Your Studio Policies a Win-Win?

Sometimes we get a bit caught up in what our experience as teachers and studio owners is like year to year. Hopefully, you make note of the things that have been stressful or need tweaking so you can make your life a bit easier the next year. But, this is only part of the equation.

Are you ensuring that your policies best serve you AND your clients?  Do they ensure that the schedule you have worked so hard to create also includes all the time outside of teaching you invest?

Time invested in policies before client registration = Time saved throughout the year

When you look at your policies, do they create a win-win solution for you and your clients? This is the key to whether you make or break your upcoming year. Policies that are one-sided result in unhappy, overwhelmed people. So, take the time to make sure your studio policies honour the commitments you have outside work (see question #1) while also creating an amazing experience for your clients.

3. Do You Have All Docs Ready for Piano Registration?

There are few things more stressful for someone signing up for an activity then a lengthy sign-up process. Especially when you suddenly need more documents or information.

When this has happened to us, my husband has said, “Why are you making it hard for us to give you money?” While it’s blunt, it’s also an honest look at how your clients may feel if you go into registration disorganized.

Having a streamlined, organized, quick registration process means clients get to keep all the warm fuzzy feeling they had about you. Rather than wonder if this is a sign of things to come.

Use your answers from questions #1 and #2 to create polices that will bring joy and success in the upcoming year. When you look at what documents you need, check the legal requirements for your area. And, then decide on the easiest way for clients to fill those out and get them back to you. Taking the time to make registration streamlined and intuitive keeps both you and your clients happy.

Why Piano Registration Matters for Your Studio

The “why” has such an impact, doesn’t it? Your “why” … for teaching, for life in general, has a massive impact on how you handle piano registration. It’s why using a template is only a starting point. Your studio registration needs to reflect who you are and what you want your studio to stand for.

Why Piano Registration Makes Or Breaks Your Year: Question To Ask Yourself

  • What is happening in my personal life?
  • Are my policies creating a win-win situation?
  • Do I have all the documents and information I need before I send it out?

What is the question that means the most when looking at your “why”?

Let me know in the comments!

Some Personalized Help

If you are looking for guidance in creating or editing your registration process and studio policies, I’d love to help you!

I can help you:

  • Go through the above questions to create a more sustainable approach,
  • Give you tips and templates to streamline your process,
  • Look over your existing registration process or policies to give feedback.

If that sounds good, set up a 1-on-1 consultation with me and I’ll help you set up your upcoming year in a way that brings joy … instead of stress.

NOTE: This article was originally published March 16, 2018.  It has since been updated to keep all the insights from before, plus more!


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