How to handle summer in your music studio business

Summer can be a bit of a sticky wicket for music studio businesses. Families are travelling and kids are out of their normal routine – so what’s the best way to run a music school during the summer months?

There are a few options that work for music studios in the summer. The best fit for your studio is going to depend on your goals and your community, so keep these things in mind as we run through the options:

  • Will this work for my studio families or will it be an uphill battle?
  • Would I be able to do this with my current students or would I need to do a lot of marketing for new students? And if so, is it worth it?
  • Does this fit with my lifestyle goals for how I want to spend my summer?

That being said, let’s talk through the most common options.

Keep up the regular lessons

For some, the best option is just to keep up the same routine. This is what many music teachers want to do as they need to keep their income steady during the summer and they don’t feel they need 2 months off each year.

If this is your goal – and it’s just not flying with your studio families – you may need to rethink.

In many communities, standard weekly lessons are just not going to cut it during the summer. Families may be too busy, travelling too much and/or just want a break from the usual routine.

Don’t swim upstream. Don’t keep trying to make this work if it does not suit the families that you serve. Move on to other options.

Ad-hoc Lessons

A more flexible lesson schedule can be a great fit for the summer months, for both you and your students.

Try setting up an online scheduling system through My Music Staff or Calendly and let your students or parents schedule their own lessons. You can choose which days you open up to suit your schedule too and give yourself some beach days. 🏖️

If you want to still guarantee your income you can have parents/students buy blocks of lessons that they use during this time. They can use them all in one week or spread out across the whole summer and you still get the predictable income that you need.

Summer Camps and Workshops

Camps and workshops can be a great alternative to regular weekly lessons during the summer. Parents are looking for things for their kiddos to do while they’re off school and they might jump at the chance to add a musical summer camp.

By scheduling a camp at the start or end of the summer break (or both) you can free up your own time and potentially make as much in 1-2 weeks as you would have made in 2 months of regular lessons. That’s a win all-round!

Take a break!

I know what you’re going to say. You can’t afford to take a break, right? 

But if you structure your year and build up your business to serve you, you might be able to afford to take the whole summer off. Spend some time with the numbers and see if this is possible for you.

Music teacher taking a break

Having the opportunity to do this and travel or spend time with your family and friends is a huge benefit of our business. Chances are nobody will bat an eye-lid if you close the studio for a couple of months and you could get some much-needed battery juice to recharge for a new academic year.

Summer Quest

If you are going to take some time off you might want to make sure your students don’t completely forget about the piano. Download my Summer Quest to keep them going!

Which is the best summer option for your music studio?

What do you currently do? Do you like the sound of one of these ideas better? Tell me about your experiences in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “How to handle summer in your music studio business”

  1. Thank you for these ideas!

    In addition to one week of “camp,” which I’ve labeled “Summer Intensives,” I operate as close to normal as possible during the summer time. The students who choose to continue weekly do so, with a week or two off for their personal vacations; others take the entire summer off, which frees me up during their slots. Sometimes, I’ll try to wiggle some students around if I have too many short gaps between lessons, but usually, I just keep folks where they are and try to stay productive if I have a bit of downtime here and there. I take my vacations in the spring and fall, so summer vacation isn’t an issue for me personally.

    I do love the idea of having students purchase blocks of lessons. I will have to try this with a few of my students who prefer more unstructured summer months.

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  2. I do a themed based 4 day music camp. This year it is a Music Boot Camp. Themes in the past have been, Harry Potter, Under the Sea, Carnival. I do ensemble based rhythm chants, body rhythms and keyboard ensembles. Also we play outdoor theory games that include water, relays, team competition. We also do a listening excercise called charting and they earn incentives to purchase items at a “store” at the end of each session, I do 3 sessions per day for three age groups. It is a big hit with my students and great to do for summer income, yet still gives me and them most of the summer off.

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