Picture from my camping trip last summer in the Oregon Cascades
One reason that I look forward to a lighter summer teaching schedule is that I am able to have the space to reflect on everything from the previous year. I try to evaluate what was successful and what I would have done different. I also think about the needs for my studio for the upcoming year and how I can create a program and curriculum structure to best support my students.
In reflecting, I also like to make a list of what made my year distinct. The time goes by so quickly that this helps me organize my memory and feel proud of my teaching. This also literally makes me slow down to create structure for the reflection process. Below is a list of events related to my music teaching that shaped my past school year.
- Hosting a masterclass with a special colleague new to town as a guest teacher.
- Not accepting any new students due to a reduction in studio size.
- Creating a new packet of Holiday Music and performing our December outreach concert at a new and larger location where we reached more people.
- Adding a Fiddle and Folk music component to every group class.
- Writing special solos for my younger students for our group performance of Boil Them Cabbage Down.
- Performing Copeland's Hoedown with my most advanced students and adding in choreographed marching to emphasize the rhythm.
- Performing the Cup Song as a surprise encore at the end of a recital.
- Printing S. Suzuki quotes and sharing a collection of these with each student in a hand addressed card of encouragement (available on the FREEBIES page).
- Continuing the Honors Program for the second year.
- Having students write feedback for each other in the solo portion of our group classes.
- Having my older students pair up with my younger students in some group classes for mentorship.
- Doing Bow Hold Boot Camp at the last 2 group classes of the year.
- Healthiest year I can remember with almost no absences due to illness (what a blessing).
- Hosting a mock audition with colleagues to help prepare my students for the local youth orchestra auditions.
- Teaching many students in my studio vibrato.
- Ending the year with a composer workshop for a student interested in writing music.
- Creating special summer events with my local colleagues: Advanced Review Party + Ice Cream Bar and Festival in the Park.
I recommend every teacher create an annual list like this to reflect and feel proud of your work.
What are some of the highlights from your school year?
Please share in the comments below.