Learn 4 ways to keep you and your students healthy.
Includes a hand washing video tutorial by a registered nurse and a free download.
I have heard the statement below from several parents in my studio over the years. While I understand this sentiment, it can be more complicated because children can show symptoms of being sick very rapidly. For example, they can go to school normally presenting, feeling well and then come down with a fever halfway through the school day. This is not the fault of the parent. It does not help that many parents have inflexible policies with their work obligations that make staying home with a sick child difficult to organize.
That being said, there absolutely is truth in the fact that if someone is sick and stays home, it will prevent the pathogenic "bug" from being shared and infecting others. It is the timeless golden rule "do onto others as you would have done to yourself."
As a music teacher and adult, it is your responsibility to keep your studio healthy. Below are 4 ways you can accomplish this.
Please also review the blog posts:
Thank You for Washing Your Hands Before Your Lesson
How to Keep Your Studio Healthy
for additional resources + download a free hand washing sign PDF on the FREEBIES page to post in your studio/school.
1- Create studio policies where neither the teacher nor the student feels obligated to attend lessons when sick. Studio policies need built-in flexibility to allow both participants to refrain from attending if they are sick without fear of financial loss. Policies also need to set the expectation that students will wash their hands before their lesson.
Also, consider adding a "Winter Break" to your school year. Starting in 2016, I began adding a winter break to my studio during the second week of February. I chose this time of year because this was when most absences due to illness occurred. Also, I believe the winter season should be more restful than other times. Tuition remained the same, so I did not see a reduction in my income. Both students and I used this as a time to take care of our health with extra rest and self-care, resulting in less sickness in my studio.
2- Teach and enforce proper hand washing. Proper hand washing lasts 20 seconds, requires friction and specific techniques. Your students should be expected to wash their hands:
1- Before a lesson.
2- If they touch a mucous membrane (such as the nose) or other body fluid.
3- If they sneeze or cough.
Young students will need to be instructed on how to properly wash their hands and observed while learning this skill.
3- Teachers need to model their expectations for their students and take responsibility for the wellness of their studio. If you, as the teacher, are not feeling well, then you are expected to stay in bed. Again, this leads back to the importance of having policies supporting you so that your income does not suffer while you recuperate.
You are apt to feel better at all times by instilling healthy practices such as prioritizing rest, staying hydrated with water and eating proper nutrition.
4- Use technology such as Skype, FaceTime or Zoom to have a video connection rather than a face-to-face lesson. Alternatively, you can have your students email or text a video for you to review and then provide them with feedback. Always be aiming to build into your teaching techniques for how to practice so you have embedded clear expectations for successful independent home practice.
On this note, if you have not observed your students practice, I urge you not to make the same mistake I did. Finally, after 20 years of teaching, I spent 1 week watching my students practice (learn more about The Practice Experiment), which was shocking. After I watched my students practice, only then did I know how to create a clarity of expectation for the students to reach their highest level.
Have a tip to share for how you keep your studio healthy?
Please share in the comments below. Thanks!
Hi! It's me, Heather. I absolutely love working on the Music for Young Violinists project and all the many facets: blogging, website, music, teaching materials, freebies, videos, newsletter and giveaway contests. The best part is connecting with you so feel free to drop me a line. You can learn more about me on the "ABOUT" page. Thanks!