You probably have insurance for your car, home, and violin, but, are you protecting your most valuable asset? The asset I am referring to is you and your students. Keep reading to help ingrain the importance of prioritizing health, learn how to properly wash hands and download some free hand washing signs for your studio.
Visit the FREEBIES page to download a hand washing sign for your violin studio.
Also, below this is a re-post of the "Thank You For Washing Your Hands Before Your Violin Lesson!" blog post published 4 years ago. It feels poignantly relevant due to the recent outbreaks of the Coronavirus. When news of this virus first started, I felt insulated since I live far from where reports of the outbreak are. However, that perspective changed for me when our local county reported 7 potential cases.
Now as a registered nurse (RN), I feel even more qualified and vigilant about the importance of handwashing because the evidence is clear that by properly washing hands, we can prevent spreading and contracting diseases. I wash and/or sanitize my hands about 200 times every shift so that I can prevent the spread of disease. It is so important to properly wash my hands as a nurse that I have to be tested on my ability to properly perform adequate handwashing techniques. While you may not need to adhere quite to this level, you would be wise to increase your handwashing personally as well as your requirements for your students and or children.
After working with children for 25 years I can not stress enough the importance of requiring students to wash their hands before their lessons and anytime they touch their nose or sneeze during a lesson. However, this is not enough because just like the violin needs to be taught, so does handwashing. Proper handwashing requires friction, techniques (like overlaid fingers in the picture below) and adequate length of time. You can help to make this fun by having your students sing in their heads their favorite violin piece to make sure they are washing their hands long enough. Below for a video link by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that shows kids how to wash their hands. Consider forwarding this to the families in your studio.
Not only do we have a duty to protect children, if you are a self-employed violin teacher you have to keep yourself healthy by installing hand-washing policies and enforcing them. One year, I let myself get run-down by being too busy and not getting enough rest. This led to a weakened immune system which led to contracting pneumonia which led to a $5,000 emergency room bill and 3 weeks where I could not work (= lost revenue). You can not afford this so please take care of your most valuable asset - YOU.
If students are sick, you can offer to reschedule their lessons or have a Skype lesson. If you are sick, get the proper rest you need and stay home. This is the right thing to do and the fastest way to resume your heath.
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!