I thought I would share what I do each year when it’s time to put together the puzzle called Fall Lesson Scheduling.
May 1st is when I have my re-registration deadline to receive the following from parents:
1) Re-registration (now done online)
2) Summer Camp registration (now done online)
3) Lesson Schedule form (more on this one later…)
4) Studio Fee
The lesson schedule form looks like this… (click to enlarge)
Once I get all the forms back I start on my “soft” schedule so I’m able to see where things are at, if I have any openings and what they might be, etc… I start with all the one’s that say they can keep their same day/time. Then I go into the students that need to change and the puzzle making begins! Usually change is due to school schedules, extra-curricular activities, work schedules, etc… For example I have 5 students going into high school next year so that may affect the earliest time they can get to lessons. Out of 15 families, only 3 needed a change this year.
There are several online scheduling options such as SignUpGenius.com, etc… and while I have used the sites to set up piano parties (perfect for group lessons, parties, events, etc…) and such I like to have more say in how the fall schedule will turn out so I don’t use those resources for that.
A popular question I get asked regarding the form is if I have any families that mark only 1 or 2 smiley faces and the rest are frowns. Usually that isn’t a big problem. This year I had 2 that did that and neither one will be a problem as far as the schedule request goes. One is a homeschool family that just wanted to keep their day/time. The other was one of my first lessons of the day that wants to keep their day and time. No problem with me accommodating either.
If I did run into problems, I simply email that family and let them know that their one and only choice they gave me is not going to work and then I let them know what will and then they usually say okay. I haven’t come across not being able to work something out.
In my studio the Fall schedule begins in August (this is when school resumes). So I take my “soft” schedule and email all the families in July to just make sure that what I have for them will work okay. This is their chance to let me know a few weeks before school begins if there are any problems. Then the following week I give the final schedule. If there is a family that has a last minute change request at that point or when school begins, I have them work out the change and see if there is anybody that can switch with them.
You can download a free editable form to use in your studio here.