Thursday, April 7, 2011

Summer Plans

I realize it's only April, but as I said in an earlier post, I'm already working on my summer camp schedule and all the details.  This year I am once again running three camps. Two of the camps - Piano Discovery Camp and Music Olympics - will run again this year and I am also finishing up plans for a new one - RoadTrip USA!  As I put plans for camps together, I'm also investing time creating games and activities that I can pull out for other events, such as group lessons.  This makes future planning much easier!

Piano Discovery Camp - a camp to introduce 4-5 year olds to the piano.  The week is filled with fun activities and games designed to teach very basic music knowledge and even a couple of songs on the piano.

Music Olympics - a general music camp designed to teach and reinforce notes on the staff, rhythm, terminology and introduce handbells.  The campers compete individually and as a team to try and earn medals.

RoadTrip USA! - a musical journey across America celebrating American music styles and American composers.  Each day of camp will celebrate a part of our great country and its diversity of music - everything from hoedowns to swing dancing!  We'll also learn the story behind our national anthem!  This is one trip I'm looking forward to taking!

This should be a very fun summer!  My studio parents now have the list of dates for the camps and I'm getting ready to send out a mass e-mail to all my studio contacts.  It may seem early, but parents are already talking about summer plans and I want to make sure my studio camps are on the top of the list!  Not only does running camps help to financially supplement the slower summer months, but it's also a great marketing tool!  This past year I gained 6 new students as a result!  Lets call that "reverse marketing"! 

I would love to hear what you're planning to do this summer!


Joy Morin said...

Sheryl! Your camp ideas sound great. I hope to offer something similar next summer. How many students do you generally have in each camp? Do you set a limit on the number? And do you put age/level limits on each camp so that you can plan your activities around a certain level of musical ability, or do you plan activities that will work for all levels?

Sheryl said...

Hi Joy! My camps to date have been designed for kids of any level of music background including kids with NO background. In both the Mystery Music Camp and Music Olympics, the campers work in teams and based on their musical level, I try to even out the teams. Both of these camps are advertised for grades 1-6, but I have made exceptions (on both ends) depending upon the circumstances.

I generally have anywhere from 6-12kids but because of the amount of space I have, I can accomodate more. I always have at least one other adult help me as a safety precaution but would not hesitate to add another. I have also used some teens as "team leaders" and this has worked well.

The camps are some of my favorite things to do. It takes me about 4 months to put one together. I spend a lot of time trying to add lots of value and it must work because I have lots of repeat campers and several campers are now regular piano students.

I would encourage you to put one on next summer! You'll have a blast!

Rachel said...

Hi Sheryl,
I absolutely love all of your camp ideas! I'm hoping to start offering music camps in the next year or two but, apart from making games, I'm clueless about where to start. How many days do each of your camps run, and for how many hours per day? How do you advertise in order to reach students outside of your studio? How do you determine an appropriate tuition? Thanks for all of your great & inspiring ideas!

Margaret said...

Hi Sheryl,
I too am considering doing a piano camp and have all the same questions as Rachel. I look forward to your reply.

yayasruru said...

If you put together your ideas and lesson plans into book form, there are many of us who would buy it. It sounds like you have put so much thought and creativity into it.
Do you know Artie Alemieda?
She has published book after book with her wonderful lesson plans from her own classroom.
But I have not seen any camp layout type books .
Many of us are not able to plan on such a grand scale.

Sheryl said...

I'm actually just about done putting together one camp and will begin working on the others. The first camp will be available to purchase very soon with others to follow. Stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

I am curious to know how you protect yourself legally when you do a piano/music camp in your home.