A lot has changed since we originally wrote our blog, “What Makes Us Different From Other Studios” back in November 2016, so I decided that we needed to write an updated version! Besides our Music Buck system and our very own Early Childhood curriculum which we wrote about in the first blog, we’ve got a lot of new things that makes us different than any other studio out there!
Student of the Week is something that we really love about our studio. Each teacher can choose a student who stood out that week in their lesson- or not choose anyone if there was nothing to write home about! Students’ pictures are displayed on our Student of the Week board at the studio. They also get 10 music bucks and a printed certificate, and the best part- our Student of the Week yard sign, which they can sign their name on the back and keep at home for the week!
Our Adult Performance Opportunity called the Champagne Serenade is also new this year. We wanted our adult students to have a casual and fun performance experience to showcase what they’ve been working on, and meet our other adult students! We are really excited to host our first Serenade this Saturday, May 4th.
We get a lot of compliments and positive feedback from our parents about our sense of community, which has always been super important to us: we really strive to make our studio feel like a family. We’ve created an inviting studio space for our students who have lessons there, but we also want our students who have in-home lessons to feel just as much a part of the studio. Each Sunday we send out a weekly email newsletter that includes Students of the Week, upcoming student birthdays and events, our Merry Musicians preschool class, and our latest blog.
Recital Prep/Theory Group Classes are something we’ve added since we opened our studio space. We offer 2-3 group classes before each recital and DMTA festival, so that students can perform their prepared pieces in front of a small group and get feedback from the teacher. As of now, we have a group theory class every February for those students who are taking the Texas State Theory Exam.
We know that there are amazing teachers all over the metroplex, but something that helps us stand out from the rest is the time and care we put into matching students with the right teacher based on personality and learning goals. Before we enroll any new student, we conduct a phone interview with potential families so that we can pair them with a teacher that we think they will mesh well with. The right fit between student and teacher is extremely important for happiness and longevity in lessons!
Last but not least, we are very proud to say that all of our teachers at Music So Simple are Dallas Music Teachers Association (DMTA) members, with three of our teachers serving on the board. We think that being involved in our local association is essential for continuing education, personal growth, and extra opportunities for our students.
We are really proud of the studio we’ve built in the last 3 years, and we will continue to make improvements where needed. We value feedback from all of our families and most importantly we always put people first!
Since the beginning of January, I have been doing some leadership and strength building classes. These have been unbelievably helpful to me as I am leading our team of teachers. The first thing I had to do was take the Clifton Strengths Assessment so I could know my top 5 strengths. This was a bit like a personality test, but I loved that it was automatically focusing on the positives. The idea is to take these strengths and make them known in our every day lives.
So, my top 5 are Discipline, Responsibility, Harmony, Relator, and Maximizer. What do these mean? It means that I love to be organized, and that I thrive in routine and structure. When I have everything in order, I can think more clearly. The "responsibility" in me says I am dependable and I am always wondering what I can do better. With "harmony", this strengths allows me to listen and be straightforward with my thoughts. I don't like conflict, so I'm always looking for agreement. I enjoy close relationships with others and I find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal- this is my "relator". Lastly, my "maximizer" means I am always trying to be better in what I'm doing. I like to take something strong and turn it into something superb. I think this is especially true in picking strong teachers and putting us together to make our team superb. It may sound a little corny, but I believe whole-heartedly in this!
So, all of the teachers took the strengths assessment. Together, we are very strong in our strategic thinking and executing tasks. 5 teachers have "achiever" in their top 5! Our other strong area as a team is in relationship building. Obviously, this is pretty important as we work together with our students, parents, and teachers. As you can see below, we are not strong in "influencing", so it doesn't sound like we are going to be taking charge- maybe we let our students direct us??