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!
Music SO Simple Honor Roll is a wonderful way of motivating certain students in the spring who go above and beyond in their lessons. The fall semester seems to be sort of the warm up for the spring, and winter break gives our students time to rest in preparation to come back and hit the ground running. Honor Roll lasts 14 weeks, and students earn a certain number of points each week based on their practice, theory, having their materials, adding new pieces, and participating in extra DMTA/TMTA opportunities. Honor Roll requires the student, parent, and teacher to all work together to reach the finish line.
There are a couple of big events in the spring that require Honor Roll students to step up their practice. DMTA Achievement Auditions is an event in April where students learn and memorize 3 different genres of pieces (one baroque, one sonata/sonatina, and one of their choice). Playing three different pieces by memory for a judge is no easy task! We usually begin learning these pieces by mid January. May Recital is usually the last event of the spring, and students are expected to play one or two pieces from memory. This recital symbolizes all that each student has learned over the entire school year, and it’s a great moment of achievement for them to see how far they’ve progressed.
The TMTA state theory test is in January and most of our students begin preparing for it in the fall. One of the areas of Honor Roll is completing theory homework, which helps our students keep up with their theory work even after the state theory test is over.
Having materials ready at the lesson seems obvious, but sometimes students forget to bring their books or they can’t find their books when it’s lesson time. Having your books ready not only maximizes productivity in your lesson, but it’s also a great life skill- students learn to be organized and prepared when it’s time to work.
Many of our students began the 40 piece challenge at the beginning of the school year in September, so Honor Roll is a great way to keep them motivated to finish the challenge. The 40 piece challenge and Honor Roll go hand in hand as they both require focus, commitment, and achievement. To read more about the 40 piece challenge, check out our blog.
Honor Roll is a great way to award those special students who work extra hard in their music study. Students who do participate and fulfill the requirements for Honor Roll are recognized at the May Recital and are given awards.
To see the complete Honor Roll 2017 Requirements, click here.
Grand Prize for 2017: