Designing Summer Workshops: Announcements!

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Even though we’re just now feeling the edges of spring in Western Pennsylvania, my brain has been focused on summer for months. I’m in the process of rolling out the official Summer Schedule announcements in my studio. Registration forms will not be included just yet – this announcement just includes the basics, and will hopefully get parents and students thinking about their summer schedules.

What should you include in your first announcement? Keep it simple. This is the opportunity to start stirring up interest among your students and get your event penciled onto the summer calendar. These announcements will be sent home with students. I’ll also create a PDF and send it via email to the entire studio. (Because we all know what happens to a lot of take-homes!) Here’s a list of what I included on a single-page announcement:

  • What/Where/When – Be sure to include the time of your event.
  • Suggested age range – There will always be students that are exceptions to the rule.
  • Brief description – Include the overall goals of the workshop/camp and some of the activities that will occur. Here’s an example from our 2014 Vocal Workshop:

“This year’s vocal workshop features two professional vocal teachers and pianists – Mr. Kevin Shields from Slippery Rock and Mrs. Sara Campbell from West Middlesex. Students must have at least two vocal pieces prepared and memorized; preferably one up-tempo and one ballad. Appropriate pieces include Broadway, jazz/blues, classical and opera. Sheet music must be turned in no later than June 2nd. This master class style workshop will work on solo and group performances, and includes a public performance in the Westminster Chapel on the final day.”

  • Cost of tuition – This will depend on your area, how long your event is, and what kind of materials are involved. If you are unsure about how to price your camp, start with a month’s worth of lesson tuition and work your way down or up from there.
  • Registration dates – Include your start/end date for registration. Tuition should be due when a student registers – this secures their spot for the event. This year I’m offering free t-shirts to students who register before June 1st.
  • Contact information – Even though you’re not actually *registering* at this time, you can definitely start lists for students who are really interested. Be sure to include your contact information for parents/students to call you with questions.

Here’s what my email/blog/facebook announcement looks like so far this year. To save on ink costs, the printable take-homes for the students will just be black text on colored paper – but I will print a couple of the colorful versions to post around the studio. (You might notice that in order to fit the entire announcement on here, I had to cut down my initial write-up for the Vocal Workshop. C’est la vi!)

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Other Places to Announce: I actually started rolling out my initial announcements about three weeks ago. As part of my summer push, I bought advertisement space in high school and local theatre musical programs. It was a nice way for me to support the programs and get the word out about our summer schedule. (… and yes, I’ve already had some inquiries from these ads!)

If you decide to open your event to students outside of the studio, you can send home extra announcements with parents and tell them that students are encouraged to invite their friends who take lessons elsewhere. You can also look for local announcement boards where you can post tear-away advertisements or try placing an announcement in a local penny-saver.

And remember… Word of mouth is always the best method of advertisement. Include announcements in your Spring Recital program, and be sure to talk it up to your audience. That summer workshop/camp could be the perfect gift from a grandparent, aunt, or uncle!

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Wordless Wednesday
Designing Summer Workshops: Scheduling

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