Thoughts on Continuing Education


Workshop Presenters Kristin Yost, Jennifer Eklund, Sara Campbell, and Debbie Center meet on Day 1 of the Creatives on a Sea Cruise Conference

It’s been quiet on the blog here for a while. My attention and energy has been focused on several large projects: summer workshop development and advertising, the summer lesson schedule, and of course the Creatives on a Sea Cruise Piano Conference that I attended last week.

(Not to mention preparing for and teaching 37 private lessons each week, half of which are 45 minutes long.)

“Busy” doesn’t really begin to describe the schedule… but thankfully almost all of these things are fun to do, even if they require quite a bit of work. The only non-fun exception might be wrestling with the summer schedule website and revamping last year’s PDF files with summer lesson instructions and calendars. (And even then, it was “fun” when I was able to look at the finished product!)

Last week was very inspiring. I had the pleasure of presenting two workshops —Designing Music Workshops: Having Fun and Keeping Summer Income Steady” and “Forgotten Songs: Using Aztec Drum Beats to Teach Rhythm. The workshops went very well, and I do plan on offering some of the information that I covered here on the blog in the near future.

It was fantastic to get to know all the other presenters and organizers, and the piano teachers who attended the conference were all very lovely people. We had three days packed full of workshops by Kristin Yost, Jennifer Eklund, and Debbie Center, as well as a nice workshop on “Flexing Your Creative Muscles” by the organizer, Karen Gibson. We also had three amazing days in port; we visited Cozumel, Mexico, Belize City, and Roatan, Honduras.

(And I got to hold a monkey. Two monkies, actually. Yes — I’ll share pictures!)

Attending this conference gave me a great boost of creativity and confidence about my studio and business practices. As a private piano and voice teacher, a solo studio can sometimes feel isolating. Interaction with other teachers is very limited, and unless you actively seek out groups to interact with, teaching privately can be a very “lonely” profession, especially if you live in a rural area as I do.

This conference is just one of many ways that I’m trying to keep up-to-date as a professional music educator. In June, I plan on attending a 5 day long Estill Voice Training workshop at the California University of Pennsylvania. I’ve also got my eye on several teaching webinars. Here are a few that you might consider attending:

How do you keep motivated in your field? Comment below and share about your favorite workshops, webinars, conferences, and other continuing education opportunities for private music teachers.


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  • by Laura Posted April 24, 2015 2:28 pm

    I love reading all of Mimi Butler’s resources on the Private Music Studio. I met her at the American String Teacher’s Association conference, and bought her books there. They are really helpful for a fresh college graduate (like me!) interested in starting up, or someone interested in refining their studio’s business. I also like that her resources are string specific, because I concentrate in strings.

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted April 24, 2015 2:48 pm

      That looks like a great resource, Laura — thanks for sharing! I’ll be sure to add it to my resource links when I update the site.

  • by Alison Stevens Posted September 6, 2018 7:28 pm

    I would LOVE to find out how to be a part of the next Creatives on a Cruise conference! I googled it and couldn’t find anything…

    • by Sara Campbell Posted October 23, 2018 11:06 am

      Oh! It was a lot of fun, but it was back in 2014. (2015? I’m losing track.) I don’t believe there are any new cruises in the works. Keep an eye out on the Piano Bench Mag for info about future ones.

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