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#20871 - 03/10/01 09:25 AM Summer Lessons & Music Camp
Marcia Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 11/18/00
Posts: 354
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
What are all of you planning for summer lessons/music camps? I'm trying to get all of my info together to send out with April statements. Please post, all of you creative geniuses!

#20872 - 03/10/01 01:50 PM Re: Summer Lessons & Music Camp
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I'm going to play an all-20th century recital at my camp. (Ligeti, Prokofiev, and probably Mompou or Ginastera)

We're also going to do some MIDI work - arrangements and composition.

Lots of duets and ensemble stuff.

Daily lessons and masterclasses.

Two or three performance opportunities over the course of 10 days.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

#20873 - 03/10/01 04:07 PM Re: Summer Lessons & Music Camp
bethann Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 359
Loc: Nebraska
I need some help on this one, maybe even from some of you who have previously taught Kindermusick or Musikgarten.

I had have a lot of requests for lessons for 5 and 6-year-olds, and so thought I would instead have a "camp" for them this summer. I have no idea what to charge! I am planning a whole slew of things, and think the kids will love it. I think I will do 3 classes in June and 3 classes in July.

My costs won't be too high, as I can use many things from my studio and make a lot of my props, but I just don't know what people would be willing to pay. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I too would like to get information out in April.

#20874 - 03/10/01 10:58 PM Re: Summer Lessons & Music Camp
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
I did camps for 4-5 year olds about 10 years ago. They came 2 hours a day for a week, and the tuition included supplies and the cost of a snack. I charged $75 and earned every penney of it. I had 10-12 kids in the camp. Depending on what kind of crafts you make, you would probably need an assistant for parts.

The camps that have by far gone over the best in terms of response from people and amount of students enrolling (not to mention new enrollees for regular lessons in the fall) have been "Summer Fun Piano Camps" that provide an introduction to the piano. For those I charged the same, with 5 kids to a camp, and I ran morning and afternoon sessions. (I had 5 digital pianos at the time.) These camps were popular with suburban moms desperately looking for ways to get their kids out of the house a few hours a day as well as those people who want to "try" piano lessons. If I were offering them today I would probably charge $100. Another way to schedule them might be 90 minutes M-Th over a two week period.

If you need any marketing ideas let me know. I still have my flyers in my files and could share the verbiage I used.

#20875 - 03/11/01 07:47 PM Re: Summer Lessons & Music Camp
bethann Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 359
Loc: Nebraska
Thanks for the info. I am a little nervous about marketing my camp idea. I would like to have about 5-7 students to a class and I think it would go over HUGE if I could get the word out. But it took quite a while to build up my studio for private lessons, so I would need to market a little differently.

I was thinking that the parents might not want to bring their kids everyday, so was thinking that once a week might work - but you had them come everyday for a couple weeks? I think they would learn more that way. I'm thinking that over.

Also, did you have any especially good luck with things like music bingo or any special books? I have lots of ideas, but am always looking for more. I have been pouring over the Friendship House catalog - but there are so many choices it is a little overwhelming. The local music stores don't have a lot to offer, so it's hard to order something without knowing what it's like.

Another question on the subject of summer. Last year I had a parent who wanted to only do bi-weekly lessons in the summer. This year I have one who wants to stop lessons until fall. I would much rather keep things going in the summer, breaking of course for vacations and such. Kids have a lot more time in the summer and I know how much piano ability I lose just taking a couple weeks off myself. I thought I would let those taking summer lessons return to their original time slot in the Fall, while those not taking summer lessons would have to be put back on the waiting list, yet I don't want these students to quit taking piano altogether. Any thoughts?

(I've been prone to rambling posts this weekend - my husband is out of town and communicating with a 1 1/2 year-old isn't all it's cracked up to be!)

#20876 - 03/12/01 08:50 AM Re: Summer Lessons & Music Camp
sdps Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 316
Loc: Whitehouse, Texas USA

Here are some marketing ideas for you...

Contact local daycares and pre-k schools to inquire about distributing flyers (or at least posting one on a bulletin board). Contact private schools about "doing a commercial" during assembly time. Ham up the fun and festivities and bring your best props. Get the kids excited then pass out flyers to them. I say private schools because I feel they tend to have more lenience with the community and tend to be more arts minded.

Last summer, my partner and I contacted a private school to host the camps for us. They were thrilled to have the opportunity to bring more traffic (potential students for them) coming on their campus.

Write a "press release" (ie NOT an advertisement and NO CHARGE)and have your newspaper print it. Include information from recent studies regarding music and the mind. "Your camp will provide a service to the community by enriching these children's lives." Read some of the current press releases for ideas. They can make picking your nose sound like the most prestigious occurance!

More in the next post about what to charge...

#20877 - 03/12/01 09:13 AM Re: Summer Lessons & Music Camp
sdps Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 316
Loc: Whitehouse, Texas USA
As to what to charge...

You can approach this from at least two different angles.

1. Do a little research and find out what other camps are charging. No, they aren't teaching the same thing as you but there might be the same amount of time involved, or the same caliber of crafts. This will at least get you in the ballpark.

2. Decide how much you need to make for it to be worth YOUR while. If you can't clear at least $____.__ (you fill in the blank) for the duration of the camp then why bother. Figure out your expenses (music, worksheets, snacks, crafts, games, etc.) and then decide on the minimum number of students needed to break even.

If you want to clear $300.00 and you only want 5 students in the camp then you should charge at least $70 (5 x $70 = $350.00...this gives you only $50 to buy supplies with.) You could charge the campers $75 (only a five dollar increase for each of them) and you have $25 more profit or $25 more with which to purchase supplies. If 6 campers sign up, now we are talkin' profit!

We had our campers pay a nonrefundable deposit well in advance which gave us a head count of campers as well as funds to purchase supplies with.

Yes, we love music and we love teaching kids but we also love providing for our families.

More about parents and summer activities in another post...

#20878 - 03/12/01 09:25 AM Re: Summer Lessons & Music Camp
sdps Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 316
Loc: Whitehouse, Texas USA
Bethann, You mentioned in another post about concerns for parents not wanting to bring their children to camp every day.

I am amazed at what some parents WILL do to be rid of their children for a couple of hours. Maybe "be rid" is a bit strong.

Most of the campers we dealt with were families with both parents working and therefore, they were searching for things to occupy their children while they were at work. One family had their son booked the entire summer with various camps (he enrolled in TWO of ours...a piano camp and a musical play). The mom told me her son was bored with plain day care and they were grateful for opportunities for him to experience different things through camp. Apparently, money is no object for them.

You can't make concessions for every possible concern of the parents. Ultimately, you are in this for you. Do what is best for you and reasonable for the campers and their parents.

#20879 - 03/12/01 09:11 PM Re: Summer Lessons & Music Camp
bethann Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 359
Loc: Nebraska
Wow! Great ideas, thanks much!

Hey - isn't it interesting that the private schools are often more focused on the arts? At least around here, my students who come from private schools always say "we learned that in music class at school" when it comes to things like note values, counting, dynamics and the like. The public school kids I have either have never been taught the information, or it's been poorly taught because they never remember it. Oh, I think it is such a shame.

I love the press release idea (and I used to be in marketing, you'd think I'd think of these things) You must have done a lot of work for your camps!


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