Giving a gift to a musical friend, teacher, or student? Add this super-easy DIY gift tag for a personal touch!
marker/pen -- I used pure blue
ink -- I used royal blue
Step 1: Punch a circle out of your cardstock (it doesn't need to be stamped yet).
Step 2: Stamp your tag. My stamp is longer than where I stamped it, so it goes clear to the edges and over. This will depend on your stamp and your tag.
Step 3: Ink around the tag. Just brush the ink pad on the edge of the tag, or brush the edge of the inkpad on the edge of the tag.
Step 4: Write you "To:" and "From:" on the tag. You can also fill it in at this time if you want, or you can do that later.
Step 5: Add a piece of pretty tape. I added a piece that was trimmed thinner (a reject from another project....heehee) to the side to make it like a quarter note.
Now add it to your gift and give it away! You can add it to a gift in a box like this.
Spring recital season is coming!
Are you thinking about planning a recital showcasing the hard work of your students (and maybe getting some studio publicity!)? Whether your studio has put on numerous recitals or this is the first time, below are some ideas to get you thinking. Although I do tend to get uptight before recitals, they are totally do-able!
Where. Your recital doesn't need to be at a recital hall. You could ask an assisted living facility or church to host it. You could also have recitals at a studio family home or clubhouse, as recommended in Making Harp Lessons Exciting for Young Children. (I think all four of those location selections are in there.)
When. This will partly depend on your venue. It's nice to have it before "recital season" is in full swing, as your students are less likely to have as many commitments (other recitals, final exams, vacations, etc.).
Some venues might request that you have it on a school day. It is up to you how you handle this. I think that a once- or twice-a-year recital is an educational opportunity and an acceptable reason to miss school. You might offer to write notes if any of your students need them for an excused absence.
Also, when to start planning? As soon as you can! Although I'm posting this in April, I like to have a recital date and venue (both at least tentative) as early as possible...by the beginning-ish of the semester. It's one less thing to have to do later and you can include a reminder in each of your newsletters. Students and families can also plan ahead, and it gives a solid goal and deadline. They have busy lives too!
Would you like to see more recital ideas and tips on the blog?
What are your best tips for planning recitals? I'd love to hear! Comment below, Tweet me, Facebook me, or tell me on Instagram!
P.S. For more recital-related stuff, check out the recital category and this post and this post from my old blog.
If you're in the US, happy tax day! If you filed for an extension, be sure to check out this roundup from a few weeks ago.
Now, for the post! I don't claim to be a marketing expert, but here are some ideas to share! I recently wrote an email a bit ago with some ideas and thought I'd copy, edit, and share it on the blog!
A few tools that I use a lot are (you might be familiar with these):
MailChimp to send newsletters and announcements to my students and to people wanting to stay updated with studio performances. I use the free version.
HootSuite is useful for social media. I use the free version of this too.
At some point, you might consider a blog. This blog inspires me and might give you some ideas too. From that, a Pinterest account could also be beneficial. (You can follow me here!)
The key is making it SUPER easy and convenient for potential supporters…having links to everything can help people connect to all your sites. You might also consider contests through social media (like this).
Networking is so important. One of the most important things I learned in undergrad. In addition to meeting people in person and through email, social media also offers opportunities through tagging people and companies and using hashtags (of course, use discretion and be safe!). Also, you don’t always have to have something “exciting” going on to share on social media. You could share day-to-day operations and events, such as a close up of your tuning key, etc. (Check out Harp Column's #practicalharpist...and while you're on Instagram, you can follow me too!)
Other ideas to get your name out there include donating items/gift certificates to fundraisers (such as local schools and organizations), ads in yearbooks and programs, flea market/bazaar/craft show booths, local parades, etc.
These are all just ideas. Take and leave what you want. I think the best way to become familiar with this is to just do it and to explore other small businesses, blogs, and social media feeds. Also, talk to your business friends (I really like the term "business bestie" from this blog post)! This gal and I chat Instagram. You never know what you might learn or might think up just talking! That being said, make sure not to let people talk down all your ideas. It can be tough, but try to surround yourself with people who support you (but are also willing to tell you if you're making seriously bad choices).
What are your PR and marketing tips?
P.S. The book in the picture is Step By Step by Suzanne Balderston.
Supplies (similar or same are linkied):
Empty Laughing Cow Container
Circle Cutter OR compass, scissors, pencil, and ruler
Ink -- I used Royal Blue
Step 1: Make a circle big enough to cover the label, or where the label was. You can do this two ways.
Option 1: Measure the diameter, then divide that by two to find the radius. Your compass should be set to that radius. Use your compass to make a circle on the paper, then cut it out. Repeat.
Option 2: Find the right size and cut your circle with a circle cutter.
Either option might take a few tries.
Step 2: Stamp all over you pieces of paper. The pattern is up to you. Mine is kind of messy with several generations of stamping.
Step 3: Glue the papers to the container.
Step 4: Add your pretty tape to the edges. I think I ended up trimming the tape on the lid and leaving the bottom wide (there's a gap once you've opened the cheese package).
Step 5: Add this tag (optional), fill with a gift, and give!
For US readers, Tax Day is coming...so here is a roundup of 3 articles you might find helpful.
I am by no means an accountant, so take this info at your own risk and make sure to research it yourself. These might or might not apply to you (or might be/become quickly outdated), but it's worth a look and some further research! That being said, check the following links out for some helpful ideas that could save you some moolah!
Be sure to follow this board on Pinterest, to find more business-type pins! Do you have any helpful tips or resources for taxes as a small business owner or self-employed artist?
Happy Tax Day!
P.S. Also, happy April Fools Day! But this post isn't a joke! :)
Welcome to the blog! I'm Barbara, and I work as a freelance harpist and private music educator. You can read my bio here. On the blog, you can find posts about various aspects of this career path, especially teaching and crafty stuff. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on social media. And don't forget to subscribe to the email list for updates!
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