Piano Teachers Stay Healthy
This year is turning out to be a particularly nasty season for illness. Several schools in my area (Ohio) have closed due to the massive number of students and teachers with strep and flu.
Here are some ways you can keep yourself healthy.
1 – Get your flu shot. Hopefully, you have already done this if not keep it in mind for next year. Flu shots are safe and although they are not 100% effective, they really help in preventing the flu.
2 – Have students wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before touching the piano keys or anything else.
3 – Don’t touch the keys. My youngest students are prone to touching their faces, their noses, and their mouths. Be extra careful not to touch the keys after they play. If you are fortunate enough to have two pianos great, if not go ahead and sanitize before you touch those keys or anything else that your student has touched, sneezed on, or breathed on.
4 – Wipe things down between lessons. This includes the piano keys, music stand, and bench. Also wipe doorknobs, tabletops, tablets, books, and anything else that is touched by hands coughed on or sneezed on. I use Lysol wipes, and I keep packets of hand wipes in my purse.
5 – Take care of your body. In my research, for this article, I came across many experts recommending getting enough rest, moderate exercise, a healthy diet (including a multivitamin,) getting some fresh air, and reducing stress.
6 – Wear a face mask. I’ll admit that I don’t want to do this, however, I am considering it. Participants in a study reduced their risk of getting the flu by 70 percent when they washed their hands often and wore surgical masks.
8 – Disinfect your studio daily. At the end of the day, give everything a good once over. Open a window and let some fresh air if you can.
9 – Tell them to stay home! Send an email asking your student’s parents to keep them home if they are showing symptoms of illness
How long are the flu sufferers contagious?
Here’s a quote from web MD
“About a week. Typically, you’re contagious from 1 day before you have any symptoms. You stay that way for 5 to 7 days after you start feeling sick. Kids and people may be able to spread the virus for even longer until all of their symptoms fade.
How do I spread it?
Most of the time, it’s through droplets in the air. Sick people sneeze or cough out beads of moisture that contain the flu virus. They can travel up to 6 feet. You’re exposed to the flu virus when you breathe the droplets in, or if they land in your mouth nose, or eyes. You can also get it if you touch a place those droplets land — like a desk, counter, or doorknob — and then touch your face. The virus can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours.”
What about missed lessons and make-ups?
Sickness can really cut into your bottom line. Parents expect make-ups for kids when they are genuinely sick. Some parents will send kids who aren’t feeling well because they want to make sure they are getting all of the lessons they have paid for.
Here are some ideas,
1 – Offer online lessons. I always have my iPad ready to go.
If a student cannot make it to a lesson but is well enough to play, we do the lesson online. This goes for me as well. If I have some kind of illness, we do the lesson on FaceTime this way there is no chance of passing germs.
2 – Work a few make-ups into your tuition. Charge for ten lessons and teach eleven. That extra lesson is make-up if someone has to miss. You don’t necessarily need to lose money just figure the price of what you need to be paid for x number of lessons and divide by the number that includes a free make-up or two.
3 – Hold a group make-up lesson at the end of the year. Invite anyone who has missed lessons.
What if you do get sick?
If you do wind up getting sick cancel your lessons and go to the doctor immediately. There are tests for the flu and other illnesses. Proper treatment will get you up and, on your feet, quickly. The sooner you start treatment (especially with regard to the flu) the faster you will get over it and back to work.
Read the post “10 ways to make your studio more profitable”
Best wishes for a healthy year!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by illness this season.
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