We're finally back into the routine of the school year, and weekly piano lessons are part of my routine. It's a good thing I love what I do: I'm afraid I'm not too busy yet. I have this annual dilemma come mid-September. Where did all the students go? Returning students tend to trickle back. By October, my fears are usually assuaged, but that doesn't make September any easier.
My reasoning for slow registration is simply this -- kids do too much, and parents have little time. Of course, I allow the slow return. The beginning of the school year is always fraught with obligations, paperwork, and deadlines. It takes about a month to get into the flow of the new year. Even lessons at the college do not begin until mid-September. And this year in particular, we experienced an earthquake on the first day of school, followed by Hurricane Irene and an extra week of torrential downpours, plus all the consequential school closings. So it's no wonder it takes a few weeks to get my school age students back at the piano.
Reading other teachers' blogs, however, I don't see my slow-registration problem to be an issue for others. Somehow they convince their parents to register in July, and pony up the first month's tuition with the early registration. I guess I'm just too easy on my parents. Someday I will get tough and learn how to begin the season full steam. But until then, mid-September will remain a bit scary for me.
(An aside. My current students are already working on scary Halloween music for an October mini-recital. Maybe that's what makes my mid-September so scary.)