2020 has been bonkers, but the New Year is just around the corner. While we may not be able to welcome it with tight hugs and wet kisses, we can make a start on our 2021 teaching goals.

‘Exercise more, eat less and quit smoking’ are popular New Year’s resolutions bandied about upon the stroke of midnight. But what about your business and teaching aspirations? Let BAST help you plan your 2021 objectives.

If your 2021 goal is to find purpose

With the pandemic putting the performing arts industry on pause, many singers feel that they’ve lost their sense of purpose.

While auditions and gigs remain ‘on hold’, performers may find it rewarding to pursue a complementary interest or to utilise their skills elsewhere. One way to do this is to train to be a singing teacher – and for that, you’ve come to the right place!

How BAST can help

BAST will launch the next cohort of teacher training courses early next year with a mix of 10-week and five-week intensives to choose from. Take a gander here.

Other courses and training

Whether it’s life-coaching, songwriting, or vocal health that piques your interest, there are many courses available to help you explore your passion.

Studying will not only contribute to your continued personal development and, potentially, your business niche, but it will help you to attract like-minded clients and stay motivated.

Check out the likes of Vocal Health Education and Voice Workshop, and watch out for ‘Naked Vocalist’ Chris Johnson’s upcoming series of short courses and workshops (launching in February).

If your 2021 goal is to do more CPD 

It can be tricky to fit everything we want and need to do within a 24-hour window. Between giving lessons, admin duties, marketing and family commitments, some things get left behind, including continuing to study the very subject we teach.

Continued professional development (CPD) provides us with the opportunity to grow as educators and ensures that we give students relevant, current and informed advice.

How BAST can help

Become a BAST member to take advantage of the numerous CPD opportunities we offer. 2021 will see the launch of BAST Monthly Catch-ups – an online gathering where BAST members celebrate successes, talk about their struggles and network with like-minded vocal coaches.

Also, in early 2021, Teaching Labs will be available whereby a small group of BAST members can book a BAST trainer for 90-minutes. During these sessions, participants can ask questions, work on their own voice, teach a student in front of the trainer and fellow coaches for feedback, or have the trainer coach a student for observation.

As recent BAST grad David Valks, of David Valks Singing School, says: “I’m off to a bit of a flying start after BAST, but I want to be sure that I can continue to learn so I can keep my lessons fresh and have more tools in the toolkit.”

Buddy Up

Get in touch with other voice teachers and ask if they would be interested in ‘buddying up’ for a study session. Social media is teeming with our kind, and you can find BAST alumni in our Slack forum and on our Facebook page.

Schedule

Just like finding the time to exercise, we can set aside designated CPD hours within our week. Add study time to your to-do list, and you will remember to give it a priority ticket.

If your 2021 goal is to be more organised

Being self-employed usually means there is no ‘other’ to delegate to, so voice teachers often perform a juggling act. With the desire to do a detailed and satisfactory job, we can get bogged down with unnecessary or time-consuming tasks.

How BAST can help

Accountability is a critical factor in accomplishing goals, and BAST can support you via our Slack group and social media forums. Read our article on creating SMART goals to get some inspiration.

Online studio organiser

Having a timetable, student notes, repertoire and practice resources all in one place can help you to feel more organised. Software such as My Music Staff serves as an ‘electronic employee’, storing all your studio information on one database, and providing your clients with their own portal to access resources between sessions. This decluttering will free up some headspace for you to be more creative in and out of lessons.

Daily planner

For the self-employed who benefit from having structure, a daily planner which maps out each working hour can be helpful.

Bulk social media posts

Writing valuable content for social media pages takes time. Try writing multiple posts on one day and schedule them to be uploaded at different times during the week. Bish, bash, bosh!

Client responsibility

Instead of emailing each client a description of what to practise, uploading lesson recordings and videos will encourage students to take more responsibility for their self-development. The client can take note of any suggested practice at the end of each lesson, and they can also record their own sessions and practice videos. We are not solely responsible for our clients’ success and giving them some accountability could benefit their development.

If your 2021 goal is to make money 

We’ve all had a fantasy that involves a lottery win – maybe more so this year! But until you hit the jackpot, look for ways to increase your business income instead.

How BAST can help

BAST is dedicated to supporting you with your teaching career. We have many articles, webinars and suggestions to help you develop business skills – for example, take a look at our review of this recommended text by John Henny, all about increasing income and growing your business.

Increase your fees

A potentially intimidating idea, but this is an issue every singing teacher must face at some point. ‘If you don’t increase your prices by at least inflation,’ The Pricing Coach says, ‘you will be going backwards.’ Read our full article on ‘putting a price on it’ here.

Paid advertising

If you are feeling the pinch, you may be reluctant to fork out to pay to advertise on Google Ads or Facebook. However, you could make your money back as your message reaches a wider, global audience.

Communicate with your avatar

Whether it’s through blog posts, social media content or website copy, make sure you reach out to your desired client. To help you do this create a ‘client avatar’, a detailed profile of your ideal student. When creating your avatar, ask yourself questions like: What is my ideal client’s level of experience? What are their hobbies and interests? Even give them a name! Once you’ve done this, plan content that will engage your avatar.

Passive income

Do you have an idea for an online course, a series of webinars or an e-book? Perhaps 2021 is the year to get researching, planning and earning yourself some passive income.

If your 2021 goal is to practice more self-care

We are often so busy helping other people with their voices, their music and their development that we overlook our own needs.

How BAST can help

Whether it’s at our Monthly Catch-ups, during a teaching clinic or on our social media platforms, you will find a team of trainers and coaches who will welcome and support you. Just because you run your own business, doesn’t mean you have to face all the challenges of self-employment alone.

Say no

There is nothing wrong or disrespectful about declining an offer that doesn’t interest or engage you. Your time is valuable.

Do something for yourself

Whether it’s working on your own voice, giving time to a project which means something to you, or sitting on the sofa with a cuppa and a biscuit, make sure your week includes something that’s just for you.

2020 has been an obstacle course of rules and emotions, so give yourself recognition for whatever you have been able to achieve this year. The team at BAST raise a glass to you and wish you a very healthy, happy and successful new year. 

Share your views or comments on your 2021 goals on the BAST Trainers Facebook group.

 

 

About Alexa Terry

Alexa TerryAlexa Terry is a vocal coach, singer and writer based in Hampshire. She initially trained in Musical Theatre obtaining a BA Honours Degree from Bath Spa University and has since performed as lead vocalist onboard Aida Cruises, and for new musical theatre projects in London’s West End. Alexa regularly reviews for BritishTheatre.com and studied with Book, Music and Lyrics (BML) as a Musical Theatre librettist.