Transcript Snapshot 006 – Hannah Graf

Transcript: Snapshot 006 — Hannah Graf

Transcript for Snapshot 006 – Hannah Graf


[00:00:00] Andrea: Hey, it’s Andrea with Music Studio Startup, the podcast about the business of teaching music. Learn from the startup stories of music teachers who are doing incredible things with their studios. Be inspired by creating musicians who are branching out and thriving as entrepreneurs. Be empowered by the insights of experts who will help you grow your own studio.

Let’s get started.

Welcome back. We’re doing a special series on the podcast this summer called Studio Snapshots. Rather than the in-depth, process oriented interviews you’re used to, these rapid fire interviews give us a glimpse into a guest’s studio at a moment in time. They’re part reflection, part anticipation of the future, and fully a celebration of where these teachers are today.

Today, I’m talking to Hannah Graf. Here is Hannah’s snapshot.

Hi, Hannah. Welcome to the podcast today. Thank you so much for being here. Can you introduce yourself and tell us briefly about your studio?

[00:01:09] Hannah: First of all. Thank you so much for having me. My name is Hannah and I’m actually a public school music teacher. I’ve been teaching general and vocal music at the elementary level for about 10 years now. I also run a music and crafts blog called Crayons and Melodies, and I’m currently working on opening up a private music studio within the next year or so. And I actually took your Business Building 101 course, which I found extremely valuable.

[00:01:35] Andrea: Oh, thank you so much for that! That’s really a kind recommendation and I’m excited to have you on the podcast today because I think you’re gonna bring really interesting perspective to this Studio Snapshot since you’re making that transition from public school music teacher to private teacher and doing a little of everything and the the blog as well.

So what is something you are celebrating from the last school year?

[00:01:54] Hannah: Definitely celebrating the reconnection in my classroom. Just having been virtual the year prior, even though we were able to find creative and unconventional ways of making music together and connecting, it was definitely so wonderful to finally be in the same room, hear each other, singing, play instruments together. And I was really glad to create opportunities for my students to reconnect through things like folk dancing and group composition. So we were definitely all celebrating that being together.

[00:02:28] Andrea: Definitely, yeah. That’s certainly been a theme among the teachers that I’ve been interviewing for these snapshots. How were you challenged last year or did you learn any lessons? Hard lessons?

[00:02:37] Hannah: Yeah. I was definitely challenged with creating or modifying routines for my students. And also for myself, just having, you know, pre COVID having a certain way of doing things and then coming back and having certain restrictions or guidelines in place; like figuring out how to play singing games while social distancing or working on vocal technique when everyone’s masked up. It definitely required some more creative thought about how to keep my students engaged and help them to develop those skills while navigating everything going on.

[00:03:15] Andrea: Definitely, definitely. Did you take any risks or go outside your comfort zone last year?

[00:03:21] Hannah: Yeah. So both in school and also with my blog, sharing my kid songs that I wrote was definitely a risk.

I’ve been writing songs for a while now. And I always have that question in the back of my mind of, you know, how will people receive this, even though I don’t try to let that drive when I’m writing. But actually before Crayons and Melodies, I only wrote kid songs for assignments, like for undergrad or grad school assignments, and probably only tried out like a couple of them with actual kids. So when I started my, my blog and I also had my daughter and I started writing I said, okay, I guess I’m gonna share it. So I tried it, some things with my students at school and then the rest of it, I shared on my Instagram and YouTube channel. And I’m just so happy that I did cause I just get so much joy from seeing the kids enjoy it, my students, and then also on Instagram, I’ve made a lot of like just wonderful music teacher friends, and they send me clips or they tell me about the songs they’ve been using in their studios or in their classrooms. And it just reminds me why I do what I do and that I love it.

[00:04:34] Andrea: So, yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. What did you learn from that experience? Kind of generally about risks you might face in the future or what’s your takeaway?

[00:04:43] Hannah: I think probably it’s if you have an idea. Well, yeah, sometimes there are bad ideas but probably if you have an idea, just go for it. I, I know it’s so cliche to say don’t, don’t worry about what people think or say or do.

Someone’s always gonna have something to say. So if you know that it’s like, True to yourself, and it’s something that you know that you can uniquely offer, like share it, cause you never know what’s gonna come from that. So I think that’s something I definitely learned.

[00:05:13] Andrea: Thank you for that. Yeah. What do summers look like in your studio for your students and also for you?

[00:05:18] Hannah: As a public school teacher, my summers, I have some trainings here and there, but I definitely try to make time to do things that will kind of recharge me for the upcoming school year. I do like to plan just a little after school lets out since things are fresh in my mind of just things I wanna do or skills that I want my students to develop for the next year. So I kind of plan that. But then July, I’m just playing and then when August comes around, then I start to ease back into that planning mode. And this summer I’ll be just working on my blog and then also planning for an upcoming private studio. And my hope is that when I do have my private music studio, that I’ll be teaching through the summer, but also probably offering a camp or two which I think would be really fun. I have some ideas for that.

[00:06:09] Andrea: So kind of reversing your schedule from the, the class teaching in the school year to the class teaching in the summer?

[00:06:15] Hannah: Right! Yes. Opportunities like that. Maybe like a songwriting camp or ukulele camp, that kind of stuff. Yeah.

[00:06:22] Andrea: And this next question is meant to be fun. What’s one project or area of your business, and this could be your blog or your life as a school music teacher, but an area that you might spend irrational amounts of time? Because it’s something you just really nerd out about or really enjoy, or just because you’re crazy in that way. So, what’s one area where you really can spend a lot of time.

[00:06:44] Hannah: Yeah. Well, first of all, I love this question because it’s, I feel like so many people have that thing of, I know I shouldn’t be spending this much time on it, but… thing. I think I spend an irrational amount of time drawing graphics, and then writing and recording my songs, and then editing the videos for my YouTube channel and Instagram. So I usually do that kind of work after everyone’s asleep in my house. I’m a night owl, so about like 9:30 I’ll start working on those things. And then when I look at the clock again, I’m like, Oh, it’s midnight. What? , I’m sitting here drawing like a hamburger or like I dunno, whatever the song’s about. Yeah. But again, I think the time passes by so fast cause I’m like, I really love this.

[00:07:27] Andrea: Yes, totally relate. Is there a book that you’ve read in the last year that you’d recommend for our listeners summer reading lists?

[00:07:34] Hannah: Yeah, for sure. So if you are starting a business, I got this book called Starting a Business: Quick Start Guide by Ken Colwell. And my husband was awesome cause he actually got this for me, I think for like Christmas or my birthday, cause he knew that I was planning on opening up a music studio and running a blog and I, I found it to work really well with what you had taught in your Business Building course. So that might be something worth looking at for anyone who’s looking to do that.

[00:08:04] Andrea: We will link to that in the show notes, Thanks that recommendation. Where can listeners get in touch with you, learn more about your children’s music, and watch your journey as you transition to private music studio owner?

[00:08:16] Hannah: You can find me at CrayonsandMelodies on Instagram and then And then my YouTube channels Crayons and Melodies. And you can also email me at cr****************@gm***.com I would love to hear from you about anything. Music related.

[00:08:33] Andrea: Hannah, thank you so much for being here.

[00:08:35] Hannah: Thank you so much. I so appreciate it.

[00:08:43] Andrea: Thank you for taking the time to be with us, Hannah. We’ll include a transcript and all the links mentioned in this episode at The Music Studio Startup website is also filled with lots of other resources for music teachers, just like you, who want to set up their studios for success.

That’s all for today. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back next week.

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