Back to School Calendar and Post Cards


Scheduling Calendar 2015-16

I remember when Arlene (a wonderful piano teacher/judge) showed me her studio calendar. It had dates on the sides and her piano studio schedule typed in the middle. I had never seen a calendar quite like this so I set about making one. By putting this calendar on the cover of my students’ binders, I solved the problem, once and for all, of remembering when events were scheduled.

I also added something that is one of the smartest things I ever did. I put in a “Deadline to be Memorized” date. If you have ever sweated it out before a student performance and the piece is still not memorized, you know what I’m talking about.

So I have a firm memorization date and it has really taken a lot of stress out of festivals and recitals.

Some teachers have asked me if I let students play in my recital if they don’t have their music memorized by a certain date, and the answer is yes, I do let them play!  There is always some kind of work-around: a back up piece, using the music, or playing a duet. My students know I am really big on back-up pieces. But for events such as festivals where parents pay money and students get a grade, I’m firm about the memorization deadline.

Today I present my 2015-2016 academic calendar. It is designed for you to print, re-insert it into your printer and using you favorite word processing program, typing your schedule of events and holidays for each month.

Set margins about 2 inches on each side and about 1.5″– 2″ from the top. After printing, insert it in the clear cover of their binder. For good measure, email a copy to parents.

To save ink and paper,  type and print your schedule on blank paper and hold it under my calendar in a bright window. Then you can see how well your typing will fit. Adjust your layout as necessary and save if you want to use it next year because I usually use about the same margins.

I made this to be an ink-saving design, with just a little color to make it fun. I drew everything, including the pattern on the border. The color you see on the screen will not be the printed color. Mine looks dark navy blue when I print it. Blue on a monitor is hard to match on desktop printers. If you’re a member of MTNA, don’t forget the discount at Office Depot/Office Max.

I’ve also included some printable post cards to remind parents when lessons resume.

I make this calendar every year, and once your students get used to it, they will always want one!


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Filed under Teaching Aids, Teaching Business

14 Responses to Back to School Calendar and Post Cards

  1. Hello Susan,
    Nice calendar. I tried typing in the text in the middle. Is it that you can only print out?

  2. IowaWoman

    Wow – you are helping me get organized in spite of myself!!! My parents will wonder how I did it! Thank you so very much!

  3. Karla Conner

    Thanks Susan for making these each year. I look forward to them each time. I was wondering if there was an easier way for me to add “highlights” on the numbers on the calendar part. I like to highlight the days that I have lessons and when our recital is and other important dates. It doesn’t let me do anything except the text in the middle. Thanks!

    • Susan Paradis

      Karla, unfortunately, that is the way my PDF’s are limited. A lot of teachers use a highlighter mark each date. My Photoshop files are editable, but I only post PDF files because most teachers do not have Photoshop or the particular fonts I use.

  4. What would we do without your great ideas! Thanks again for generosity.

  5. Leigh

    I love your calendar template!!! I use it every year! I love how colorful it is, too! Thanks for always sharing it with us.

    • Susan Paradis

      Leigh, I’m glad you like it! I look forward each year creating one with a little color that will work for all ages!

  6. Jill Gubler

    Hi Susan. I would love to make my own calendar. What program did you use to get the small monthly calendars on the sides? I’d like to customize my own calendar if possible. Thanks for all of your great ideas!

  7. Hooray, thanks Susan–I use your template every year 🙂

    • Susan Paradis

      Really, Leila? Thanks for telling me. Bye the way, a lot of teachers bought your bestselling book at my iPad workshop in San Antonio. For those of you who want to learn more about using an iPad in piano, Leila has written the book: The iPad Piano Studio. She has a website: