Well, here we are.

Hands up if you’re teaching piano in person this fall?

At the university we are keeping everything, including lessons, online for the foreseeable future. I wish I could blame the boss for this horrible setup, but I am the boss. Believe me, I complain to the boss all the time.

We are keeping things online for logistical reasons. We are a small department and the Chair does pretty much all of the organizing, scheduling, traffic directing, query answering, and most other tasks that end in “-ing”. I just can’t manage all the things (ha! Another “-ing” word) so we’re online for now while we see how things go.

When you’re teaching private lessons from home you definitely have more control over “all the things”. My daughter will be resuming in-person lessons in a few weeks and I’m very glad for both her and her teacher. In my opinion, it’s a much better experience to teach and learn piano in person.

Of course, we all need to practice an abundance of caution.

For my friends reading this who are back to in-person lessons this fall, below is a list of my favourite essential oils for the music teaching studio, and some ways to use them to their best advantage.

You’ll find some oils for air purification, some for focus, and some for mood management. Please know that I am making no claims to anything here, these are just my personal suggestions for oils that may help make the whole back-to-studio transition work a little better for you and your students.

Purity is crucial

Of course we must be cautious around people with scent sensitivities. Some of my readers know that I grew up in a scent-free home, because of my mom’s severe lung issues. Although I personally don’t have scent sensitivity issues, I am very protective of those people who do.

It is of the most extreme, utmost importance that if you do use essential oils for the music teaching studio where you are inviting others in, that your oils be 100% pure. Don’t trust the label on the bottle, the EO industry is not regulated and misleading claims are all over the place.

So many products that are in common use now are easy triggers for people with respiratory issues. Hand sanitizers, scented wipes, and aerosol sprays are among the worst culprits as they all contain synthetic fragrances.

dōTERRA’s essential oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. Yes, it’s their own purity standard, which is great because there isn’t a purity standard across the industry. If this issue matters to you, find out all the details of dōTERRA’s purity assurance at:  https://sourcetoyou.com/en/quality

Diffusing essential oils for the music teaching studio

Diffusing is an excellent way to bring essential oil support into your studio during teaching days.

You can throw in a little of this and a little of that, to create a blend that does for you what you need it to do.

There are many pre-made blends in the dōTERRA lineup that you can just drop into the diffuser on their own. If you want to change up the aroma you can mix and match. All oils work together, you won’t inadvertently blow up the house or open a portal to another dimension or anything.

petal diffuser with On Guard and Breathe

You can diffuse oils to help purify the air, plus help manage focus and anxiety. It’s best to go with an ultrasonic diffuser that uses water in its reservoir, as they diffuse the oils evenly and gently. dōTERRA has a number of this kind of diffuser and they all run quietly with no annoying pitched hum.

For a small studio start with 4 drops of your favourite oil combo and see how it goes. You won’t smell it after the first few minutes and will only notice it when you first enter the room, so beware of over-saturating the room. A little goes a long way, and even if you don’t notice it, the diffuser is still doing its work.

DIY Room Sprays

If you want a little more targeted dispersion and don’t wish to use aerosol sprays, you could make your own room spray with your favourite blend. Here is a great post with some suggested room spray recipes. Use it as a base and include the oils you want to use.

DIY Best Essential Oil Room Sprays

The hardest part about DIY projects is getting the bottles. You can even upcycle your empty 15ml bottles and add spray tops to them. If you need some suggestions as to where to get your spray bottles please ask your oily support person, or contact me.

Hand Sanitizer

This is a touchy subject so I will not make a recommendation that any DIY hand sanitizer will do what you need it to do. Proceed according to your own comfort level.

dōTERRA makes a stellar one: On Guard Sanitizing Mist. Since it comes as a mist you can use it on surfaces, or in the air, or on your hands. I use it on my hands primarily. Then when the bottle is empty I use that bottle for my DIY version.

I do make my own and it’s the only sanitizer I use other than the dōTERRA mist. The fragrance in commercial hand sanitizers drives me crazy and often gives me a headache, plus they dry the heck out of my hands.

Of course using a DIY hand sanitizer is a personal choice. If you’re looking for a recipe to try, here’s my DIY hand sanitizer homebrew, using a 30ml bottle (the empty dōTERRA mist bottle):

  • 1Tbsp alcohol (do your homework on this one)
  • ¼ tsp Vitamin E oil
  • 15 drops essential oils
  • Top with water

Topical use essential oils for the music teaching studio

I would certainly not advocate slapping oils on students, so this section is for your own use as the teacher.

Using essential oils topically can help you with all kinds of things, and we’ll get into some specific suggestions in the list below.

When applying topically it’s a good idea to dilute your essential oils. Diluting with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil helps minimize skin sensitivity, allows you to use less of your essential oils to do the job, and helps the full chemical profile of the essential to be absorbed into your skin.

There are many dōTERRA oils and blends that come in a “touch roller”, already diluted and designed for exactly this purpose. You could also make your own topical-use rollers with an empty roller bottle and a mix of your choice.

If you are looking to make your own roller combo, a good general guide for a normal adult is 20-40 drops of essential oil in a 10ml bottle, topped with a carrier oil. If you need more assistance with this please contact your oily support person, or contact me.

Top 5 essential oils for the music teaching studio

1. On Guard

If you could only have one essential oils for the music teaching studio it should be this. On Guard. Called “Protective Blend”, this versatile oil is one that should be used daily in your studio.

It should be running non-stop in your studio diffuser when you have guests coming in and out. It is like a ninja against seasonal threats, can help support the immune system, and boost the mood, all at the same time.

For more personal protection and support, apply topically to the spine and bottoms of the feet a few times daily.

You can also ingest this one! It tastes a bit like extra spicy pumpkin pie, with its mix of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, and other things. I personally take a drop in my coffee every day. There are other recipes all over the internet using On Guard. Take a dive if you’re looking for ideas.

2. Easy Air/Breathe

Depending on where you live, this blend might be called either Easy Air or Breathe. It is dōTERRA’s “Respiratory Blend”.

This is another oil that is stellar in the diffuser. It smells amazing paired with On Guard, so you can definitely diffuse both together for a little respiratory boost with your immune system support.

An added bonus for diffusing Easy Air is it makes you take a deep breath. Ok pianist friends, how many of us don’t breathe enough when we play? What does it do to our phrasing when we do breathe? Pop this in the diffuser and see what happens.

You can even draw your students’ attention to what’s in the diffuser. Ask them to take a deep breath in (away from the diffuser) and comment on what they smell. At the very least the deep breath alone will relax them and help them focus.

3. Adaptiv

Adaptiv is the go-to blend for when you’re overwhelmed and need to get things done.

It contains so many magical oils that support mood, focus, memory, and general feelings of well-being. It smells glorious in the diffuser too.

A great combo for home-studio purposes is 3 drops each of Adaptiv and On Guard. You get a stellar collection of oils with this combination that hits all the right notes.

Adaptiv touch

I love the Adaptiv Touch roller topically when I’m having trouble paying attention. You know that student in the middle of a long run of back-to-back lessons where you just can’t keep your eyes focused? Grab this, apply to temples and back of neck, and get back to work.

4. Peppermint

This is my favourite oil to diffuse. Everyone loves the smell of Peppermint. It’s cheery, energizing and uplifting. Combined with Rosemary, Frankincense and any citrus you have a powerhouse combo for focus and concentration.

It is also one of the central oils in the Easy Air blend. If you plan to try the experiment where you ask students to take a big breath and comment on the aroma, Peppermint would be a good one to have in there. It helps open the airways and make you more alert.

It’s a really good one to change up your On Guard blend if you’re looking for a little something different.

Use Peppermint topically if you’re in the middle of that long stretch of back-to-back lessons and your head is pounding. Apply to the hairline and temples (keep away from eyes).

If you do get any in your eyes, yes it will sting (ask me how I know) but it will dissipate in a few minutes. If desired you can add a little bit of fractionated coconut oil to your eye. Adding water will only add fuel to the fire.

It is delicious in water as a beverage though. Add a drop to your water for an energizing pick-me-up in the afternoon that will also support your digestion. It may also help keep you out of the between-lessons cookie jar.

5. Any citrus oil

All citrus oils are mood lifters. Many citruses are also very cost-effective options if you’re looking to expand your collection. There is a wide variety of citrus oils available, giving you lots of opportunity to change things up.

Citruses diffuse beautifully with everything. Add to any of the oils listed above, they all work.

Lemon is a standard favourite, for good reason. You can’t be in a bad mood when you sniff Lemon, and it’s a powerhouse for focus. It also has purifying and cleansing properties – we know this from using Lemon essential oil in so many DIY cleaning products (goodbye, toxic cleaners), but it can also purify the air when diffused, and help cleanse your insides when ingested.

When adding a drop of citrus to your water, always use glass, metal or ceramic containers and keep to 1-2 drops at a time. They’re very potent!

Some other personal favourite citrus options are Wild Orange, Lime, and Green Mandarin but there are many others too.

What are your favourite oils for the teaching studio? Share below!

Honourable mention: Rosemary

We can’t forget Rosemary. She is a miracle worker for memory and focus. One of my very first blog posts was all about this amazing oil, find all the details here: Essential Oils for Memory – Musicians’ Memory and Focus Maximizer

Special class on facebook!

If you’re wanting to know a little more in a non-committal setting, I will be hosting a special class on The Essential Musician facebook page on Tuesday, September 2nd at 7pm ET. Hop on live and get your questions answered!

Get yourself set up

There are so many other essential oils for the music teaching studio, so this is just a short list to get you started. dōTERRA has a number of pre-packaged collections that are beautifully curated to get you easily set up.

Below you’ll find a link to a collection that contains all of these oils plus a diffuser and is the perfect way to get you going. If you’re working with another oily support person please contact them to help get you set up. If you’d like to work with me, here you go. All starter kits include access to wholesale prices and personalized support.

Canadians: Healthy Essentials Collection

Americans: Healthy Essentials Collection 

If you’re concerned you won’t know what to do with your oils once you’ve got them, fear not! That’s what your oily support person is for. I would love to be that person for you. Contact me if you have any questions. It’s my favourite thing to do.