After 15 years of teaching violin and viola lessons, I recently closed my private studio in Austin, Texas, in order to focus on my new business, Orchestra Tutor. After many moments of, “well, that didn’t work, but hey – this did,” I wanted to discuss a few of my experiences in the hope that they may help you save time and effort as you start your own journey to private music studio tips.
I spent my first several years driving everywhere. I taught at music schools, public schools, and everyone’s houses between and beyond. At the time I think it is no big issue – I might just claim the mileage in my taxes, and it also would really even out in the long run. It turns out that’s not true; the tax deduction doesn’t come anywhere close to the costs of gas or wear and tear on the vehicle. But moreover, enough time spent driving to lessons is time far from teaching which translates to money you are failing to get paid.
Teaching out of your home has definite advantages, before deciding that this is the best selection for you, be sure you have sufficient parking that doesn’t inconvenience your neighbors, a designated waiting area for parents and siblings, a restroom they might use without invading your individual space, a safe and secure location for your pets to remain during lessons (understand that not everyone thinks they’re as cute while you do), and sufficient property insurance policy in the case of an accident. You should also take into consideration ways to keep your house presentable all the time and ensure your family, neighbors, and solicitors tend not to interrupt your projects.
An alternative choice to using your home being a professional space is to locate a nearby school using a strong orchestra program. Some great benefits of establishing a studio while working directly with the orchestra director are endless and warrant a stand-alone blog entry, but suffice it to say that the nearby school can provide convenience to both you and your students.
I began out charging $15 for half an hour around 2000. My intent was to get as numerous students as is possible then gradually raise my rates. Within under a couple of years, I was up to 57 students. Sounds great, right? It had been, with the exception that I was spending a significant part of my earnings on gas and car maintenance, I needed underestimated how much time I would personally spend on administrative work, and i also was purchasing far more supplies than I needed anticipated. To put it briefly: don’t undercut yourself. Really know what your time and energy may be worth and that your experience does matter.
In addition to earning a living, make sure that your rates will cover the expense of performing business, including space rental fees, additional home insurance, and charges associated with recitals, such as printed programs, piano accompaniment, video recordings, and refreshments. Learn what other teachers charge in the area and seek advice from local orchestra directors.
When you set your price, remain consistent with everyone, and don’t forget to leave yourself room for a couple raises in the process. Consider charging by the year, semester, or at the minimum, through the month, rather than individual lesson. Remember that you are an educator, and let parents understand that your fees needs to be treated as tuition instead of a pay as-you-go system. Lastly, get payment ahead of time as frequently as is possible to avoid doing work for free.
I adore teaching sixth grade beginners, but when I first started my studio, I accepted anyone and everybody, from ages four to 76. It was hard for me to shift gears that usually, as well as in retrospect, I don’t think I had been a really good teacher to the of my students except those sixth graders. It took more than it must have for me personally to realize they were my target market – I liked getting them started and watching them progress through the early numerous years of playing, then again I figured they were more satisfied with another person gowzxv could help them flourish at the next stage. My advice: be a specialist, as opposed to a generalist. Narrowing your niche will make you a much better teacher, and this positive word will spread quickly!
This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s surprising how many private teachers cancel, reschedule, or don’t appear to lessons. They find yourself with students and parents who treat lessons with the same insufficient dedication, which leads to fewer (and fewer productive) lessons, and even fewer long-term students.
Scheduling lessons back-to-back and also starting/ending promptly does everyone a big favor. Parents appreciate you letting their child on time so the remainder of their schedule is not impacted. They return that respect by knowing that if they are ten minutes late, you might be not anticipated to go 10 mins over simply because they know you have another lesson that should start on time.