After 14 years of teaching violin and viola lessons, I recently closed my private studio in Austin, Texas, to be able to give attention to my new company, Orchestra Tutor. After many moments of, “well, that didn’t work, but hey – this did,” I wanted to share a few of my experiences with the hope that they may save you energy and time when you start your own journey to music teaching studio.
I spent my first several years driving everywhere. I taught at music schools, public schools, and everyone’s houses in the middle and beyond. At the time I thought it was no big deal – I might just claim the mileage in my tax return, 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 your vehicle. But more importantly, enough time spent driving to lessons is time far from teaching which translates to money you might be not getting paid.
Teaching away from your home has definite advantages, before deciding that this is the best choice for you, make sure you have sufficient parking that doesn’t inconvenience other people, a designated waiting area for mothers and fathers and siblings, a restroom they could use without invading your individual space, a safe and sound location for your pets to keep during lessons (understand that not every person thinks they’re as cute when you do), and sufficient property insurance policy in case of a car accident. You should also take into consideration ways to maintain your house presentable constantly and ensure your family, neighbors, and solicitors do not interrupt your work.
An alternative choice to making use of your home as a professional space is to discover a nearby school using a strong orchestra program. The benefits of establishing a studio while working directly with an orchestra director are endless and warrant a stand-alone blog entry, but suffice it to say that the nearby school can offer convenience to both you and your students.
I began out charging $15 for 30 minutes during 2000. My intent ended up being to get as numerous students as is possible and then gradually raise my rates. Within lower than a couple of years, I used to be as much as 57 students. Sounds great, right? It absolutely was, other than I had been spending a substantial part of my earnings on gas and car maintenance, I had underestimated the length of time I might spend on administrative work, and that i was purchasing much more supplies than I had anticipated. In a nutshell: don’t undercut yourself. Understand what your time and effort will be worth and this your experience does matter.
In addition to earning an income, make sure that your rates will take care of the costs of doing business, including space rental fees, additional home insurance, and charges connected with recitals, like printed programs, piano accompaniment, video recordings, and refreshments. Learn what other teachers charge in your area and seek advice from local orchestra directors.
When you set your price, be consistent with everyone, and don’t forget to leave yourself room for a few raises in the process. Consider charging from the year, semester, or at a minimum, through the month, as opposed to individual lesson. Remember that you are currently a teacher, and let parents understand that your fees should be treated as tuition as opposed to a pay as-you-go system. Lastly, get payment ahead of time as much as possible to avoid doing work for free.
I love 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 an excellent teacher to any of my students except those sixth graders. It took longer than it ought to have to me to understand they were my target audience – I liked getting them started and watching them progress through the early years of playing, then again I figured they were more satisfied with someone else gowzxv could help them flourish at the next stage. My advice: be a specialist, as opposed to a generalist. Narrowing your niche could make you a better teacher, which positive word will spread quickly!
This seems like a no brainer, but it’s surprising how many private teachers cancel, reschedule, or don’t turn up to lessons. They find yourself with students and parents who treat lessons with similar absence of dedication, which leads to fewer (and less productive) lessons, as well as fewer long-term students.
Scheduling lessons back-to-back and constantly starting/ending promptly does everyone a big favor. Parents appreciate you letting their child on time so the remainder of their schedule is not really impacted. They return that respect by with the knowledge that if they are 10 mins late, you are not expected to go ten minutes over because they know you have another lesson that should begin time.