After fifteen years of teaching violin and viola lessons, I recently closed my private studio in Austin, Texas, to be able to concentrate on 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 help you save energy and time while you start your own journey to music teaching studio.
I spent my first few years driving everywhere. I taught at music schools, public schools, and everyone’s houses in the middle and beyond. During the time I thought it was no problem – I might just claim the mileage on my taxes, plus it would really even out in the end. It turns out that’s not true; the tax deduction doesn’t come anywhere close to the costs of gas or deterioration on your vehicle. But most importantly, time spent driving to lessons is time from teaching which means money you are not receiving paid.
Teaching out of your home has definite advantages, but before deciding that this is actually the best choice for you, ensure you have ample parking that doesn’t inconvenience your friends, a designated waiting area for moms and dads and siblings, a restroom they may use without invading your personal space, a safe and sound location for your pets to keep during lessons (understand that not everybody thinks they’re as cute while you do), and sufficient property insurance coverage in the event of a car accident. You need to take into consideration ways to keep your house presentable at all times and ensure that your family, neighbors, and solicitors do not interrupt your job.
An alternative to using your home being a professional space is to find a nearby school using a strong orchestra program. The advantages 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 which a nearby school can offer convenience to you and your students.
I began out charging $15 for half an hour around 2000. My intent was to get as much students as is possible then gradually raise my rates. Within less than 2 yrs, I had been as much as 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 the length of time I might invest in administrative work, and i also was purchasing a lot more supplies than I needed anticipated. To put it briefly: don’t undercut yourself. Really know what your time and effort is worth and that your experience does matter.
Along with earning a living, be sure that your rates will cover the expenses of performing business, including space rental fees, additional home insurance, and expenses related to recitals, such as printed programs, piano accompaniment, video recordings, and refreshments. Find out what other teachers charge in your area and seek advice from local orchestra directors.
As soon as you set your price, remain consistent with everyone, and don’t forget to depart yourself room for a few raises along the way. Consider charging through the year, semester, or at a minimum, through the month, rather than individual lesson. Remember that you will be a teacher, and let parents understand that your fees needs to be treated as tuition rather than a pay as-you-go system. Lastly, get payment ahead of time as frequently as is possible to prevent employed by free.
I adore teaching sixth grade beginners, but initially when i first started my studio, I accepted anyone and everyone, from ages four to 76. It was hard for me to shift gears that often, as well as in retrospect, I don’t think I was an excellent teacher to the of my students except those sixth graders. It took more than it ought to have to me to understand they were my target audience – I liked getting them started and watching them progress with the early many years of playing, then again I was thinking these people were happier with another person gowzxv might help them flourish at the next level. My advice: be a specialist, rather than a generalist. Narrowing your niche could make you a much better teacher, and this positive word will spread quickly!
This appears 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 similar absence of dedication, which leads to fewer (and fewer productive) lessons, and also fewer long term students.
Scheduling lessons back-to-back and also starting/ending promptly does everyone a favor. Parents appreciate you letting their children on time so that the remainder of their schedule will not be impacted. They return that respect by with the knowledge that if they are 10 mins late, you happen to be not supposed to go 10 minutes over simply because they know you have another lesson that must begin time.