After fifteen years of teaching violin and viola lessons, I just closed my private studio in Austin, Texas, to be able to give attention to my new business, Orchestra Tutor. After many moments of, “well, that didn’t work, but hey – this did,” I wanted to talk about a few of my experiences in the hope that they can save you time and effort as you start your very own journey to starting a private music 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. At that time I thought it was no problem – I would 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 damage on the vehicle. But most importantly, enough time spent driving to lessons is time from teaching which results in money you are not receiving paid.
Teaching away from your home has definite advantages, before deciding that this is the best choice for you, ensure you have ample parking that doesn’t inconvenience your neighbors, a designated waiting area for parents and siblings, a restroom they could use without invading your personal space, a secure and safe spot for your pets to keep during lessons (remember that not everybody thinks they’re as cute as you do), and sufficient property insurance policy coverage in the case of a car accident. You must also consider ways to keep your house presentable constantly and make sure that your family, neighbors, and solicitors tend not to interrupt your projects.
A substitute for making use of your home as a professional space is to find a nearby school with a strong orchestra program. Some great benefits of establishing a studio while working directly having an orchestra director are endless and warrant a stand-alone blog entry, but suffice it to state that a nearby school can offer convenience to you and the students.
I started out charging $15 for half an hour around 2000. My intent ended up being to get as numerous students as you can and then gradually raise my rates. Within less than two years, I had been up to 57 students. Sounds great, right? It was, with the exception that I had been spending an important part of my earnings on gas and car maintenance, I needed underestimated the length of time I would spend on administrative work, and i also was purchasing far more supplies than I had anticipated. In a nutshell: don’t undercut yourself. Know what your time and effort is worth and this your experience does matter.
Along with earning a full time income, be sure that your rates will take care of the expense of performing business, including space rental fees, additional home insurance, and expenses 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.
Once you set your price, remain consistent with everyone, and don’t forget to leave yourself room for a couple of raises as you go along. Consider charging by the year, semester, or at a minimum, by the month, instead of individual lesson. Remember that you are a teacher, and let parents understand that your fees needs to be treated as tuition as opposed to a pay as-you-go system. Lastly, get payment ahead of time as often as you can to prevent employed by free.
I really like 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 frequently, as well as in retrospect, I don’t think I used to be an excellent teacher to any of my students except those sixth graders. It took over it must have for me to comprehend they were my target market – I liked getting them started and watching them progress through the early numerous years of playing, but then I was thinking they were better off with somebody else gowzxv might help them flourish at the next level. My advice: become a specialist, rather than a generalist. Narrowing your niche can make you a better teacher, and this positive word will spread quickly!
This appears like a no brainer, but it’s surprising the number of private teachers cancel, reschedule, or don’t turn up to lessons. They find yourself with students and parents who treat lessons with the exact same lack of dedication, which results in fewer (and much less productive) lessons, and also fewer long term students.
Scheduling lessons back-to-back and constantly starting/ending punctually does everyone a favor. Parents appreciate you letting their children on time in order that the all their schedule is not really impacted. They return that respect by knowing that when they are 10 minutes late, you happen to be not anticipated to go 10 mins over since they know you might have another lesson that needs to start on time.