ideas on where to begin teaching?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread
Hello. I am going to be graduating with a master's in p.performance in 28 days and I would like to open a teaching studio. However, I will be living in my parent's home for a while, thus no teaching out of the house. I have no money for a downpayment yet and don't want to pay rent. The area where I will be living is a small town with only one other teacher, no music stores, etcs. I want ideas regarding where I could possibly teach. Has any one out there taught out of a church? If so, what were their policies and did you like it? Other suggestions? Thanks.
-- Rachael Fischer (RachaelFischer@bluelight.com), April 21, 2002
Have you thought of going to students' homes to teach? There are not many teachers who do this and the demand is there; you can also charge more because of the convenience to parent
-- alexandra (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 22, 2002.
I have thought of this Alexandra. Have you ever tried it? I have heard both good and bad stories about in home teaching, like everything. It might be a good way to start.
-- Rachael Fischer (RachaelFischer@mybluelight.com), April 23, 2002.
I must admit, I haven't done this myself, but I once had a teacher who came to the home. My mother LOVED it, because she didn't have to take me somewhere. I think you have to be very disciplined though, in making your schedule, and allow yourself enough time to get from lesson to lesson. In the beginning, I think you might be running around a bit more than you'd like (since you're trying to build up your clientele, you may not be able to arrange lessons where all the kids in one neighborhood are taught on the same day, etc...). But I definitely think you'll get even MORE students by going to their home, and I think parents will be more than willing to pay the higher price for the convenience. I know that for me, the parent of a teen-ager and a pre-teen, I find myself always carting them from place to place. I have no problem paying $20 more each month for the teacher to come to my home.
-- alexandra (email@example.com), April 27, 2002.
I have done this, and it can work very well. You HAVE to charge for your travel time as much as for lesson time, and don't forget your return trip charges. I would even consider hour lessons twice a week (for some students) over 1/2 hr once a week, since I tend to run over all the time anyway. That way they don't pay so often for travel time, and you aren't running all over the place quite so much. I haven't done the hour except for make-up lessons, but I would try it, and they may also have a computer at home that you could use some of the really good software for them. There can be more distractions in the home, and the piano can be really bad, but when my kids were young, I would give quite a lot to not have to get out yet again. I also wanted a drive-through milk store, but that is another story.
-- Mary Jo (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 27, 2002.
These are good responses. It is nice to know that parents would be willing to pay a little extra for travel time.
-- Rachael Fischer (RachaelFischer91@mybluelight.com), April 28, 2002.
Rachael, I have the same problem..however,a local church has offered me one of their sunday school rooms to use. I am having my piano transferred there and I will have a flexible schedule. In return, I have agreed to play in the praise band twice a month for Sunday services. It will work out well for me...plus, the church is a good place to get new students. Good Luck Carrie
-- Carrie Bloomer (CarrieLynn1981@aol.com), May 09, 2002.
HI, I live in Dallas and this is my fourth year of teaching as a traveling teacher. I have 35 students per week and I usually do haf hour or 45 minute lessons since my students are young age 4- 12. I love it and I belong to AMTA and NFMC and they sponsor great festival opportuinites for the studetns.. Good luck. My best tip is ask a more experienced teacher for help in different situations.I have a waiting list too!
-- Wiman's Music studio (email@example.com), August 18, 2002.
I have taught out of a church. I taught the music class in the school in exchange for using their fellowship hall to teach piano lessons. At another church I taught in exchange for playing piano for their worship services. Usually, there are just rules for kids not to bother anything. Hope this helps.
-- (no firstname.lastname@example.org), December 10, 2002.
Hi - I'm in a similar situation. I teach most of my students at a music store, but I would like to build up the amount of my at-home students because it is better money.
Does any one have any suggestions on how to advertise your lessons? what has worked for you the most? I've put flyers up at the local supermarkets and music stores. I offer a free introductory lesson, and discounted rates for 2 or more students who live within walking distance to each other (cutting down on my travel time). Any other suggestions would be appreciated!
-- Rob Catalano (email@example.com), January 12, 2003.
Traveling is a great way to get your start but you have to develop a good cancellation policy and be very firm with people. I have found that when you travel to a person's home you will have to work much harder for them to respect your policies. If you command respect right from the beginning it will save you a lot of headaches later on. For advertising I use a big display ad in the yellow pages. It costs about $2,000 but it pays for itself.
-- g.killian (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 14, 2003.
Rachael. I have only one suggestion that has worked well for me the past couple years. I started teaching in this area 1 1/2 years ago. i contacted schools and was able to teach in a local catholic school. It's nice because i have flexibility in the schedule, and can teach those students during the day. I also go to families homes, but only if there is 3 or more students in the same family taking lessons (mostly homeschoolers). I also use a music store, but will be transfering most of my clients to my home next year. hope this helps others. Shannon
-- Shannon Whaples (email@example.com), March 28, 2003.
I would say that your parents house would be ok. At least to start. Once you have lots of students then you can start thinking about renting some other place. Have you consider the possibility of going to the students houses? That might me a good idea. In fact, you could charge a lot more if you do that,
-- gabriela fernandez (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2003.
Hello everyone and things for the great posts- here it is a couple of years later and i thought I might post a reply about how things turned out. After I graduated-I did end up teaching for a while in my parents house and taking students at their homes-in july that year-i got hired part time by a charter school and bought my own home about five minutes away, where I set up a full studio. Lessons are in great demand here-and I already have a waiting list. As for teaching at kids homes-i still do it for one student, and they pay extra, but at a couple of other places, it didn't work very well out at. I went to one house to teachadn there was sticky jam all over the piano keys-when I told the mom about it, she actually got mad at me! Thanks, everyone, for the great suggestions, i appreciate the help in setting up my studio.
-- rachael Fischer (email@example.com), April 27, 2004.