Studio Business

Freebie: Lesson Attendance Sheet Updated for 2017-18

I have just finished updating one of the studio business forms from the Printables page for the 2017-18 school year.  It is called the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment PDF.  I do not currently use this form myself anymore, but I still receive requests from teachers are using it so I am happy to update it again this year!

In case you haven’t seen this, here is how the form works: Write your students’ names in the first column.  Each week, write the lesson date (in a month / date format) in the column for that week.  This is how you can track attendance.  The small circles in each cell are where you can write checkmarks indicating tuition payments.  Whether you charge by-the-week or by-the-month, you can place a checkmark by each paid lesson date.

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Download it below or on the Printables > Studio Business page.

  Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment (2017-18) (84.6 KiB, 23,133 hits)

P.S.: Here is a link to where I explain my current system for tracking payments received.

Announcements, Studio Business

Printable: Student Ideas for Studio T-Shirt Design

It’s almost time for me to order this year’s studio T-shirts! This year, instead of coming up with the design idea myself, I decided to ask my students for their ideas. So, recently I set up this station in my studio:

On the printable you see in the photo, students can draw their own T-shirt idea and then vote for any/all of the ideas that appeal to them the most.

I am excited to see the ideas coming in!

You are welcome to use this printable if you’d like. Download it below or by visiting the Printables > Other Resources page under “Studio T-Shirt Design Idea Printable.”

  Studio T-Shirt Design Idea Printable (229.8 KiB, 481 hits)

(See my past years’ studio T-shirt designs here.)

Announcements

Setting Up A New Studio Space

This post is a long time coming. I haven’t been as active on my blog so far this year as I usually am, but I’m excited to finally have gotten these photos ready to share.

Earlier this year, I moved into a new space. I was looking for something that would allow for a more convenient layout for my studio being in my own home, and we found this wonderful old house to rent. Location-wise, it is still near my Perrysburg students, but it is actually closer for some of my original students in Bowling Green, which is where we first lived when my husband and I moved to Ohio.

I love old houses!

Continue reading “Setting Up A New Studio Space”

Studio Business

The Possibility of Making a Healthy Income Doing What You Love as a Piano Teacher

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“I don’t do this for the money. I just love teaching kids/music.”

How often have you said or thought this? And how often have you heard this sentiment from fellow teachers?

Problem: There is a huge, rather unhealthy assumption implied in this narrative. The false assumption is that teaching kids/music is at odds with the desire or need to generate income.

Is doing what we love as a teacher actually at odds with making a good living? Let’s explore this further.

Is there something wrong or unethical about earning money doing something that you are passionate about? Is there something wrong with earning money being a teacher, arguably one of the most important professions in the world as it so directly impacts the next generation? Especially as piano teachers, artists, seeking the particularly challenging aim of nurturing the minds and spirits of learners? Is there something wrong with earning money from our art, our musical ability? Is there something about generating an income that nullifies, dilutes, or contaminates our art or our dedication to teaching?

While it may be true that our passion for teaching impels us more than does our practical need to make a living, it does not diminish – nor is it necessarily at odds with – the legitimate priority of generating an income. It is a prevalent but mistaken notion that we must choose one or the other, or prioritize one over the other: making a living versus doing what we love.

Not only artists tend to fall into this trap. Most people view their career goals through a false dichotomy consisting of two general categories: Job A, which pays well but isn’t a job I would much enjoy – or Job B, which doesn’t pay well but would allow me to do what I love.

When I was growing up, my pastor used to say: “If you ask the wrong question, you are sure to get the wrong answer.”

Because here’s the thing: Why should we necessarily have to settle between either doing what we love or making a healthy income? Those aren’t the only two options. Why can’t we aim for a third option – Job C, having both?

This false narrative is prevalent in society. Despite the importance of teachers, society tends to believe teachers deserve a low income (at least, here in America it is often the case). And every artist must come to terms with generating an income with his/her art. Including us piano teachers.

We need to recognize and address the false narrative and replace it with a better one. We must advocate for the possibility of both; we must argue for the rationale of and embrace the propriety of doing what we love while making a good income.

Making a living and doing what we love isn’t an “either or”. Let’s stop believing that, and know that we can have both.

Let’s move forward together with a shared commitment to the pursuit of generating a healthy income doing what we love.

Call To Action

Have you found yourself assuming that doing what you love and making a regular and reliable income seem at odds? Please post in the comments below.


If you liked this article, check out my online course offered through Piano Teacher Institute with Joy Morin. My course teaches you how to make a regular and reliable income doing what you love: teaching piano. The next 6-week session is starting up soon. Join the email list at this link to receive the details.


[As a brief, somewhat related aside: Many in society tend towards an unexamined, counter-productive notion that non-profits are inherently unethical if/when they are successful, and strategic; that is, for example, compensating their employees sufficiently to attract competent executives, etc. Watch this eye-opening TED talk for more on how we tend to punish and handicap charities.]

Studio Business

Freebie: Lesson Attendance Sheet Updated for 2016-17

I have just finished updating one of the studio business forms from the Printables page for the 2016-17 school year.  It is called the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment PDF.  I do not currently use this form myself anymore, but I have received quite a few requests from teachers who used it last year so I was happy to update it again this year!

In case you haven’t seen this, here is how the form works: Write your students’ names in the first column.  Each week, write the lesson date (in a month / date format) in the column for that week.  This is how you can track attendance.  The small circles in each cell are where you can write checkmarks indicating tuition payments.  Whether you charge by-the-week or by-the-month, you can place a checkmark by each paid lesson date.

Screen-shot-2010-06-27-at-9.33.12-PM

Download it below or on the Printables > Studio Business page.

  Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment (2017-18) (84.6 KiB, 23,133 hits)

P.S.: Here is a link to where I explain my current system for tracking payments received.

Music Camps, Studio Business

Free: Editable Form for Summer Lesson and Music Camps Selection

Today, I thought I’d share the form I have been handing out to my students for the past couple of years in order to present summertime camp/lesson options.

The top of the handout presents the music camp descriptions and dates/times.

summer camp descriptions

At the bottom, there is a form where students can make their selection regarding the summer camps and lessons. I provide my students with a few package options to choose from, while expecting them to continue making the normal tuition payments each month. This gives us both the flexibility and consistency we need for summertime.

summer option selection

Feel free to download this editable Microsoft Word file: “Summer Lesson and Camp Selection form” via the link at the bottom of this post or on the Printables > Studio Business page.

  Summer Lesson and Camp Selection form (143.4 KiB, 1,064 hits)

Studio Business

Recommended: Daniel Patterson’s New Blog

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I recently connected with an Indiana-based piano teacher named Daniel Patterson who is creating a valuable resource for piano teachers: a site called GrowYourMusicStudio.com. Daniel is dedicated to helping teachers attract quality students and make a comfortable living doing what they love.

I’ve read and reviewed Daniel’s first ebook and I consider it highly recommended reading. Click here for the PDF download: The Piano Teacher’s Ultimate Facebook Guide.

Daniel’s first blog post can be found here. You’ll definitely want to subscribe to the email list so you will be notified about new content.

Be sure to check it out!

Announcements, Studio Business

Feature in “The Savvy Music Teacher” by David Cutler

This came in the mail yesterday:

The Savvy Music Teacher

The Savvy Music Teacher a brand new book that has just been released by Oxford University Press from author David Cutler, author of The Savvy Musician. I was excited to see the mention of my story and my blog’s shop on page 158 after being interviewed by the author a year ago! This book is going to be a great resource to help musicians figure out how to make a livable and comfortable living doing what they love.

Find the book on Amazon here.

Printables, Studio Business

Freebie: Lesson Attendance Sheet Updated for 2015-16

I have just finished updating one of the studio business forms from the Printables page for the 2015-16 school year.  It is called the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment pdf.  I do not currently use this form myself anymore, but I have received quite a few requests from teachers who used it last year so I was happy to update it again this year!

In case you haven’t seen this, here is how the form works: Write your students’ names in the first column.  Each week, write the lesson date (in a month / date format) in the column for that week.  This is how you can track attendance.  The small circles in each cell are where you can write checkmarks indicating tuition payments.  Whether you charge by-the-week or by-the-month, you can place a checkmark by each paid lesson date.

Screen-shot-2010-06-27-at-9.33.12-PM

Download it here or on the Printables > Studio Business page.

  Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment (2017-18) (84.6 KiB, 23,133 hits)

P.S.: Here is a link to where I explain my current system for tracking payments received.

Studio Business

Digital Version: Spreadsheet for Payments Received

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For the past couple of years, I’ve been using a form I created using Microsoft Word to track payments received from piano students each month.  I printed a new sheet each month (that way I could update the student roster list each month as it inevitably evolves), inserted it into my three-ring binder, and then penned in the details about each payment.  Here is what that form looks like:

Record of Payments Received

numbers(Click here for details about downloading that form.)

For the past few months, I’ve been testing out a new digital version of this form using Apple’s Numbers app on my MacBook.  The advantage of this system is that if I save the document in iCloud, I can edit the spreadsheet from my iPad in the Numbers app.  Thanks to iCloud, everything stays synced.  I am loving this system so far!

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Continue reading “Digital Version: Spreadsheet for Payments Received”

Reviews, Studio Business, Technology

App Review & Giveaway: Bobclass for Studio Management

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Note: As you can tell, this week I’ve been playing catch-up with a few apps I’ve been wanting to share!  Hope you don’t mind all of the reviews/giveaways this week.  :)

Bobclass ($19.99) — iPad only.

I’m so excited to share my review of this studio management app with you today!  Let me begin by sharing Bobclass’ description:

“Bobclass is an all-in-one productivity app for instructors, tutors, trainers, coaches and other independent professionals. It offers appointment scheduling, client tracking, progress monitoring and payment tracking from your iPad so you can get rid of separate agendas, clipboards and spreadsheets. With a fast & friendly user interface and a fully functional offline database you can do your client administration in the gym, class room, studio or park.”

I think Bobclass it is an outstanding studio management option for independent music teachers.  Here’s how it works:

First, visit the settings to set-up your basic information for you and your teaching.

2014-11-19 15.30.57 (1) Continue reading “App Review & Giveaway: Bobclass for Studio Management”

Studio Business

PDF Updated for 2014-15: Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment

I have just finished updating one of the studio business forms from the Printables page for the 2014-15 school year.  It is called the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment pdf.  I don’t currently use this form myself anymore, but I have received a couple of requests from teachers who used it last year so I was happy to update it again this year!

In case you haven’t seen this, here is how the form works: Write your students’ names in the first column.  Each week, write the lesson date (in a month / date format) in the column for that week.  This is how you can track attendance.  The small circles in each cell are where you can write checkmarks indicating tuition payments.  Whether you charge by-the-week or by-the-month, you can place a checkmark by each paid lesson date.

In case you are curious, the form I currently use for tracking tuition payments each month is this one:

Record of Payments Received

This form works great if you charge a flat monthly rate.  I print one of these sheets every month and put it into my 3-ring binder.  I write the month/year in the blank at the top and then fill in all of my students’ names.  As I receive monthly tuition payments from each student, I record the date, amount, and check number.  Under “reason,” I write “September tuition” or whatever the case may be.  Later, I enter these payments into a separate Excel spreadsheet along with my expenses for the month.

To download, visit the Printables > Studio Business page and scroll down to the R’s for “Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment.”

To read a little bit more about business-related topics, check out last year’s post here.