Announcements, Studio Business

Moving Adventures

My husband and I have been happily renting this house for the past three years:

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This Spring, we decided we were interested in buying our own house.  We were pre-approved for a mortgage and started shopping.

Finding a house with a good space for my studio was a priority.  We found a great house in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is 20 minutes north of where we currently live.  It is not as charming on the outside as the rental house, but we hope to be able to increase the curb appeal.

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Continue reading “Moving Adventures”

Studio Business

Studio Business — Printables Updated for 2013-14

I have just finished updating two of the studio business forms from the Printables page.

The first one is the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment pdf — I have updated the dates for use for the 2013-2014 school year.  I received a number of requests from teachers to make this form available again this year, and I am happy to do so!

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.

Continue reading “Studio Business — Printables Updated for 2013-14”

Announcements, Studio Business

TeachPianoToday.com Podcast

logo (1)Have you heard about the new podcast for piano teachers created by the folks at TeachPianoToday.com? I have enjoyed listening to the first few episodes since they launched their podcast last month (click here to listen to Episode 1 and Episode 2).

So, I was honored when Andrea asked if I would be willing to be a guest for Episode 3, which has been released today!  Click the link to listen to our conversation about the challenges of relocating and starting a piano studio again from scratch.

While you are there, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss TeachPianoToday’s future podcasts and blog posts!

Studio Business

Fun Little Drawers

For a while now, I’ve been looking for something with more drawers to put in my studio.  I have lots of drawers across the room, but I wanted something small enough for the spot next to my chair when I teach.

I recently found this fun little filing cabinet for $30 at a thrift store:

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I just had to share a photo with some fellow teachers who would understand my excitement!  :)  I can’t wait to fill it up with my games pieces, flashcards, music dice, etc.

Reviews, Studio Business

App Review: Moosic Studio

Splash_1024x748_logo_01I was recently contacted by Carlos Fontiveros, creator of the brand new Moosic Studio app, which is designed to help manage the business side of running a teaching studio.  You can best read about it in his own words:

Moosic Studio was created for my wife, Margaret, and her piano & voice studio.  I started off creating a solution for her to manage her business using combination of Bento and Excel on her laptop. It worked well and did the job. But she was always switching back & forth between applications entering lesson information while at the same time duplicating her lesson notes in her student’s assignment journals. On top of all this juggling, when she wanted to record audio or video of a student playing, she would have to get her audio recorder or iPhone. Witnessing this chaos for several months, came the idea for Moosic Studio on the iPad.  

Carlos kindly sent me a promo code so that I could review the app.  (As always, I was not obligated to write a positive review.  This review contains only my honest opinions!)  I don’t have my own iPad yet, but I was able to test it out on my husband’s iPad.  (Eventually, the app will work on the iPhone, too.)  The Moosic Studio app truly looks like a handy solution for the independent music teacher.  Let me tell you about it!  Continue reading “App Review: Moosic Studio”

seasonal / holiday, Studio Business

Classical Music To Attract (or Scare) Your Trick-Or-Treaters

This year for Halloween, I plan to pass out candy with my studio name on it again and wear my piano costume dress again.  I was thinking about having some scary classical music playing on my porch too, so I compiled a list of music!  Let me know if you have any suggestions to add to the list.  :)

  • Alkan – Prelude Op. 31 No. 8 (a madwoman at the seashore)
  • Bach (previously attributed to Bach) – Toccata and Fugue in d minor, BWV 565
  • Bartok – 3rd movement of Suite Op. 14
    Bartok
    – 1st, 4th and 5th movements of Out of Doors Suite
  • Bartok – Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta (mvmt. 3, adagio)
  • Berlioz – “Dream Of A Witches’ Sabbath.”
  • Berlioz – Symphony Fantastique
  • Wendy Carlos – Incantation from Beauty in the Beast
  • Chopin – Marche Funebre
  • Chopin – Prelude Op. 28 No. 14 in E-flat minor
  • Corigliano – 4th movement of Piano Concerto
  • Corigliano – 4th movement of Etude Fantasy (“Ornaments”)
  • Cowell – The Banshee
  • Daugherty – Viola Zombie
  • de Falla – Dance of Terror (check out the Bragiotti arrangement for 2 pianos, too)
  • Dukas – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (also check out the 2-piano arrangement by Rabinovitch)
  • George Crumb – Vox balaenae Continue reading “Classical Music To Attract (or Scare) Your Trick-Or-Treaters”
Studio Business

Freebie: Piano Lessons Flyer Template #2

I’ve created a new flyer template for advertising piano lessons, and have just added it to the Printables > Studio Business page!  (Scroll down to the P’s for “Piano Lessons Flyer Template #2.)

This flyer template has the rip-off tabs just like the previous one, but this one is in color and includes a picture of the piano keys.  You can view the previous template here.

I hope you can make use of this flyer template!

  Piano Lessons Flyer Template #2 (714.0 KiB, 15,419 hits)

Studio Business, Technology

Business Topics for Piano Teachers

On Friday, I gave a presentation for the local MTNA chapter back in my hometown, the Piano Teachers’ Forum of Grand Rapids.  This association was the first one I joined as an undergraduate music major and piano teacher.  I learned so much from the presentations I attended during those years!  It was so fun to go back this weekend and see some of my colleagues.

The name of my presentation was “Business Sense for the Piano Teacher of the 21st Century.”  Many of the topics I talked about are topics I’ve blogged about too.  Here are a few related blog posts for your enjoyment:

Studio Business

Reflections of a Relocated Piano Teacher

It has been a little over a year since my husband and I moved to Ohio from Michigan.  I have been thinking a lot lately about what it was like to relocate and start a studio from scratch in an unfamiliar area.  I’m sure some of you have been through this too, or will be going through it soon — perhaps my reflections can be of encouragement to some of you!  Here is what I learned from the experience:

  • FACT: It may take more time than you would like to build a studio from scratch.  It helps to make small goals.  Calculate how many students you need in order to break even financially, and make that your goal first.  Then, you can raise your goal to your preferred amount of students.
  • FACT: The time it takes to build a piano studio REALLY depends upon the need for it in an area.  If you move somewhere where piano teachers are scarce, you could have a full studio in no time at all.  If you move somewhere where there seem to be enough or an over-saturated amounts of teachers, it can take more time.
  • FACT: It is easy to feel down about only having a few students, especially when you feel that you are doing everything right.  It is not easy to be patient.  Continue reading “Reflections of a Relocated Piano Teacher”
Studio Business

Updated: Record of Attendance & Payment Printable

Just a quick post today to those of you’ve who’ve asked if I planned to update the dates of the Record of Attendance & Payment printable for 2012-13.  The answer is YES, and here it is!  Visit the Printables > Studio Business page and scroll down to the R’s.

The “Student Information Form” has also been updated.  Previously, it said “2011-2012,” and I’ve decided to remove the years so that I won’t have to re-upload it here each year.

Hope you are all having a great week!

P.S.: Don’t forget to check out the responses about our current Forum Q&A about keeping teenager students motivated!

Forum Q&A's, Studio Business

Forum Q&A | End-Of-The-Year Tasks

I’ve let a few weeks go by again without doing a Forum Q&A, so I think it’s high time for another!  :)  Last time, we discussed attending conferences but only received a few comments.  Feel free to add your thoughts.

The school year is wrapping up — at least for those of us in the U.S.!  So, I’m curious:

What are you up to?  What end-of-the-year preparations preparations are you working on?  Summer scheduling, progress reports, re-registration for the fall, planning summer camps, etc?  Fill me in! 

Leave your comment below this post.  :)

Reviews

Review: The Matthew 6:33 Piano Teacher eBook (and giveaway)

Piano teacher KM Logan has sent me a copy of her ebook and asked if I’d be willing to review it, to which I happily agreed.  Her ebook is called: “The Matthew 6:33 Piano Teacher: How To Teach Piano To The Glory Of God.”  It is 79 pages in length and is available on her website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

In case you are wondering, here is the verse mentioned in the ebook’s title:  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” — Matthew 6:33  This ebook is written very much from a Christian perspective (which I very much appreciate), asking the reader to consider things like whether piano teaching is God’s calling for you, how God can make a difference through your teaching, and most of all, how the piano teacher can do all they do for the glory of God.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure the book provides many clues for the answers to those questions, but it does ask you to consider those things.

Writing Style

Here are some comments regarding the ebook from a purely writing perspective.  The tone of Logan’s writing is very conversational, which has its benefits and downsides.  The writing is easy-to-read, but I feel the eBook would benefit from a more academic style of writing.  For example, if I were the editor, I would eliminate all the contractions and restructure the sentences so they don’t use “you” so much (so the writing doesn’t sound as “preach-y” and direct).  Also, I hope you like rhetorical questions, because the author makes use of them a great deal throughout the ebook!  For example, the eBook opens with 9 questions in a row.   Continue reading “Review: The Matthew 6:33 Piano Teacher eBook (and giveaway)”