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#1254775 - 08/23/09 08:28 PM feedback on website sought
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
http://piano.appleofknowledge.net/

Any and all remotely constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.

(I just know I've gotta be missing stuff...)

Edit: Figure I should add some background. At the moment I have zero students, and this will be the first time I have to do all the fees, dealing with insistent parents, scheduling, advertising, etc., without any assistance. The website was put together over the past two days, and the policies I've been toying with since my last teaching job, which I held for about a year before moving.

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#1254784 - 08/23/09 08:56 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Sal_]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Wow! Very nice smile

The only thing I question is your fee. Personally, I charge relative to the amount of time (45 minute lesson is half-again what a 30 is, a 60 minute lesson is double the price of a 30 etc...)

I'd hate to see you turn away funds because everyone wants a 60 minute lesson. Your time isn't any less valuable just because they are there longer.
Otherwise it looks really nice (and I didn't see any spelling errors or typos wink ).

Good luck!!
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1254792 - 08/23/09 09:14 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5557
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, I had to click on the math pages. I remember that Calvin and Hobbes laugh

Cathy
_________________________

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#1254793 - 08/23/09 09:15 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Nice design. Why is the home page blank? Where's the copy?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1254794 - 08/23/09 09:21 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17786
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I looked your website over from the viewpoint of a prospective student. It's easy to use and navigate (though there's no link back to the piano pages if you wander into the math pages; you have to use the browser buttons).

I thought you might want to add some more detail about what approach you use and the kind of music your students will be playing. Beginner students especially won't be familiar with the Piano Adventure series and/or what kind of pieces they'd be learning.

The only other suggestion I would make involves the statement about not taking on male students above age 16. I absolutely understand why you want to have this restriction, so I'm not trying to change your mind about it. You need to do what is comfortable for you and your family. thumb

However, a restriction like that stated so baldly on your website was a little off-putting. First I tried to figure out if it was even legal to engage in age/gender discrimination in choosing students (and then I decided it was; most federal laws prohibiting discrimination involve hiring and/or housing issues, and giving piano lessons doesn't seem to apply). But I think it could raise a few eyebrows, and it comes across as not particularly welcoming. I guess I'd advise just deleting that, and screening out the adult males upon the initial phone calls.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1254811 - 08/23/09 09:44 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Monica K.]
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
Originally Posted By: Monica K.

However, a restriction like that stated so baldly on your website was a little off-putting. First I tried to figure out if it was even legal to engage in age/gender discrimination in choosing students (and then I decided it was; most federal laws prohibiting discrimination involve hiring and/or housing issues, and giving piano lessons doesn't seem to apply). But I think it could raise a few eyebrows, and it comes across as not particularly welcoming. I guess I'd advise just deleting that, and screening out the adult males upon the initial phone calls.


Thanks for the idea. I hadn't thought about doing that and I couldn't figure out a nice way to phrase it. I agree--it would put me off as a student, too.

Lot of good ideas so far--keep them coming!



(The math pages are still being worked on--really just focusing on the piano ones now, since most math students don't even care if I have a website--or anything, really.)

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#1254834 - 08/23/09 10:40 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Sal_]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Sal,

Congratulations on restarting your piano teaching stateside!

Google: piano studio policies

Piano World search: studio policies

You will be surprized at the amount of information you will have to work with - I've used some of the good ideas my self.

The most impressive site for teachers, students, and parents has been "Marbeth Lewis" who has a doctorate in pedagogy and is a vast resource to teaching in general. I think you and any one establishing a piano teaching studio would like to have her mind and ideas available to bounce off of while you are planning and organizing.

Just google her name and you'll be reading for the next month if you decide to follow her lead. I do disagree just a little in places - for instance she mentions not teaching 1/8 notes in the first year. I teach them immediately when we do the draw the note value chart at the first lesson.

She is a catalyst.

Betty Patnude

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#1254839 - 08/23/09 10:50 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Sal_]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
I agree with what Ebony and Ivory said about your fee structure. Don't sell yourself short. And I agree with Eweiss about the home page, more copy there and perhaps some graphics/photos.

My regards to your husband in Iraq with the US Army, thank him for his service from me and my family smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1254849 - 08/23/09 11:09 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Barb860]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4804
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I'm a very visual person. May I suggest you add some pictures?
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1254851 - 08/23/09 11:17 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Sal_]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
Hi Sal! Just a minor issue with how you phrased this:
I hope for my students not to be concert pianists, but to learn how to play the piano for their own enjoyment which will become a boon, an escape, and a friend for the remainder of their lives.
The way it is, it reads as if you really hope your students don't become concert pianists, which I suspect is not exactly what you mean. How about something like: It is not my main goal to produce concert pianists, but people who have learnt how to play the piano for their own etc etc

But nice work! And I agree with Monica about just not mentioning the adult male thing.

cheers, and best wishes, currawong
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1254911 - 08/24/09 02:50 AM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Monica K.]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Instead of advertizing the kind of students you don't take, you would be better off having √£greements with one or more teachers that do take them and who pay you a referral fee for sending them a student. Make that website work for you!

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#1254963 - 08/24/09 07:46 AM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: theJourney]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13797
Loc: Iowa City, IA
My suggestions concern the "About" page.

If you're wanting to teach piano, I wouldn't say that bagpipes are your favorite instrument.

I'd also strongly consider using your first name. "Ms. Eve" sounds a bit cryptic. Is "Eve" your first name or last? Keep in mind that you're asking parents to send their children to you, so I think the openness of using your full name is a nice gesture.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1255000 - 08/24/09 09:30 AM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Barb860]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Could you maybe ask the older male students to bring along a friend so you are not alone with them? I understand your concern, and sadly, in this litigious society, you're right to think about it.

Originally Posted By: Barb860
My regards to your husband in Iraq with the US Army, thank him for his service from me and my family smile


I meant to say that too smile
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1255001 - 08/24/09 09:31 AM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Kreisler]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
I agree with everything posted here. I wouldn't advertise your price. Give your potential customers a reason to call you and ask. This gives you another opportunity to sell yourself. You will have parents that are looking for the best deal rather then the best teacher. (I would avoid those families) If they get all the information from one website they will not call. Advertising 101. Just a suggestion.

Also the no male student policy sounds a unprofessional. You wouldn't see a an acountant or plumber limiting their customer demographics this way. I would doubt you will get a large number of 16+ male students anyway.

I didn't see that you explain lessons are once a week - maybe I missed it.

I notice that you jump between first and second person. Your biography is written in second person yet much of the rest is written in first person. Not that big a deal but something to consider.

I enjoyed your website!!!Good luck to you.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1255101 - 08/24/09 12:24 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Mrs.A]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Good start, here are some more (hopefully not duplicated) suggestions:

- Agree with needing some type of graphic on the home page, there are plenty of piano related public domain images out there or you can take one yourself.

- I think the section should say "Studio Policy" vs "Piano Policy".

- The "About" page. Perhaps it's just me, but I really don't like it when "about me" pages are written in the third person. If this were a large studio with multiple teachers, then it might make more sense. But for something like this I feel that it makes the text seem like it was cut out of some resume/cv writing software. Again, this is a pet peeve of mine so others may not agree.

- After you get a few students, get their permission to take their pictures and sprinkle them on your site. For example, when you refer to ages you accept, put a picture of a 6 yo and an older adult. I think people will "connect" with your content better when they see pictures of smiling happy folks playing piano.

- On your registration page (and you make mention of this on your "contract" page) you mention sharing of information to other families (the radio buttons at the bottom). It's vague as to exactly what information you'll be sharing. If it's their name, email and primary phone, then I think you should state exactly that.

- What is the difference between "contract" and "policies"?

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#1255136 - 08/24/09 01:06 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Mrs.A]
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
Wow, so many good suggestions!

The "male" thing shouldn't exist anymore. I'll deal with it on the phone in the event it comes up. There's also a large difference between 50 year old males and 25 year old males. (No offense to the 25 year old males on the forum, of course.)

I went ahead and changed the fees. I plan to keep them on the site since I think they're at or a little below average for the area. I understand that this will attract some parents I'd prefer not to deal with, but so be it. If they're not willing to buy a metronome, that's when I'll know to show them the door wink. I think my restriction on mandating a non-Walmart piano should help, too. I don't feel justified charging much more at the moment since I have no "real" credentials in music and only a year of piano teaching under my belt.

"Favorite instrument" thing fixed.. I can't figure out how to address myself. Writing the biography in first person doesn't feel right for some reason.

Pictures... Must find... Must add....

MrsA - you were right! I forgot to say lessons were weekly.

The concert pianist part is changed.. doesn't read quite as smoothly, I think, but at least there shouldn't be misunderstanding.

I'm still toying with how to say what approach I use--good idea.

I will pass on your regards to my husband. I am sure he'll appreciate them.

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#1255152 - 08/24/09 01:30 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: bitWrangler]
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
Thanks for the other input, bW. Aside from pictures, they've been fixed (and I went ahead and made the bio first person.) I'll also look and see if I have any good pictures from last year's concert I could add.

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#1255153 - 08/24/09 01:31 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: bitWrangler]
Collyermum Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 89
Loc: Durham UK
Hi

Firstly, best of luck with your new teaching endeavour!

I agree with the poster about writing about yourself in the third person is less approachable than in the first person. The rest of your website is friendly so I am assuming that that would be your intention :-)

Last point, no-where do you state your skills/training/qualifications. Exams , courses, experience etc could all be mentioned profitably.

Hope this helps, best of luck

Collyermum
_________________________
Irmler grand 5'3"
Grade 8 flute and voice, working on Grade 7 piano and beginner on the lever harp!

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#1255163 - 08/24/09 01:41 PM Re: feedback on website sought [Re: Collyermum]
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
Originally Posted By: Collyermum

Last point, no-where do you state your skills/training/qualifications. Exams , courses, experience etc could all be mentioned profitably.


If only there were much to say--I'm a math person! I do have some formal tutoring training in that regard, but I'd be more leery of somebody who just mentions that as opposed to nothing. I'm afraid on paper there's nary a thing that says "I can both play and teach piano." I guess my best option is to find some better recording equipment and record some stuff. Or better yet I should figure out how to add clips of my last recital...

I'll see what I can do over the next day or so.

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