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Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
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#1969049 - 10/05/12 10:18 AM adding my husband to the studio
Crayola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 299
Loc: Chicago, IL
Hello again,
It's been about a year since I've been on this forum. I must admit teaching has not been on the forefront of my mind this year as I got engaged, married, and also moved. But with life settling back down, it's time to get back into the teaching mentality. Anyway, my husband (who is also a music teacher) and I have decided to have him join my piano studio, but as a traveling teacher who teaches piano as well as other instruments. There seems to be a huge market in our area for teachers who will travel to students' homes, and I think that within a month he could build up a considerable clientele.

We are marketing and advertising ourselves as one business, and one team, so I'm wondering how that should look with studio policies, etc. Should he have his separate studio policies? If so, what is important for a traveling teacher to include? We are starting to get calls and emails from prospective students that are interested in him, and I feel pressure to have a working studio in place immediately! Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks!
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher, NCTM
Member of MTNA and ISMTA

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#1969080 - 10/05/12 11:45 AM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Crayola]
Dror Perl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 272
Loc: NY
Hello Crayola

I'd go with one global policy, keep it simple.

For traveling teacher you can emphasize this points:

1. Maintaining a piano in decent shape (at your students home)
2. Keeping an appropriate and quite environment during lessons. (to avoid excessive noise and other distractions)


good luck !
_________________________
Dror Perl. Pianist, Composer, Teacher.

http://www.sheerpiano.com/

Sheer Piano: The First Full Color Piano Music Books





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#1969085 - 10/05/12 11:58 AM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Dror Perl]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Dror Perl
Hello Crayola

I'd go with one global policy, keep it simple.

For traveling teacher you can emphasize this points:

1. Maintaining a piano in decent shape (at your students home)
2. Keeping an appropriate and quite environment during lessons. (to avoid excessive noise and other distractions)


good luck !


To add:
- adequate lighting
- pianist must have proper stool
(actually these should be in place no matter where the lesson is, but often aren't)
- lesson cancellation if child is sick (I find parents are happier to expose me to germs if they don't actually need to run risk of little Jonny throwing up in car)
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1969293 - 10/06/12 12:18 AM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Crayola]
Crayola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 299
Loc: Chicago, IL
The thing we are both concerned about is that as a traveling teacher, could his studio policies regarding tuition and no makeups match what's worked for me for the last several years?

I have a monthly tuition system, and a swap list in place, in case of conflict. No makeups, unless ill. Most of my students are a short drive away and many of them know each other.

My husband would be in a completely different situation, and he's concerned that if he adopts to my studio policies, he would not gain any students. He's just in the process of building up and doesn't have a full schedule like I have. I'm afraid that if he's too lenient regarding makeups and lower fees, then non-committed parents will take advantage of him and not respect his livelihood.

So I guess what we're both wondering, and hoping for, is whether or not a traveling teacher can expect to find families that agree to a monthly tuition of $XX, and schedule perhaps one designated week of makeups per semester, if needed. No swaps, no reschedule, a flat monthly fee.

My families are used to it, as that's all they've known, and I'm sure this would help weed out families that are not as enthused about private music instruction. Are there any traveling teachers out there who don't charge per lesson?
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher, NCTM
Member of MTNA and ISMTA

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#1969298 - 10/06/12 12:30 AM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Crayola]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
When I was establishing my studio, I set up tuition immediately the way I wanted it long-term. Smartest thing I ever did. I found out what other teachers were charging and set my rate slightly higher. I started out with 5 students, then moved up to 12 within the year (which, at that time, was my limit). I could have added more if I wanted to do so.

I honestly don't think a traveling teacher needs to charge tuition differently, other than to make sure the fee includes enough to cover the costs of travel.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1969308 - 10/06/12 01:09 AM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Crayola]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1374
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: Crayola

So I guess what we're both wondering, and hoping for, is whether or not a traveling teacher can expect to find families that agree to a monthly tuition of $XX, and schedule perhaps one designated week of makeups per semester, if needed. No swaps, no reschedule, a flat monthly fee.



Sure he can find such committed families. They'll be thrilled to find a competent piano teacher who makes house calls.

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#1969452 - 10/06/12 01:25 PM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Crayola]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Crayola
The thing we are both concerned about is that as a traveling teacher, could his studio policies regarding tuition and no makeups match what's worked for me for the last several years?

I have a monthly tuition system, and a swap list in place, in case of conflict. No makeups, unless ill. Most of my students are a short drive away and many of them know each other.

My husband would be in a completely different situation, and he's concerned that if he adopts to my studio policies, he would not gain any students. He's just in the process of building up and doesn't have a full schedule like I have. I'm afraid that if he's too lenient regarding makeups and lower fees, then non-committed parents will take advantage of him and not respect his livelihood.

So I guess what we're both wondering, and hoping for, is whether or not a traveling teacher can expect to find families that agree to a monthly tuition of $XX, and schedule perhaps one designated week of makeups per semester, if needed. No swaps, no reschedule, a flat monthly fee.

My families are used to it, as that's all they've known, and I'm sure this would help weed out families that are not as enthused about private music instruction. Are there any traveling teachers out there who don't charge per lesson?


If you're marketing yourselves as one studio and one business, then you should have one set of policies to maintain your integrity as a business.

I was a traveling teacher for a period of time, and I didn't charge per lesson simply because it did not guarantee the lesson beforehand and there would have been the issue of money at every lesson. There got to be a point where I (a) got tired of traveling across town and (b) began to feel uncomfortable carrying sums of cash across town because of the situations in society, so I moved onto other endeavors.


Edited by Bluoh (10/06/12 01:25 PM)

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#1969453 - 10/06/12 01:27 PM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Crayola]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Crayola,

I agree that it would be nice to have the same policies. I would start by having your husband write his policy and then compare to what your policies are. See where you find common ground.

It sounds like he wants to start with lower fees and offer make up lessons. I would advise him to charge monthly lesson fee as you do. And his fees may not be lower than yours when he factors in travelling.

You may end up with two policies: One for In-Home lessons and one for In-Studio lessons. They may differ in fees and policy regarding lessons cancelled by the client. I see no problem with that.

Good luck to him in getting started. smile

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#1969490 - 10/06/12 03:18 PM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Overexposed]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky

You may end up with two policies: One for In-Home lessons and one for In-Studio lessons. They may differ in fees and policy regarding lessons cancelled by the client. I see no problem with that.

That works too, when you explicitly specify a different set of policies for in-home and in-studio lessons, since you're talking about marketing and branding. However, I wouldn't phrase it like "my husband's policies are... " as if you were two different enterprises.

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#1969542 - 10/06/12 05:57 PM Re: adding my husband to the studio [Re: Bluoh]
Crayola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 299
Loc: Chicago, IL
Well, we've come up with his policy, which is very similar to mine with the monthly fee. I think he's in agreement that a monthly tuition system will eventually work better and be more stable.
Although I offer makeups for sick students, we decided it would be too much of a headache for him, so we're reserving one week at the end of each semester that we are doing makeups. Perhaps next year I'll do that as well. Also, he won't be using a swap list.
So, I think despite a few differences, we've come up with something that will hopefully work. We'll consider reworking it again next summer if we see the need.

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions!
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher, NCTM
Member of MTNA and ISMTA

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