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#2044936 - 03/08/13 07:52 AM California (SF vs LA vs SD)
jam8086 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 41
Hello everyone,

I'm looking to move to California to open a private studio after finishing my Master's degree from Eastman this year, and I would really appreciate any input on the demand for piano lessons in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Here's what I've found so far:

SF: Perhaps the highest demand for lessons, but also maybe the most saturated with piano teachers. Highest cost of living.

LA: Tons of people, so demand is most likely healthy, but also hard to get around, and expensive to live.

SD: Not as high demand for lessons as SF and LA, but also perhaps less saturated with teachers. Best weather!!! Lowest cost of living, but still not cheap. Easiest to get around. Less cultural/entertainment options than SF and LA.

Also, does anyone know of a good community school/music preparatory in SD to teach? There are plenty in SF and LA, but I've had trouble finding anything in SD.

I would really appreciate any and all input! Thank you!

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#2044957 - 03/08/13 09:07 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2206
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Having lived in all of those places, I think you need to visit to see which culture you like. They're quite different. You are considering 3 very large regions and might want to narrow that down a bit too.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2044965 - 03/08/13 09:34 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
California is so much more than those three cities.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2044967 - 03/08/13 09:39 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: malkin]
jam8086 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: malkin
Having lived in all of those places, I think you need to visit to see which culture you like. They're quite different. You are considering 3 very large regions and might want to narrow that down a bit too.


Yes, I agree. I have been to San Francisco and the surrounding area a few times, and although I am completely in love with the city and the bay area, the reality of living there for a piano teacher seems quite difficult/nearly impossible unless you have a spouse with a very high paying job. I have plans to visit LA and San Diego this summer. I do realize that I am asking about three very large areas, and that things can be vastly different even from one neighborhood to the next, but I would like to get some general ideas about each city and teaching market, and the potential for having a successful piano studio in each area in general from people who have experience in those areas before narrowing things down.

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#2045019 - 03/08/13 11:25 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1242
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Piano teaching is more localized than your question. You could have a fine life anyplace, but it's a rough way to make a living.

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#2045026 - 03/08/13 11:42 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5279
Loc: Orange County, CA
You might want to visit South Orange County (Ladera Ranch, Dana Point, San Clemente) or North San Diego (Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar). Had I not bought a house and settled down, I would have moved there in a heartbeat.

And if you can find your niche clientele, it's not a rough way to make a living. Move to the right neighborhood, establish your studio, and join a professional organization.

Judging from the MTAC directory, I can tell you that all three areas you mentioned (SF, LA, and SD) are saturated with piano teachers. That's why I suggested that you visit one of the border areas like South Orange County or North San Diego. It's also a lovely place to live, right next to the ocean.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2045029 - 03/08/13 11:45 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 439
Not many people think of or work in "LA" as a whole. There are "areas" you would narrow it down to... you would have to narrow it down first. It's just so huge... I don't know many people who live and work in LA. Most families I know who live in LA county and work in the city of LA live in a suburb - San Marino, Palos Verdes, Walnut....


Edited by MaggieGirl (03/08/13 11:46 AM)

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#2045074 - 03/08/13 01:45 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: MaggieGirl]
Opus_Maximus Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1458
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl
Not many people think of or work in "LA" as a whole. There are "areas" you would narrow it down to... you would have to narrow it down first. It's just so huge... I don't know many people who live and work in LA. Most families I know who live in LA county and work in the city of LA live in a suburb - San Marino, Palos Verdes, Walnut....


I can second this; There is really no such thing as "LA proper" when people refer to L.A. (Technically of course there is but the boundaries are so blurred and it's so spread out that it hardly means anything).

Within "LA" you have Pasadena, The San Fernando Valley, Westwood/West L.A, the South Bay, The San Gabriel Valley, the Downtown area, and some of Northern Orange County - each of these areas is roughly the same size and contains the same level of diversity as entire other U.S cities.

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#2045094 - 03/08/13 02:31 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: Opus_Maximus]
jam8086 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: Opus_Maximus
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl
Not many people think of or work in "LA" as a whole. There are "areas" you would narrow it down to... you would have to narrow it down first. It's just so huge... I don't know many people who live and work in LA. Most families I know who live in LA county and work in the city of LA live in a suburb - San Marino, Palos Verdes, Walnut....


I can second this; There is really no such thing as "LA proper" when people refer to L.A. (Technically of course there is but the boundaries are so blurred and it's so spread out that it hardly means anything).

Within "LA" you have Pasadena, The San Fernando Valley, Westwood/West L.A, the South Bay, The San Gabriel Valley, the Downtown area, and some of Northern Orange County - each of these areas is roughly the same size and contains the same level of diversity as entire other U.S cities.


Do you have any suggestions as to which might be the best areas within and around LA to set up a private studio?

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#2045100 - 03/08/13 02:40 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 439
That is just it, people only really know their areas. It was different when I lived in any other city on the west coast - there you knew the good and bad areas. An opinion is like....throwing a dart on a dartboard. You are better off committing to the city, finding a job (might not even be in your industry) and checking it out. Most cities in LA county should have their average income, education levels, median age and school info online.

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#2045146 - 03/08/13 03:47 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: Minniemay]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
California is so much more than those three cities.


Absolutely!!!! Check out the Sacramento area and the central valley. Lower cost of living and plenty of students....
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2045211 - 03/08/13 06:12 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
pianoSD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 57
Loc: San Diego, CA
I live in San Diego, and I love it here. I would second the aforementioned post that the area in general is saturated with teachers. I also agree that north San Diego County might be a good place to open a studio. Northern San Diego County has some affluent families that could pay what you are worth and sustain your livelihood.

I love San Diego though!
_________________________
My Piano Lessons - Schedule Me Online!

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#2045258 - 03/08/13 08:48 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
So, are you attending the MTNA National Conference in Anaheim? It would be the perfect opportunity to drive around the great LA area and explore possibilities.

California is a very large state. It's larger than 3 New York states combined.

FWIW, an area I really enjoyed was Redding. But then, being from Washington, I'm most familiar with the northern half of the state.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2045262 - 03/08/13 09:03 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2206
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Attending the convention seems like a good idea, and I like Redding too (and Chico, Weed, Weott, Oakdale, Angels Camp, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara; I like the Mission San Miguel, the foothills, the wine country, the beaches and the mountains, and a million other places). I'm wondering a little bit about the OP's whole process to decide to move to California.

Thinking about Woody Guthrie is making me smile right now:

California is a garden of Eden,
A paradise to live in or see,
But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot,
If you ain't got the do-re-mi.



Of course since you are a piano teacher, you will have some do-re-mi, but Woody meant the financial kind rather than the musical kind.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2045274 - 03/08/13 09:43 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4395
Loc: San Jose, CA
It is true about the cost of living: dear, but not as dear as Manhattan, Tokyo, or Honolulu. Yet here we all are.

You have a lot of research to do, to make up your mind where to establish yourself. I would try to think in more general terms of the kind of place you would enjoy living: suburbs, exurbs, or downtown. You're on the right track in thinking ahead to the market demand, but again, if you think more generally where your customer base is going to come from, it will help. Will it be from churches, schools, someplace commuter traffic will see your sign, a strip-mall music school, a hook-up with piano/music stores or local opera/theatre/concert venues, mixed in with some business from recording studios, or weddings and events. There are many more connections (my realtor is a musician and an inveterate networker), but think about where they are, and where are the people who can afford a music teacher or pianist. Believe it or not, people who play the nice grand in the lobby of my local Kaiser hospital, are approached for lessons by more people than they can accommodate.

There are books on this, by the way. And yes, the music teachers' associations--- good call on that.

Building up your studio will take some time--- maybe longer than you think, so be prepared for the long pull. If you are good, people will find out about you. Your degree from a well-known school says something about you, and has a number of features which will immediately distinguish you from many other teachers. There is a whole market segment of parents who want their teenagers to learn from someone like you, so they can follow your path.

If you are a good musician, and a good teacher, and are a person who can let your students see that you really care about helping them... you don't grow on every tree.

Good luck to you, and I'll look forward to seeing you in California... somewhere.
_________________________
Clef


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#2045276 - 03/08/13 09:51 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: malkin]
jam8086 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: malkin
Attending the convention seems like a good idea, and I like Redding too (and Chico, Weed, Weott, Oakdale, Angels Camp, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara; I like the Mission San Miguel, the foothills, the wine country, the beaches and the mountains, and a million other places). I'm wondering a little bit about the OP's whole process to decide to move to California.

Thinking about Woody Guthrie is making me smile right now:

California is a garden of Eden,
A paradise to live in or see,
But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot,
If you ain't got the do-re-mi.



Of course since you are a piano teacher, you will have some do-re-mi, but Woody meant the financial kind rather than the musical kind.


I was planning on attending the convention and doing some traveling in Southern California, but unfortunately other obligations prevented me from going.

I would like to be in California because my family is moving there (SF Bay Area, but I feel, as I mentioned before, that this area might just be too expensive and saturated with teachers to make it a good choice). Additionally, while many people see it as an unworthy or naive reason to choose a place to live, the weather is a very serious consideration for me. I also know that I want to be near a large city (45 minutes driving distance max, 30 or less would be more ideal).

I am looking for advice on here because, while much can be learned by visiting and researching an area, it is certainly much different from having the experience of living and teaching there, and this forum is an invaluable resource for people to share their experiences.

Yes, the state of California is very large, and yes, I am considering very large areas with lots of diversity within each. I am aware that I am searching for generalizations, and that is intentional. Personally, I need to know the relative potential for a successful piano studio for a single person in each of these cities and their surrounding areas (demand for lessons, teacher saturation, if it's possible to even afford a place as a single person that can fit a piano/studio and isn't a rathole or in a bad area) before I narrow things down.

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#2045281 - 03/08/13 10:13 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4395
Loc: San Jose, CA
You are describing either the suburbs, or a college town.
_________________________
Clef


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#2045303 - 03/08/13 11:09 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 439
You are coming in at a good time - my friend is opening a coffee shop in Irvine. 5 years ago they only wanted a brand name, now they aren't so picky. Same with a friend from France moving to open a bakery. There are opportunities if you have a nest egg.

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#2045322 - 03/09/13 12:50 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1242
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Getting started teaching piano is always a challenge, wherever one is located, but perhaps even moreso at a young age.

The economics to pulling it off are tricky, and there is perhaps a certain element of luck involved. If you teach out of your home, you probably need to afford a detached home. Not an apartment, a condo, or a duplex. And check into local zoning issues, before they blow up in your face. Also, be wary of the subdivision or gated community: they may have their own bylaws which would prevent your teaching.

Given all this, there is much to commend your starting out at a community music school, but just remember that the school will take perhaps 30%-50% of your generated income. OTH, teaching at a school means you can live as cheaply or shabbily as you may need to, since no student will ever be at your home. You don't even need to own a piano. All you'd really need is a wristwatch, to be on time for lessons.

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#2045427 - 03/09/13 09:25 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: Peter K. Mose]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2206
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose

You don't even need to own a piano. All you'd really need is a wristwatch, to be on time for lessons.


I'd suggest owning a few items of clothing too.

Take a look at Hayward. Well, first figure out how close you want to be to your family.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2045434 - 03/09/13 09:34 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: Peter K. Mose]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5279
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Given all this, there is much to commend your starting out at a community music school, but just remember that the school will take perhaps 30%-50% of your generated income. OTH, teaching at a school means you can live as cheaply or shabbily as you may need to, since no student will ever be at your home. You don't even need to own a piano. All you'd really need is a wristwatch, to be on time for lessons.

And that's the exact attitude many of the teachers who work at these "music schools" continue to exhibit. They treat it like a transitional, part-time job, or as "expensive babysitting."

FYI: Some bosses at these joints keep 66.6% of the $$$, or maybe more. My data may be outdated.

My recommendation is to settle in a suburban area, relatively affluent. There are always affordable housing options in these areas. Then drive to the students' homes to teach. You can charge higher fees and ask for gas stipend.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2045456 - 03/09/13 10:33 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
In this month's American Music Teacher, (you're all members, right?) is an excellent and interesting article by Robert DeFazio on Private Music Teaching as a Business. Well worth a read.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2045488 - 03/09/13 12:07 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: AZNpiano]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1242
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

My recommendation is to settle in a suburban area, relatively affluent. There are always affordable housing options in these areas. Then drive to the students' homes to teach. You can charge higher fees and ask for gas stipend.


AZN's advice is worth consideration. There is always a market for piano teaching in the home, and few good piano teachers are willing to do it.

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#2045639 - 03/09/13 07:04 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: Peter K. Mose]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2206
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

My recommendation is to settle in a suburban area, relatively affluent. There are always affordable housing options in these areas. Then drive to the students' homes to teach. You can charge higher fees and ask for gas stipend.


AZN's advice is worth consideration. There is always a market for piano teaching in the home, and few good piano teachers are willing to do it.


Of course, every idea is worth consideration, but if you hate the suburbs, don't like driving (or owning) a car, have allergies to pets, perfume, or household chemicals then it might not turn out to be the best situation for you.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2045663 - 03/09/13 07:51 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: malkin]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5279
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: malkin
Of course, every idea is worth consideration, but if you hate the suburbs, don't like driving (or owning) a car, have allergies to pets, perfume, or household chemicals then it might not turn out to be the best situation for you.

If you don't like driving or owning a car, then Southern California is not for you. You'd be grounded.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2045752 - 03/10/13 01:26 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: AZNpiano]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Given all this, there is much to commend your starting out at a community music school, but just remember that the school will take perhaps 30%-50% of your generated income. OTH, teaching at a school means you can live as cheaply or shabbily as you may need to, since no student will ever be at your home. You don't even need to own a piano. All you'd really need is a wristwatch, to be on time for lessons.

And that's the exact attitude many of the teachers who work at these "music schools" continue to exhibit. They treat it like a transitional, part-time job, or as "expensive babysitting."

FYI: Some bosses at these joints keep 66.6% of the $$$, or maybe more. My data may be outdated.

My recommendation is to settle in a suburban area, relatively affluent. There are always affordable housing options in these areas. Then drive to the students' homes to teach. You can charge higher fees and ask for gas stipend.


Nope, not outdated. And it's not some, most of these schools do that. Oh and that's WITH a Master's degree.

I think with your degree, you are better off keeping your repertoire in your fingers and giving free recitals in whatever city you settle on to recruit students rather than starting off at a music school.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2046051 - 03/10/13 04:47 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
brahms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/08
Posts: 105
Loc: California
For LA area, you might check out Pasadena conservatory of Music, PCC ( community college ) has a very good music dept. they take their music seriously. This will offer you health insurance. Our YMCA also has a piano teacher on the ground. This is the La Canada Y. LA is studded with talented classical professional musicians, we have a great orchestra, the W Disney concert Hall, and the recording studios, not to mention the Colburn conservatory. USC Thorton school of Music.Good master teachers available to the general student is hard to come by. I would emphasize your training and experience in a well lay out biosketch online, and give examples of your playing by a link on the same page. It is frustrating to screen for teachers and have no indication of their potential. At least there has to be something to hang onto. Good luck. You definitely need a car in LA and SD.

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#2046302 - 03/11/13 01:58 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
Opus_Maximus Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1458
Generally, I'd say ANY upper-middle class/affluent area anywhere is a good place to start a studio - as long as the demographics are geared more towards younger families and less towards retirement age. I believe there are websites that let you purchase demographical information buy city. Despite all the negatively that is circulating, interest in piano lessons still seems to be strong and not waning.

What is harder, however, is actually building the studio. This would be the same in any area. It's often said that it takes an average of five to seven years to really ESTABLISH a strong studio exactly as you want it (x number of students at x dollars an hour in an ideal location with great clients). I'm still in my 2nd year so I can't comment on this, but it seems more or less the case. Until then, there is a lot of hustling and juggling to do - working at community schools, driving around town to houses, taking odd gigs, etc.. unless you actually inherit or buy a studio from somebody who is retiring (which does happen sometimes), there is no way you can build up your studio in a year.

I personally got started as a teacher by working exclusively at community schools, and then taking students directly from the school as my own, or having been recommended by parents from the school. I know many schools make you sign contracts saying you won't do this - but I was lucky in that the ones I worked for did not. All of the actual advertising I did (website, flyers, yellow pages, etc), did absolutely nothing.

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#2046325 - 03/11/13 03:01 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: brahms]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: jam8086
I'm looking to move to California to open a private studio after finishing my Master's degree from Eastman this year,!


What about just staying in Rochester ? Less people... smile Heck I'd just hang there and study with Bill Dobbins for the rest of my life..


Originally Posted By: brahms
. Our YMCA also has a piano teacher on the ground. This is the La Canada Y.


That's my gym.. cool I see those people in that little sanctuary or whatever it is on occasion as I'm coming up the steps from the parking lot.

I've been here for 33 years gigging around and teaching-the thrill is gone. wink Personally I'm trying to figure how to get out of LA and go somewhere like Pacific Grove or even Ventura.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#2046416 - 03/11/13 10:31 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
Jennifer Eklund Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 162
Loc: SoCal
I've been teaching in Orange County (Newport Coastal area)for nearly 20 years now. The area is saturated with teachers, "yes." HOWEVER, if you do something different than the rest of them (i.e. offer a core curriculum that is non-traditional) there is tons of room for you. The nice thing about O.C. is the lack of traffic and the ease of getting around. There are plenty of affluent neighborhoods to teach in, in-home lessons come at a premium and are in demand, and there is a great market here for the "hobbyist" pianist. My core curriculum focuses on pop music and fun/recreational music that keeps students engaged and motivated. You will have a tougher road if you're looking to develop a studio doing the "standard" stuff just because of the sheer number of established teachers already in the area. Just my .02.

I love this area: the people are great, students are fantastic, and the weather can't be beat smile


Edited by Jennifer Eklund (03/11/13 10:31 AM)
_________________________
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#2046503 - 03/11/13 02:45 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4395
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...as long as the demographics are geared more towards younger families and less towards retirement age..."

Now that it has been mentioned, I realize that I forgot about this important and emerging demographic of piano students who are returning to study, now that they have time, work is over, the kids are grown up, etc. I guess I don't think about it, the way a fish doesn't think about water.

On the other hand, who knows what a fish thinks.

Anyway, if you want to do in-home lessons, you have two market segments who don't drive (or may not like to): youngsters and oldsters.
_________________________
Clef


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#2046536 - 03/11/13 03:30 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: Jennifer Eklund]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5279
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
The nice thing about O.C. is the lack of traffic

Try the 405 at 7:30 in the morning. It's a parking lot. Southbound 55 and 57 are pretty bad, too, most of the time.

Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
There are plenty of affluent neighborhoods to teach in, in-home lessons come at a premium and are in demand

Absolutely true! And at the tuition rate these folks are willing to cough up, I was able to quit my other job.
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#2046624 - 03/11/13 06:39 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: AZNpiano]
jam8086 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

Originally Posted By: Jennifer Eklund
There are plenty of affluent neighborhoods to teach in, in-home lessons come at a premium and are in demand

Absolutely true! And at the tuition rate these folks are willing to cough up, I was able to quit my other job.


I don't mind driving, and in-home lessons would definitely be a great way to at least get started. I probably (definitely) can't afford a great home studio right off the bat anyway!

San Diego is really sounding quite nice...

Also, just in addition to what I'm looking for:
- I'm not necessarily looking to live right on the coast. Sure, that would be a nice bonus, but I don't feel the need to pay extra for it. I'm just looking to be in or near one of these cities, all of which happen to be on the coast.
- Although I'm aware that most families are in the suburbs, I'm still young and don't want to be too far from the city and all the action. This is something that is very appealing about San Diego - if I choose to live in the city, the wealthy seaside suburbs, with all of their potential students, are just a short drive from downtown. Alternately, if I choose to live in a suburb, I still won't be far from the city.

I've really enjoyed everyone's input! Keep it coming!!!

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#2046778 - 03/12/13 01:14 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
FWIW, had dinner with wife's family tonight and learned that Rancho Mission Viejo now has zoning permits to build 14,000 new homes just south of Santa Ana, so you might just find some clientele there as families move in.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2047000 - 03/12/13 01:40 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: John v.d.Brook]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5279
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
FWIW, had dinner with wife's family tonight and learned that Rancho Mission Viejo now has zoning permits to build 14,000 new homes just south of Santa Ana, so you might just find some clientele there as families move in.

You mean Mission Viejo? There's also Rancho Santa Magarita and Ladera Ranch nearby.

I almost bought a house there, but, alas, it was out of my price range. It's a LOVELY place to live, though. However, the area is definitely saturated with piano teachers. A couple of teachers there have more than 100 students! I kid you not.
_________________________
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#2047013 - 03/12/13 02:09 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
ezpiano.org Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 958
Loc: Irvine, CA
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2047017 - 03/12/13 02:23 PM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5279
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

Wow, another city? Definitely worth a look, but it might be quite expensive. I know there are always affordable housing options in any city, but not necessarily conducive toward piano teaching.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2056710 - 03/30/13 07:21 AM Re: California (SF vs LA vs SD) [Re: jam8086]
FormerlyFlute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 232
Loc: Maryland
I'm originally from San Francisco and my immediate family still lives in N. Ca. I have not moved back, although I would like to, because I am established (not a piano teacher) in the DC area and the cost of living is so high in Ca.

That being said, I would recommend looking at the cities of Petaluma and Santa Rosa in Sonoma county. The cost of living there is less than the bay area, and you can find a town, vs a suburban lifestyle. There is a range of incomes. I don't know how saturated the piano teacher market is. I'm guessing that the market is saturated in any desirable place; that's the reality we live in now.

Santa Rosa has a very good classical music scene for its size. The local symphony orchestra draws musicians from all over N. Ca and is of a very high level.
_________________________
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