Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2308277 - 07/28/14 07:40 PM teaching in a studio vs independently from home
JRoberts Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/14
Posts: 1
Loc: Alabama
I have been teaching private piano lessons in my home for several years. Today I was approached about teaching in a studio one or two days a week. It's in a shop where they sell guitars and other instruments, as well as accessories and sheet music. They also offer lessons on guitar and other instruments in-shop. I've never really considered teaching anywhere else. The shop would, of course, get a cut of the lesson fees, and I would be driving about 30 miles round trip. However, it should expand my client base quite a lot as it's in the middle of "town", and they would be handling the advertising. Right now, my advertising consists mostly of word-of-mouth and referrals. I have about 20 students. I believe I could pick up at least ten more in the shop. I'm not sure I want to take on a commute (even a short one), and I'm not sure I'm organized enough (mentally) for that many students; but, I love teaching, and could use a little extra money.
Has anyone else taught from home and from a studio? What are the pros/cons of each? Any suggestions?

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#2308292 - 07/28/14 08:45 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1201
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Is the shop owner asking you to sign an agreement or contract of any kind? Or is this just a friendly thing between two professionals?

A lot of conservatories and music schools require a written contract with the teacher. These usually include some kind of non-competition clause that can limit how you do business with your students during the time you work there, and after you leave. For example, such an agreement could prevent you from taking any "school" students with you if and when you part company with the school. It often also prevents you from promoting or even mentioning your own private studio to school students, letting them "mix" at master classes or musicales held anywhere, etc. You get the idea, I'm sure.

Even if you don't have a formal written agreement, it is certain that the store owner has some preconceived expectations about how these things will be handled. You should work these things out with them before you say yes. If at all possible, and if you do nothing more, write something like a follow-up letter that outlines the discussion you have with them before you start work, and what you both agreed to including your fees. Many many problems and misunderstandings can be avoided by doing this!

I've never worked at a private music school like this, but I've had several students who have. The pay is usually lousy, and you have to take any students that come along whether you want to or not. But it can be a big help getting started.

Good luck!
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

Top
#2308311 - 07/28/14 10:39 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Greg has already detailed some of the important issues. You may also find yourself teaching on a less-good piano than your own, in a noisier environment, and paid at a rate of maybe 50% of your present fee. Thirty miles is a long daily drive in which to contemplate bad pay.

If you already have 20 students from referrals and word of mouth, I'd say you should be pleased, and should instead spend some money and time on marketing your own studio.

But if you confine the store teaching to just 1 day a week, you might enjoy getting out of your home to give this a try for a season.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (07/28/14 10:40 PM)

Top
#2308355 - 07/29/14 01:31 AM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 834
I highly recommend you not work at the studio. Of course your ego is touched by the kindness of the person asking. Do not fall for this ruse.

The only possible benefit to working at a studio would be meeting another colleague who could become a friend; or receiving workshops on piano teaching. Both of these advantages can be gained through other means.

I would spend more money on advertising, or lengthen some of your students' lessons.

Top
#2308362 - 07/29/14 02:02 AM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5423
Loc: Orange County, CA
Give it a try. It's like throwing your name out there, and you might get even more word-of-mouth referrals.

And if you don't like the place, you can always quit.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#2308402 - 07/29/14 08:12 AM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3168
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano


And if you don't like the place, you can always quit.


I had a friend who did this and didn't read the fine print in his contract.

Turned out he couldn't quit, he was obligated for a year; and the owner threatened legal action. I can't remember how it ended up but he was very sorry he hadn't done a bit more homework before starting.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#2308436 - 07/29/14 09:58 AM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: Candywoman]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7312
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I feel as Candywoman; love my independence. But I have many teaching colleagues who seemingly enjoy the studio environment. It's worth a serious look-see and perhaps a trial evaluation.
_________________________
"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

Top
#2308490 - 07/29/14 12:02 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: TimR]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1201
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: TimR

I had a friend who did this and didn't read the fine print in his contract.

Turned out he couldn't quit, he was obligated for a year; and the owner threatened legal action. I can't remember how it ended up but he was very sorry he hadn't done a bit more homework before starting.



Something to consider, as you go through this process, is that you should negotiate the terms of your contract with the shop owner if you're going to have one. They might offer something to you pro forma, but it's still an ongoing conversation and this is just the first round of it. If you don't like all the terms of the contract, send back an edited copy with your changes and see what they say. If there are terms in it you don't understand, the shop owner should explain them to you to your satisfaction.

This last is an essential consideration. Let's say the shop owner has a clause in it that requires you to work for a year. You ask him/her about it, and they explain what it means to you. Let's also say that they lie to you, and say it means something else. If you ever do go in front of a judge over a contract dispute, you can say to the judge that the shop owner lied to you when you asked for an explanation. Most of the time, that is good enough for a judge to vacate that clause of the contract.

"Good Faith" is an essential component of contract law. Each party must tell the truth during negotiations in order for the agreement to be binding. One party cannot knowingly lie or misrepresent something to the other, and expect that party to hold to the agreement.

John's idea of a trial period is a good one, if you're not sure.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

Top
#2308520 - 07/29/14 01:42 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2427
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Ask the studio about their benefits package for employees!
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

Top
#2308581 - 07/29/14 03:47 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: malkin]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3168
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: malkin
Ask the studio about their benefits package for employees!


And bonuses! There is probably a decent Christmas bonus, at least 15% of salary would be reasonable.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#2308649 - 07/29/14 05:59 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: TimR]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11447
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: malkin
Ask the studio about their benefits package for employees!


And bonuses! There is probably a decent Christmas bonus, at least 15% of salary would be reasonable.


You both must be joking (I hope).
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2308740 - 07/29/14 10:15 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: Morodiene]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3168
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: malkin
Ask the studio about their benefits package for employees!


And bonuses! There is probably a decent Christmas bonus, at least 15% of salary would be reasonable.


You both must be joking (I hope).


It's hard to tell.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#2308900 - Yesterday at 11:11 AM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11586
Loc: Canada
I'm thinking from what I've read in the past that teaching in the studio is not like employment, and more like a subcontract arrangement. So you would not have a salary, or bonuses, or paid sick leave, or payments into a pension fund. Is that correct?

Top
#2309063 - Yesterday at 06:59 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: keystring]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1201
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
It depends entirely on the school.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

Top
#2309082 - Yesterday at 08:02 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: keystring]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11447
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: keystring
I'm thinking from what I've read in the past that teaching in the studio is not like employment, and more like a subcontract arrangement. So you would not have a salary, or bonuses, or paid sick leave, or payments into a pension fund. Is that correct?
This tends to be the norm. If you are an employee, then you fill out a W-2 and usually have some kind of benefits package. Usually this is not offered in a "studio" but in a conservatory or school - but again it depends.

Best to ask lots of questions before agreeing to anything - verbally or in writing.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2309103 - Yesterday at 09:11 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: laguna_greg]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11586
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
It depends entirely on the school.


In this case a shop, rather than a school.

Top
#2309122 - Yesterday at 10:36 PM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
KJLien Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Texas
I teach saxophone and other woodwind lessons. I've taught for schools and independently at home. I prefer teaching at home because I can set my own prices, I can set my own hours and I'm in my own home. When going to work is just opening your front door, that's hard to beat.

I like the idea brought up earlier about lengthening some lessons. You get a little more money out of it and you can be more specific in your teaching with the little extra time. As far as advertising, you can set up free websites and utilize social networking such as Facebook. If u drive often, have a magnetic sign to put on your car. Just put "piano lessons, 555-5555" on it. Your car is now a mobile billboard.

If you do teach for a studio, make sure it's on as many of your terms as possible. They should act as though they work for you, not the other way around. You bring in business and make them money, especially if you push their products, like music books and piano accessories. So, if they see you as an asset and treat you well, and at the same time you're getting to teach for fair pay, I say give it try.

Top
#2309152 - Today at 12:46 AM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 834
For those of you who feel the OP should give it a try, please explain what the trial period will illuminate.

I don't think it's fair to the kids to not continue long term. I don't think it's fair for private piano teachers in their own home to move after one year either. This is a vocation.

Top
#2309294 - Today at 10:36 AM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: TimR]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2280
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

And if you don't like the place, you can always quit.


I had a friend who did this and didn't read the fine print in his contract.

Turned out he couldn't quit, he was obligated for a year; and the owner threatened legal action.


I am not a lawyer, and don't even play one on TV, but this seems contrary to the 13th amendment to the US constitution, which prohibits involuntary servitude.

Quote:
An individual has a right to refuse or discontinue employment. No state can make the quitting of work a crime, or establish criminal sanctions that hold unwilling persons to a particular labor. A state may, however, withhold unemployment or other benefits from those who, without Just Cause, refuse to perform available gainful work.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Involuntary+Servitude
_________________________
Gary Schenk

Top
#2309310 - Today at 11:16 AM Re: teaching in a studio vs independently from home [Re: JRoberts]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7312
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Gary, if only life were so uncomplicated. It's probably not considered "involuntary" if you voluntarily signed the employment contract. As for quitting, the employer has reasonable expectations and expenses based on hiring you, so has the right to demand a certain level of performance and time commitment in the job. Read the contract carefully and if you find the terms unacceptable, don't sign it.
_________________________
"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

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
131 registered (Alexander Borro, Abby Pianoman, 36251, ando, 38 invisible), 1894 Guests and 22 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75596 Members
42 Forums
156303 Topics
2295574 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
P80 for 150
by LarryShone
52 minutes 22 seconds ago
Happy Birthday torquenale !!!!
by CarlosCC
Today at 08:26 AM
compositional methods
by Michael Sayers
Today at 08:03 AM
Happy Birthday earlofmar !!!!
by CarlosCC
Today at 04:49 AM
Tight Key ??
by moy71
Today at 01:15 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission