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InterviewIn a recent blog, I discussed the phone interview. The next step is to meet face to face. Before I accept a student, I always meet with both parent and student in person. Whether you call it a consultation, initial mini-lesson or interview, this meeting is a crucial part of my studio procedures. It is an opportunity for both parties to discover if they are compatible; i.e., is it the “right fit?” I think of it as a two-way interview. Not only am I assessing the student, I am also providing them with a picture of what lessons will be like with me. In my studio, I do not to charge a fee for this interview. It is free for those with whom I decide to meet. However, one could certainly decide to charge a fee as it does take valuable time.

By Meridith Johnson Recently a friend of mine who also teaches piano lessons shared a story with me about a new student she began teaching for the summer.  After her first lesson with the small wide-eyed five-year old boy, the parent immediately began to question her, “How is his musical talent?  Does he have good rhythm?  Can he understand how to read music?  I just don’t...

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Staying in Touch During Studo DowntimeLast month, I shared with you that I’m taking the summer off for maternity leave. My baby was born a little over two weeks ago, and since that day, he has been my #1 priority.

But that doesn’t mean my students are “out of sight, out of mind” for the next two months. The last thing I want is for them to return in September after an entire summer without contact from their music teacher.

I think it’s important to keep the lines of communication open so that not only are they are reminded to keep up their studies, but also to keep up that connection we share during the rest of the year.

by Meridith Johnson Though the temperatures here in Dallas, Texas have screamed summer! for several weeks now, it’s hard to believe that it still is not officially summer yet!  Some of our students have been on summer break now for a couple weeks, while the remainder of public schools wrapped up yesterday.  Our official summer calendar for Studios of Sarah Strout begins next week, and with...

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How do you determine if you are meeting the needs of your customers? Periodically, I have created surveys for my students to evaluate my teaching and my studio programs. In the past, I have used the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) assessment tools and have also developed custom surveys. I have usually handed out hard copies of assessments and it has been a very valuable tool. This is the first year I have used an online survey, though they have been around awhile!

Survey Monkey is an excellent option for creating an online survey. Sign up is easy and available through a Google or Facebook account if you prefer. Most importantly it is free! However, one drawback is that a free account only allows a total of ten questions. I did have to scale back on questions, but a shorter survey may be more likely to get filled out. If you want more questions and more services, you can upgrade your account for a monthly fee.