NEW FEATURE Studio Helper now will offer Webinars. You will see a tab that says Webinars on your toolbar. You can register through that tab. The first webinar will be held July 19th at 10 am CST. This first webinar will be about Setting Up Your Studio. If interested, please register. You will receive a confirmation email and Cathy Conrad will send you separate details via...

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One of the challenges in scheduling piano lessons is that most of my clients are school aged children.  This means that by the time a student gets out of school and over to my home studio it is typically 4:00.  Most school aged children–especially the younger ones I tend to work with–are at their best if their lessons are over by 6:30 or 7.  And since we live in an area where people tend to go camping or skiing on the weekends (myself included), Friday and weekend lessons are not a viable option.  This means that I really only have about 12 hours of weekly teachable time (and income earning potential).

This past year, I’ve tried to get creative by expanding my studio offerings, and I have also observed many fellow studio owners in our area that have done the same.  Here are some ideas from my experience:

The Next Big ThingFrom the moment I opened my studio, I’ve always had the same question in the back of my mind: what is the “next big thing” and how am I going to make it a reality?

Since that day over five years ago, I’ve had some pretty amazing “next big things” happen. I made the transition from traveling music therapist/teacher to opening a studio where my students come to me. I gained enough students to quit my day job and become a full-time studio owner. I completely remodeled my studio space. And then earlier this summer, I hired my first contractor.

But despite those exciting developments, I’m still in hot pursuit of — you guessed it — “the next big thing”. So what might that be?

Organize Music Repertoire

If there’s one thing us studio owners have lots of, it’s this: music. We’re constantly purchasing and collecting songs to use with our students, and I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with the best way to keep my ever-growing repertoire organized.

And after five years of trying to figure it out, I’ve come to realize that there isn’t necessarily one “best” way to keep my music organized. Rather, I rely on five different methods to keep tabs on the resources I use every day.

New StudioAbout six months prior to making the leap from running my studio part-time to full-time, I decided it was time for an upgrade. For the past three years, my studio had been located at the front of my house, meaning my students would enter through the front door and parents would wait in the living room.

This worked very well for a while, but as my teaching hours grew longer, this set-up interfered with my family. It was definitely time for a change.

So I made plans to turn the two spare bedrooms into a new studio and waiting room and add a dedicated entrance off of the garage. The next four months were spent turning my plans into a reality (with the help of contractors), and my new studio was ready just in time for the start of the summer 2011 session.