people on the phone-saidaonline

Spring is here and the phone is ringing! As I respond to the many phone calls I have received about studying piano, I was inspired to do a little research on how to best handle the phone interview. Even though many of my first contacts come through email, I always make a phone call before scheduling a live interview. This spring, I have had more phone calls than emails, which is an unexpected trend. I wonder if it has to do with the many fraud emails that are now out there. Be wary of any emails that ask for your bank account information to transfer funds. I delete them immediately!

At any rate, Joanne Haroutounian in her book Fourth Finger on B-Flat recommends having a fact sheet of information close to your phone that includes pertinent information that you would like to share with prospective clients about your studio. This can include your tuition rates, lesson length, philosophy, available times, and offerings beyond lessons.

As a piano teacher, I have found that one of the most effective motivational tools in encouraging my students to practice is by providing them with performnce opportunities throughout the year so that they have something that they are always working toward. In the next few weeks, I’ll be assigning pieces for our end-of-the-year recital, and I find myself spending a great deal of time selecting pieces that will fit students abilities and interest. Here’s a few tips for teachers as you seek to find appropriate performance numbers for the students at your studio, and please feel free to list any ideas that work for your students in the comments section below.

When it comes to running my studio, I am always looking for the next big challenge. Just when I’ve taken my business to the next level, I’m ready to tackle something new and a little bit scary.

Taking a look back, here are some of the adventures I’ve experienced in the last two years: leaving a fantastic job to take my part-time studio full-time, completely remodeling my studio to better meet the needs of my family and my students, and hiring a subcontractor to expand my business.

Of course, there have been bumps in the road along the way, but overall, each adventure has made for a more successful studio…which is why I’m getting ready for the next one.

I have been a rabid fan of yoga for almost 12 years now, and I give it a lot of credit for the improvements I have made as a musician since then. When I first began studying piano, I was a typical voice student… full of feeling, but a little challenged by the kind of focus that instrumental work requires. I desperately wanted to play piano. I had a dream of playing on stage while I belted out my own original songs. The problem? I couldn’t seem to focus long enough to remember how to play a few basic chords. Getting the right rhythm when switching from chord to chord was so hard… and don’t get me started on how challenging it was to coordinate BOTH of my hands at the same time! I worried I would never get it. Luckily, around the same time I took on the piano challenge, I was also beginning to learn about yoga and meditation. Here is what it did for me.

In a recent music teachers workshop, a professor from our local university’s music department gave an excellent presentation on the topic of motivating your students. I imagine this is something every studio owner struggles with, and since students who aren’t motivated have a tendency not to progress and not to enjoy what they’re doing, this can also affect student turnover.