Policies and Procedures


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.

Since opening my studio almost 7 years ago, I’ve never taken more than 2.5 weeks off. But that is about to change, because I am entering an entirely new stage of my life: motherhood.

When I left my full-time job to become a full-time business owner and studio teacher, my husband and I discussed that the time would come at which point I’d need to take maternity leave. And of course, the downside to being self-employed is not having paid time off. I have to admit, giving up 3 months of my main source of income is a bit scary.

But as I know (and as everyone keeps reminding me), these first few months of my baby’s life are precious, and in the long run, I will be so happy to have made the financial sacrifice to spend every last moment with him.

I’ve spent the last few months preparing for my extended break, based on advice from other business owners and other strategies I’ve put into practice for shorter vacation periods.

It’s that time of year where parents and students alike are gearing up for summer. Vacations are being planned, plane tickets booked and everyone looks forward with great anticipation to relaxation and good times. What most people are not gearing up for are summer music lessons. I’ve heard many arguments both for and against summer lessons. For some, you’re just going against the grain/trying to reinvent the...

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clownI’ve often blogged ideas and advice for growing your studio, and in the past few years I’ve managed to triple my load of piano students.

You may find it odd that this spring, I’ve actually decided to let go of my private lesson students and move solely to group lesson teaching. Yup — I’m downsizing.

It was a difficult decision because I’ve been teaching private lessons for longer and built a close relationships with my students and their families, but we recently welcomed home our second child through adoption, and it has become clear to me that I need to be at home more to meet the needs of my own children.

And so begins the awkward process of letting go of students.

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.