Program Development

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.

Music is For Everyone

A few years back, I was invited to join my local chapter of the Illinois Federation of Music Clubs. At first, I was completely intimidated. Most of the members had been teaching piano, voice, and other instruments for many years — some even longer than I’ve been alive! I was relatively new to teaching, since it was something I did in addition to providing music therapy.

But it was nice to be part of a group, and I’ve become more and more involved since joining. I’ve learned so much about music education from my fellow members, and yesterday, I had the opportunity to give back by presenting on a topic that is close to my heart: teaching music to children with special needs.

Inspire Others, Reinvigorate YourselfI hate to admit this, but the truth is that sometimes I fall into a slump when it comes to running my studio.

Dealing with the same administrative tasks, working with the same students, and running into the same issues from week to week can leave me a little drained from time to time, no matter how much I absolutely love what I do (and I really do!).

I have a network of colleagues and friends who run their own businesses as well, so I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with burnout occasionally. When I feel it coming on, I know exactly how to nip it in the bud before it takes over.

“The best way to get started is to stop talking and start doing.” – Walt Disney

Recently I attended the 2013 Music Teachers National Association annual conference, held at Disneyland Resort. Among the many highlights of the conference were master classes, concerts, young artist competitions, invigorating sessions, exhibitor showcases, and connecting with colleagues from around the nation. There was so much packed into the five-day conference that my head was spinning by day two! However, my big “take-away” was from a session given by Karen Thickstun, a nationally certified teacher of music from Indiana.

Karen presented a session on Lessons Learned from Disney. We can learn so much from Walt Disney’s entrepreneurial skills. He was an innovator in animation and theme park design. He stretched the boundaries of possibility during his lifetime. In addition to being an innovator, he paid impeccable attention to quality. He wanted only the best. For instance, when hiring musicians for the orchestra, he hired the absolute best, never skimping on quality.