Studio Booking Software Articles

scheduleAlmost nobody likes a deadline, but sometimes, deadlines are the only way something gets done.

In pondering the subject of this blog entry, I decided to use an example from my own studio – and hope the strategies and thought-processes I have used will be helpful to you.  I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

Scheduling is a convoluted mess at best, and a nightmare at worst, but it does not always have to be that way.  When juggling so many families, students, schedules, and conflicts, the teacher’s job is rarely (often never) just teaching.

How many times have you put off that deadline until last minute?  Or, how many times have you assumed the teacher or organization would make an exception for you, because your situation is so unique?  Many teachers spend hours coordinating the schedule and arranging time-frames so students are given the best possible scenario for their lessons.

NetworkingAbout a year ago, my family relocated from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Bozeman, Montana, and I was faced with “relaunching” my piano studio in a new town.  When I opened my studio in Wisconsin the only marketing I did was to place an ad on craigslist — a dozen students soon followed.  After a few unsuccessful attempts at pulling in students in Bozeman via craigslist, I was forced to come up with better marketing strategies that would successfully reach out to my new community.

Bozeman — being an educated, college town and far from a big city — is big on networking.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that I was going to need to find new ways to “plug into” the community of Bozeman in order to create interest in my studio.

Networking with other professionals

One of the first things I did after my craigslist flop was contact the president of my local music teachers association.  Not only was she able to help me understand better how to attract students and brainstorm ideas for my studio, but she also provided me with my first three students.  Since she was no longer accepting new piano students, she gave the families who contacted her for lessons my information, and I was able to begin teaching again just a few short weeks after my initial meeting with her.  When I met other members of the group at monthly meetings, similar referrals soon followed.

This month, you have probably noticed the new Feedback & Support tab at the bottom of every Studio Helper page after you login. This feedback system will allow you to submit and vote on new features for Studio Helper, allowing us to see which items are the most important to our users. Please take a few minute to visit our Feedback page and vote on...

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Too many referrals

Yesterday during a break between lessons, I checked my voicemail to find three messages from parents seeking a voice teacher for their children.  Three inquiries in a week? Completely normal.  But three in the span of two hours?

I got my explanation when a teacher from another local studio called and revealed himself as the referral source.  He is in the process of downsizing his student load in order to take on other projects, and has been recommending that his students continue their studies with me.

To most teachers and studios, this would be a jackpot situation (literally and figuratively).  But when you already have a completely full studio with a growing waiting list, receiving a slew of new referrals all at once is a bit overwhelming.

The good news is that if you find yourself in this situation, your reply to potential students and parents doesn’t have to be “no”. 


In 2009 I had the pleasure of hearing Beth Gigante Klingenstein, author of The Independent Piano Teacher’s Studio Handbook, speak on the question of “Who’s in Charge of Your Studio?” at the University of St. Thomas Summer Music Institute. The main message I took away from her workshop was that if we as studio owners are complaining about our wages or any other aspect of our business, we have only ourselves to blame. We are the captains of our own ships and we can remedy the situation by raising our rates, setting studio policies and enforcing them, and ultimately, by realizing our worth as teachers of music and art.

In 2002, Beth conducted a survey of Independent Music Teachers (IMT’s) in the Music Teachers National Association and found that the average IMT earned $29.00 per hour and had an average gross annual income of $17, 893. What I found shocking was her comparison of the independent music teacher’s salaries to that of other business professionals. The IMT income was lower than a pharmacy technician, janitor, receptionist, file clerk, and even a manicurist! Why are we underpaid? Beth offered many reasons:

• Traditionally female profession – historically, traditionally male professions tend to be paid more
• We are independent
• We do not raise rates often enough or by enough
• We think “per-hour” instead of annual income
• We think “part-time” instead of “full-time”
• We fail to realize the difference between gross and net income
How do we change this? First of all we have to recognize and acknowledge our worth. One of the most disturbing mindsets that Beth discusses in her book is, “I don’t need the income because I am being supported by my spouse.” This attitude is a detriment to our profession. Many teachers support not only themselves, but also their families on their teaching income. If some teachers charge artificially low rates, everyone in the profession suffers.