Simple Steps to Better Manage Your Studio

As the school year draws near it is the perfect time to talk about private teaching.   As I reflect back on my experiences in working with students (and parents- of course!) here are some things that have definitely helped me and my studio teaching.

  1. Stay incredibly organized: Write everything down (lesson notes, schedule changes, correspondence, etc.)
  2. Have a system and stick to it:  If there is a way of taking lesson notes, organizing lesson payments, scheduling lessons, using a particular teaching methodology (ie. developing proper bow hold), and creating pace to the lesson- stick to it!
  3. Ask for payment(s) in advance: This benefits the teacher and the student because a monthly payment encourages regular lesson attendance, shows commitment to the teacher, and helps the teacher manage less individual payments.  I send out email invoices to all my parents every month (for the upcoming month) and this has worked really well for the past year.
  4. Have a very clear studio policy: Easy to read and also to the point when it comes to laying out policies on attendance, cancellations, make-ups, payment options, and communication methods to parents.  Also, have someone else (preferably a  non-musician) read your draft… most parents actually don’t have any musical training and they are new to the whole idea of signing up their son or daughter for private lessons.
  5. Focus on one or two new things to implement every year with your studio.   This year I am hoping to try out a new online email program for sending my monthly newsletters (to give a nice fresh look with pictures, links, social integration).  In addition, I really would like to record as many of my student’s solo pieces, etudes, etc.  as reference recordings for them.

About tunedin4ths

David Ballam Doctoral Student at the University of Texas at Austin Doublebass Instructor: UT String Project & Round Rock School District BLOG: WEB:
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