How to start a piano studio

Starting a piano studio from scratch is a daunting task. It is easy to be discouraged when you find yourself not acquiring any new students. Do not give up! Everything that you are feeling is normal and it takes time to build a successful piano studio. Make sure that your mindset is in a good place because you do not want to build something with the mindset that this is a quick way to make money. Building a successful piano studio takes time and patience.

The first step to building a piano studio is to decide which piano method book that you are going to teach with. I recommend going to a music store and looking through the books to see which one fits your teaching style the best. The reason why I recommend doing this is because I wish that I would have went through and researched method books before I started teaching. The more familiar you are with the books, the easier piano teaching will be for you. Familiarity also brings credibility when you start acquiring piano students.

The next step is to start telling people that you are teaching. I recommend telling people around you like family and friends, but also post on social media everywhere. It’s not enough to post only once a month. The best method of remaining top of mind is to post once a week. I would also recommend creating a flyer because the best way to not have to repeat all of your studio details is to just hand out your flyer to all prospective clients.

My main advice is to build a strong presence on social media. Social media is a slow platform for advertising, but it has been the most effective for me. I’ve found that I can rely on it overtime. I don’t always get messages from new students every day. However, I will get messages once or twice a week. My logic is that if I am posting free advertising on a social media platform, the consistent income I receive from a student each week pays for it. I have also been known to buy $1/day ads. I’m not running ads currently, but they are super effective. If you want to rely on free advertising, post at the beginning of each week in Facebook groups and the first of each month. Use a scheduler to post to your facebook story three times a week during the most popular times. Most importantly, update your post frequently to show that you are managing your piano studio well.

Once you receive your first piano student, think about payment details. More specifically, let them know which form of payment is best (zelle, cash, PayPal, etc…) and when you want to be paid (each lesson, every other week, or the first of each month). All of these details are important to be clear about before starting lessons. Make sure you and your student are on the same page with expectations. Communication is the most important factor of building a successful piano studio.

The next step is to start your first lesson! This is the most exciting part of starting a piano studio. The nervousness of not knowing how your first lesson will be is normal. I was super nervous when I had my first lesson. I also had no idea how to teach. Afterwards, I found myself so exhausted from just a 30 minute lesson! Don’t let your new student know that this is your first lesson. Go to this lesson prepared with music books, pencils, and extra paper. All of your materials should be prepared in advance. If you want, you can gift your student some new materials that they can keep. It’s your first lesson with them and try to remember that they are also excited too! After the lesson, take some time to reflect on how you can improve on your teaching. If this is your first time teaching, try not to be too harsh on yourself. Remember that you are learning also and teaching takes practice to get better at. It is expected that you will have some hiccups in the first few lessons. Reflect each time on how you can improve your lessons and you will get better at teaching.

My last piece of advice is to consistently find ways to market/advertise your studio. I currently own my real estate business and I am always looking for new clients. Think of your studio as a bucket that you are consistently refilling with water. Not all students are going to be loyal and stay with you for many years. I think that long-term students are great, but they are also rare. Have expectations that you will say goodbye to some students, but also be sure to welcome the new students. I describe new students as a bundle of sunshine because they are so happy and eager to learn the piano. I can’t wait to be a part of their piano journey. It’s exciting and it brings me joy when other students eventually leave my piano studio. In summary, spend as much time as you can looking for new students. As you fill your time slots, the nervousness of losing students will be gone because your consistently replenishing your time slots with new students. Be sure to have fun and I wish you all the best of luck in starting your new piano studio!

How I balance my work life and personal life as a piano teacher – and also as a real estate agent!

I don’t think I have announced this yet, but I am officially a real estate agent. I have been working on this journey to becoming a real estate agent for a couple of months. It happened during Covid when I had a mini crises about what I should do with my life. I know that I must have been acting very dramatic, but I took the plunge into studying for the real estate exam. All of this took place when the lockdown was happening. I am still teaching the piano full time and I’m also taking continuing education classes for real estate. Life has been amazing. I’ve talked about this before, but I feel like so much has changed in my life. I am so grateful for all the blessings that I’ve had over the past couple of months. I can’t wait to continue to work harder, and continue to enjoy life with my husband and my yorkie.

The most important thing I always remember during the week is that I am working hard to make sure my small family has a great life. You have to remember what you are ultimately working hard for. When you have your why, everything just falls into place. My husband and I have goals to move to our dream place. Each day I work hard for 10+ hours, I remember why I do so.

Another important aspect of balancing my work life with my personal life is that I have the weekends to spend with my family. We spend a lot of time together on the weekends. The weekends are when we plan our fun activities. I have something to look forward to every week because I know that the weekends are ours to enjoy.

My biggest piece of advice is to plan things to look forward to. Plan a vacation that you are really excited for. Reward yourself for teaching your milestones and set goals. When you have a purpose, going to work each day becomes so much easier. Continue to work hard every day. It will pay off!

The impact of recording piano videos and how it changed my piano studio

When I began reviving my music studio, I always had a dream of recording my own piano videos of myself playing the piano. It is one of my top favorite things to do and I always envied other piano teachers that were posting videos of themselves playing the piano. I dreamt of this for so long, but I never acted on it. It wasn’t until I realized that I wanted to record my own piano lessons that I knew that I should also record myself playing the piano. If I was going to do it, I knew that I had to record a lot of videos. I didn’t want others to think that I was only recording two or three videos. I wanted the community to notice that I could play multiple pieces and that I was working hard on my craft. I slowly began posting. It began to change my life. I never noticed how many people watched my videos and how they would respond to it. The response from everyone was of awe.

When I was in a lesson today, one of my students told me that they watched my videos. I felt like a famous YouTuber even though I’m not even close to that level of popularity. They asked me to play some songs that I played in my videos. The response from the community has been more than I could ever imagine. I love recording. I now understand why famous pianists record themselves playing the piano. It takes awhile to record piano videos, but the response makes it all worth it.

A huge reason why I also wanted to record piano videos was because it would show the community that I am serious about the piano. I wanted them to know that I am worth my lesson price. I have more followers on my Facebook page than last year and more people follow the page every day. It amazes me that people like my videos. I hope to make more of them. I gained many new students just form posting my videos. I imagine that in the future, I will also post double bass videos to garner more double bass students. If you are a teacher that is looking for more students, I highly recommend trying to record yourself playing your instrument! Let me know how it goes!

Best ways to begin teaching online | How to become an online teacher while working from home

One of the best things I’ve done for myself is to build an online business that I can manage from my home. I don’t mention it often, but I have a debilitating health problem that stops me from being super productive. It means that I am not able to work as much during the week sometimes. My health issues are out of my control and it depends on how my body feels each day. This is the main reason why I can’t work at an office for long periods of time or be on my feet all day. I have to find what works best for my health. Working at home has solved that issue for me.

The best way I began teaching online was to download and learn how to use zoom. Zoom is a great platform that allows you to use video chat. I like using the share screen feature. If you are just beginning to learn how to teach online, learning how to use zoom is a great start. The next app I would recommend learning how to use is FaceTime. If you have an iPhone, FaceTime is much better than zoom. I’ve found that it has better internet connection and it allows you to still work on your phone while also keeping you in the FaceTime call. I am able to open up my notes app with all of my lesson notes while my student is in the FaceTime call. It is my favorite way to teach online.

The next thing I suggest doing is to make photocopies of your books so you can share it with your students. My books are my lesson plans and it’s important for my students to have them on hand. I email them a copy and the process is seamless. It arrives in their inbox instantly. The app I use to manage and store all of my books is called Doc Scanner.

The last part to begin teaching online is to advertise your lessons. Use Canva to create detailed flyers of your teaching service and share it everywhere. Let everyone know about your teaching service. I would also post it on neighborhood groups on Facebook. When you’re posting, make sure to post it every week. As you start to build up a student list, keep track of your lessons in your notes and calendar. Have a system that works best for you. I hope you enjoy teaching and that my advice is helpful for you!

My journey with TakeLessons.com | Is it worth it? Did I get students with it?

When I first began teaching, I received many ads for lesson marketing apps. I initially started using thumbtack because it was the most popular website at the time for freelancers. I wasn’t looking to be a freelancer, but I thought that it would be a great start to garner more students.

I learned that thumbtack takes money from its users to send quotes to potential clients. I only received one client from the app. It was easy to use and the money I put forward to garner the student was paid off 4x more by the lessons I received. The important fact to remember is that you have to invest in your business in order to receive results. Do not be afraid to spend some money in order to make money. I was able to receive a new student without much effort. The quality of the student wasn’t great thought because the app was targeted for people looking for the best deal. They weren’t looking for instructors that taught quality content. It was not something I thought that would suit me. I price my lessons based on the quality of lessons that I can give rather than at a cheaper rate. I’m very good at teaching and it wouldn’t fit what I believe my lessons are worth. I quickly left thumbtack and I began using other sources of advertising for my lessons.

I stumbled upon TakeLessons.com through Facebook ads. I decided to make an account and it was easy to set up a profile as an instructor. I remember setting up my profile a couple years ago when I first began teaching. I didn’t expect much from the service because I thought it was the same as thumbtack. I later discovered that it was not the same and I was thoroughly impressed. I didn’t have to pay to talk to leads. The app allows me to message leads without having to pay anything. This was a huge game changer from how I was accustomed to. I quickly learned that I was able to obtain students without having to spend some money upfront. I’ve obtained about four to five students from this app to date. The more students I keep for a longer period of time, the more TakeLessons.com recommends my lessons. My main takeaway that I hope others take from this post is that TakeLessons.com is a great service to use for upcoming instructors. It is also great to have if you are a veteran teacher. I always believe in having as many sources of advertising as possible. You need to make sure that your business stays afloat. When you outsource your advertising, the apps will continue to look for students for you. I don’t have to do much work to garner new students nowadays, and I am much more able to enjoy spending time with my family instead. I’m going to conduct some more research on other advertising tools. I’ll let everyone know if I find something that is very good for teachers!