Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Studio Part I

Welcome to my blog! I want to begin by telling you a little bit about my studio and what I do. I have about 15 students, ranging from beginner to intermediate. I finished college with a music minor, and I took several courses in college about piano pedagogy and theory.

Because I have two small children and our house is very small, I usually travel to my students homes to teach lessons. If this is ever possible for you, DO IT! I highly recommend it for several reasons:

1. It puts students at ease. They are much more willing to be compliant and work hard if they are comfortable. Being at their own piano, surrounded by their own things relieves some of the pressure to perform. I find that they often perform better. This is especially true for more introverted students.
2. Forgetting books and notebooks and other materials is not an option. All of their stuff is right there! Of course, YOU need to remember to bring all of your materials.
3. People are generally willing to pay more for the convenience of a traveling piano teacher. Simply put, they do not need to drag their kids all over the place, sit at someone else's house for a half an hour, and break up their day. Smaller children can still nap, no one needs to be taken outside during the cold winter, and the mom can still do something during lessons.

Of course, there are some drawbacks.

1. You have to be incredibly comfortable teaching in a foreign environment. At any point in time, mothers will be listening, younger siblings may wander over, and the noise level will generally be higher. If you cannot focus with noise and other distractions, this may not be the option for you.
2. You need to be very organized. You must remember to bring along new books, games, and other materials needed for your lessons. Usually, I make a list of things that I need to bring for next week as I complete lessons for the day. I transfer this list to my planner as soon as I get home, and then I am usually aware that I need to bring something next time.
3. Depending on where you live, this takes a far greater amount of time to drive everywhere than to teach at your home. I can usually teach almost 2 more lessons a day in the time I spend driving all over the place. I live in a very rural area. On Tuesdays, I drive to a town about 45 minutes away. On Wednesday, I'm local. On Thursday, I start in my hometown, and finish in a town 17 miles away. I spend A LOT of time on the road. Figure in your driving time when you are figuring out what time lessons will start. You will use more gas, and put more miles/maintenance on your vehicle this way. But, again, people are willing to pay for this convenience.

Overall, I enjoy driving to their houses, as I usually get better results from my students. When my students are at ease, lessons go better, and I walk away more satisfied.

Tune in again, and we'll discuss my methods and how I run my lessons.

Thanks for coming!


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