Continuing last week’s post on making studio tuition and enrollment plans for August 2022 now instead of mid-summr, it’s important to consider your personal worth.  In some areas of the United States, teachers often feel compelled to low ball their prices because the teacher around the corner is charging so much less.  Before you go down that road, consider the following:

  1. What is your professional background?  Do you have one or more degrees in piano/music?  If so, putting yourself in the same category as someone without the same background is not only financially harmful to you, it is detrimental to your program.  Parents (although not all) are more savvy than that.  Most will appreciate your background.

2.  Your advertising/studio policy should tout your background, experience, professional association memberships and the like so parents can compare like and like.  I believe we often paint all parents with the same brush and assume that the money factor is the only thing they consider.  How many times have parents called me over the years when they hear their child’s friend play at their home and are surprised by the difference in quality and advancement of playing?  More than I can count.  May parents will see the money they are wasting drifting through yet another school year without true progress.  Just last week a mother called me with a 14 year old who has had 3 years of lessons.  She was in Faber 3A.  No other repertoire, just Faber method.  She wanted her daughter enrolled where she could participate and festivals.  I had to inform this mom that the music she was currently playing that none of that qualifies for festival repertoire.  She honestly didn’t know there was anything else to play.  As frustrating as it is sometimes, we need to inform our parents of what true instrumental training should include.  Most students are motivated when they see the variety and quality of repertoire they can add to their method study, if that is how you choose to introduce classical repertoire.

3.  What offerings does your studio have during the year?  Multiple recitals, ensemble playing, or other activities that separate your studio as more upscale will only attract better students and parents more committed to study!

These are just some of the things you should cover during any interview.  Tout your successes!  Bring home the many events and actiivites you offer.  Most importantly, do not neglect to offer advice on where you could take their child if they are willing!  What types and styles of music will they play this year?   How far should their advancement be after one year with you?  I’ll bet they’ve never heard that from a teacher before!  Pull out a piece you think reasonably the student COULD PLAY after one year.  Show it to them and let them see the difference visually for themselves.  In this way, you are not putting down the student’s current progress, you are looking forward and offering a positive view of the year ahead.

4.  Finally, in your introductory packet, consider putting a one page bio or even better, a clear one page resume.  Now any parent will see that you are a well-equiped serious teacher.  You will stand out!

Happy interviewing!  Incorporate more discussion of these areas in your meet and greets and compare results from prevous years!  All the best of more studio successes in 2022!