Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Is it time for an audit of your private studio? Part 2

If your private studio is thriving, you may not need any advice on how to set yourself apart from area colleagues (or you may find yourself coming back to this advice when the market becomes more flooded and your numbers are decreasing, which can always happen in the future!). But if you're new to a region, and/or struggling to maintain the numbers you would like in your studio, it's probably time to up your game. Here are some ideas to visit, or revisit if it's been a while.

Creating your Mission Statement (pedagogical philosophy) [Here’s mine.]
  • Who do you teach? Age, ability levels
  • What’s your style? Strict, laid back, nurturing environment, college prep…
  • Goals for your students
  • Teaching methods: special certifications, techniques, genres…
Creating a Calendar (what will you offer, and when?)

  • Lessons
    • How many per term
    • How many terms
  • Recitals
  • Ensembles
  • Group Classes
Studio Policies (essentials for your syllabus/contract) [Here’s mine.]
  • Make-up / no-show policy
  • Required supplies (music, instrument in working order, etc.)
    • Recommended places to obtain said supplies
  • How do you define preparation, and what do you do when a student hasn’t done it?
  • Required performances
    • Participating
    • Attending
Developing Something Special / Distinguishing Yourself
  • What do other area teachers offer? What’s missing that you could offer?
  • What are your particular interests and specialties? How could you incorporate them?
    • Create a “complete curriculum” based on your mission statement.
    • Emphasize your special certifications
  • Offer a finite set of coachings for specific purposes (All-State preparation, chamber music coaching…)
  • Ensembles/group classes
  • Community outreach
  • Guest artist series with local friends/colleagues
  • Branding: logo, comprehensive website with areas for use by current students, social media presence…
Retention
  • Help students stay motivated
    • Scheduling musical activities/challenges
    • Competitions
    • Creating a sense of community: parties, small ensembles…
    • How does your mission statement reflect this?
  • Parental involvement
    • What level of involvement do you prefer?
    • Presence (or not) in lessons
    • Help with recitals and other activities
    • Producing results that they can see and appreciate (this can also be stated clearly in your mission statement)

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