Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Developing your Home Music Studio: A Worksheet

Every August, I invariably end up posting on this topic, because I field so many questions regarding private studio teaching throughout the summer and fall. Perhaps I should get smart and post these pieces earlier; I suspect most of us are too exhausted by the time June rolls around to make much of use of the information until August rent and electricity bills come due (I know I am)! At any rate, I hope this information is timely enough; a private studio is an ongoing adventure, so these actionable items can feed your creative spirits and business-oriented minds throughout the year!

This worksheet accompanies a series of lectures I recorded for iCadenza's Coro series two years ago but can be adjusted to fit your own experiences and environments. I am happy to answer questions as you work through this; just post below!

List all of the locations you could post a flyer advertising your studio (consider community centers, libraries, and individually list all public schools with music programs which include your specialties).

What workshops are you ready to teach in the public schools right now?

List area music teachers’ organizations along with contact information, website, and membership fees.  Put a * next to the ones you plan to join.

Finding a space
Where will you teach? List possible locations and their pros and cons, including what improvements you might need to make to any potential location. This list could include your home, area schools, churches, community centers, etc. 

Designing your syllabus/contract
 Your mission statement--please answer the following:
  1. What age levels do you prefer to teach?
  2. What ability levels do you prefer to teach?
  3. What genres can you teach?
  4. What kind of learning environment do you wish to create for your students?
  5. What are your goals for your students?
  6. List any specific pedagogical interests of certifications.
Other policies--please list the following:
  1. Payment: list acceptable forms, due dates, and late fees
  2. No-show/make-up policy
  3. Required equipment
  4. Expectations for practice (amount of time, quantitative evaluation of preparedness, etc.)
  5. Other (required attendance at performance, required number of performances given, etc.)
  6. What expectations do you have for parents?
Creating an online presence--your checklist
To do in the next four months:
    Name your studio
    Create a logo (check out Canva if you’re not a designer)
    Purchase the domain name for your studio
    Start a Facebook page
    Start a website, including
    bio: approximately one page in length, in Word document terms
    teaching philosophy: one page
    A/V: you could include video or audio recordings, pedagogical videos, photos
    studio policies
    contact information
    resources/links/articles you would like to promote
    calendar of performances/studio events
    payment page
    student accolades page

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Using Social Media to Grow Your Studio

It's that time of year again--school is back in session, and it's just starting to dawn on students that they could benefit from some lessons before honor band audition season (hopefully you'll get them to stick around beyond that). Those of us teaching at the college level are already preparing audition advertising materials for next January and February, and we will begin posting information about scholarships and assistantships next month.

I know what I do, and it works OK, but in this age of ever-changing social media platforms and mores, one can never remain stagnant. So, I put together a panel of young, smart flutists who are doing some really cool things on social media and we held a thoroughly enjoyable discussion at NFA at the beginning of the month. I certainly learned some things, and I put together some of my favorite points the panelists made in this handy table, below. 

For more detailed ideas about developing and advertising your studio, you can also review my previous posts, 

Is it time for an audit of your private studio? Part 1

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

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The panelists:
Jessica Banks, flute professor, Mississippi State University

Jolene Madewell, teacher and blogger, Practice Room Revelations

Kallie Snyder, owner, Snyder Flute Studio and creator, The Sound Musician
Instagram: @thesoundmusician_
Facebook: The Sound Musician, Snyder Flute Studio

Brittany Trotter, social media guru for NFA conventions 2017, 2018
Instagram: @brittanyflute
Twitter: @brittanyflute
Facebook: Brittany Trotter

Tech skills developed with some apps to get started: 
Photography and photo editing: Snapseed, VSCO, Adobe Photoshop Express
Audio/video recording and editing: Acapella, Audacity, Garage Band, iMovie
Graphic design:Adobe Spark, Canva, Phont/Vont, PicPlayPost
Web design: Squarespace, Wix, Weebly
Organizational tools: Buffer (schedule social media posts), Google analytics, Google Drive, Planoly