When I first began teaching piano lessons I had no idea what my pricing should be. I didn’t understand the economics of it all, I honestly was just looking to make some money on the side while I was going to school. I started off at $30 for an hour lesson. I was in college, and most of my friends were working some retail job for a little above minimum wage, so I thought $30 was really good, and it probably was. But what I didn’t realize was I was leaving a lot of money on the table.

As self employed teachers, the single most valuable asset we have is our time. If you price your lessons low, you may get more students, but you will be working more and making less. Before we start thinking about what we should be charging for lessons, we need to understand how the market works.

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Posted in Financial Business, MTH 101, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management

Happy students don’t quit piano lessons!image

What is more  important than keeping your current customers?

Use Music Teacher Helper to have happy students by communicating on a regular basis.

The lesson notes feature of Music Teachers Helper is helpful in that you can send any message after each lesson.

Use lesson notes to retain students!

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Posted in MTH 101, Practicing, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Screenshot 2015-12-03 at 9.33.27 AM

You can now select makeup lesson credits for a sibling of a student when editing a calendar event. This allows you to use the lesson credit of one student for another student within the family.

Here’s a list of other improvements and fixes made this past week:

  • Updated registration page on Studio sites so that notification of a problem with the submission is more informative and easy to understand.
  • Removed irrelevant items from the “Advanced Search” function’s drop down lists.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the Set Attendance pop up box to freeze for random teachers.
  • Added the name of the quote’s author to the Music Staff website theme.
  • Solved an issue that prevented display of the “Start Date” column’s data for some teachers on the “Blocked Dates” page.
  • Corrected display of Blog Posts for some students after logging in to their dashboard.
  • Added “Notes” field content to Mileage tracker’s exported spreadsheet.

Lastly, we are finishing up modifications to the new look for Music Teacher’s Helper, which will be released during the holiday break. There will be lots of information regarding the new look coming over the next couple weeks. Have a great weekend!

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Posted in New Features and Fixes, Studio Management

talk to the experts

On Monday, November 16th at 12 p.m EST, join Brandon Pearce, David Cutler, and Kristin Yost for a one-hour live talk answering your pressing questions about running a music teaching studio.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to gain insight that will help you to flourish as a music teaching studio owner! Head over to the page to learn more about the panelists and ask questions in the comments section. The panelists will answer your questions during the talk. 

Here’s the link again:

Don’t want to forget the date and time? Text savvy to 38470 to receive two event reminders to your phone.

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Posted in Financial Business, Music News, Press, Professional Development, Studio Management

SAKURAKO - Piano lesson.

It’s a harsh reality that the private music students you’re teaching right now will not be the same students you’re teaching a year or two from now. Every business goes through it. In the recurring revenue business world we call it “churn”, that is what percentage of your students quit from period to period. If you don’t refill the coffers with new students, eventually you won’t have a studio left. But what if you could just reduce your churn? What if you could keep your students much longer?

I’ve connected thousands of students to music teachers over the years, and have heard every reason in the book for why the student has to quit. Don’t just accept it! You can have a lot of control over whether or not your students continue.

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Posted in Financial Business, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management

The Savvy Music Teacher is a new book just out this month, offering a comprehensive look at what goes into making a decent living as a music teacher.  The goal of the book is to provide a strategy for making a positive impact on your community and translating that into a good income for yourself.  The book includes detailed discussions about music teaching options, a variety of income streams, financial explanations and strategies, and stories about successful experiences from over 150 savvy music teachers.

savvymusicteachercoverAuthor David Cutler, the Director of Music Entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina, starts by asking the readers to become aware of their own teaching formulas and priorities, while highlighting numerous ways to freshen or rethink methods and content.  For many teachers, this discussion might inspire some new ideas about how to match teaching approaches and formats with their personal interests and style.

A review of Cutler’s previous book, The Savvy Musician, can be found in an earlier Music Teachers’ Helper blog post at this link.

Read on, and enjoy an overview of the book, as well as a look at the book’s companion website…
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Posted in Financial Business, Music & Technology, Product Reviews, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Teaching Tips














Competition for a good piano teacher is fierce these days. How do you make yourself stand out? Somehow I’ve managed to make a business for myself in the musically congested city of Los Angeles. Here are some of the tricks in my bag:

Use your phone’s video camera.

Most of the time, parents are not around to watch their kid’s piano lessons. Sometimes, they aren’t even home (nannies are there instead). If you have a studio where students come to you, it’s likely the parents don’t sit in the room with you. This means that the very people who hired you never get to see your actual work. You need to show them what you are doing for 2 very important reasons. Read more…

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Posted in Professional Development, Studio Management, Teaching Tips, Using Music Teacher's Helper

There are four secrets of a successful studio. I realize it’s a bold claim to narrow it down to just four and you may be asking, what does successful mean? Keep reading.

Four SecretsFB2

Like any other human being, your bottom line comes down to:

  1. food on the table
  2. a roof over your head
  3. decent clothes on your back.

These three essentials require an income and as a music teacher that means you’ll need students and preferably, lots of them.  The trick is figuring out how to attract and retain them. When you have met and exceeded your bottom line and enjoy a waiting list, I believe you have made a success of your studio.

After extensive research, David Cutler discovered that music teachers who generated substantial (successful) incomes were more likely to integrate these three elements (OK, they are not really secrets but it caught your attention, right?) into their instruction compared to other teachers who did not. They include: Read more…

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Posted in Financial Business, Product Reviews, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management

Robin Steinweg

Student Files Binder

September 28th, 2015 by

Three binders I keep within reach daily. My Student Files Binder is the most important. It holds my most precious commodity: my students!

Studio Binders

Studio Binders

Last month I posted about the binder that ties together the administrative details of my studio. My Command Central. You might say it’s my administrative assistant. (It works closely with my Music Teacher’s Helper account, which is my executive administrative assistant!)

But the Student Files Binder is the safe containing the jewels.

Students--my treasures

Students–my treasures

Here’s what I keep inside: Read more…

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Posted in Studio Management, Teaching Tips, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Yiyi Ku

How to Plan Maternity Leave

September 24th, 2015 by

Dear MTH readers,

As I write this blog entry, I am 39 weeks pregnant and expecting my first child! As a first time mom with a busy private studio, I planned my maternity leave months in advance, and would like to share with you my experience. I also welcome your feedback!

KRF_0155How soon should I stop teaching before due date?

Obviously every pregnancy is different, so this will vary from person to person. I am very thankful that I have had a pretty smooth pregnancy, so I decided to take just a month off before my due date. This has allowed me time to do some last minute shopping for baby stuff, get nursery ready, and just relax and enjoy the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I will admit I have felt a bit restless from time to time, especially these last two weeks, so if I could do it all over again, I probably would have continued teaching for two more weeks or so, to take my mind off this waiting game!

How soon should I resume teaching after the baby is born?

Again obviously this will vary depending on individual health situation and also if the baby decides to arrive early or late (two weeks before or after due date is normal!) I have told all my students that I will take another whole month off after my estimated due date, but that I will keep them posted in terms of how it all goes in the end, and if I should need extra time. Thankfully all my students are very understanding and we will just see how things go! Read more…

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Posted in Studio Management