My private vocal studio is comprised mostly of high school students. I have regular studio classes, for which I hire various pianists. The main goal of this is help students learn BEFORE college the fine art of working with a pianist. This is vitally important, I think, when teaching music (especially voice, as the voice is rarely presented alone).
I also hire pianists to play for the two annual NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) competitions that we have each year here in Arizona. I try to contact pianists well in advance. When I contact each pianist, I spell out projected dates, amount of pay, and what the projected repertoire is. I keep in contact with the pianist, and ask if it’s okay whenever there is a schedule change, BEFORE I confirm it with the students.
Most importantly, I found over the years that I got incredibly nervous when it came to paying the pianist. After enough times running after students to make sure they had paid, I decided to use MTH’s FABULOUS invoicing system. When I schedule a studio class, I charge as if for a group lesson, then I write a check to the pianist on the day of. When charging for a competition, I do the same thing – I put the competition onto the calendar and register students for it at the fee for the pianist. I make sure that the students know these costs go directly to the pianist. Students pay the fees, as it’s in their regular invoice, and pianists get a check written from my studio account.
I have, as a result, pianists who like to work with my students and know that they will always be paid in a timely manner, without work on their part. I have yet to be unable find a pianist to play for the variety of events through the year, and I know that this is in large part due to the financial arrangements I have been able to do – thanks to MTH invoicing & scheduling.