Studio Structure/Location

Studio Policies/Documents Online Teaching/Technology

In the Spotlight: Starting a Music School (Open Access)

Many independent music teachers think about expanding their studios and starting a music school when their student load exceeds their available teaching hours. They consider bringing another teacher on board or perhaps hiring an assistant. As we grow professionally, some teachers begin thinking about ways to leave a musical legacy or to make a musical impact in their local community. …

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Legal Landscape: Business Structure Options for Music Teachers (Open Access)

Are you trying to decide on the best business structure for your teaching? OR are you looking for ways to upgrade or change your current teaching situation? Besides the two traditional platforms (independent studio and university faculty) there are other attractive choices available. Offered here are descriptions of several options, their pros and cons, and the legal/tax pluses and minuses of various business types. …

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Think Outside The Home: Teaching Options And Opportunities Forks In The Road

At one time, it was possible to characterize teaching options as a single fork in the road —college faculty or independent teacher (mostly in the home). No longer! Consider these recent teacher profiles: …

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Think Outside The Home: Teaching Options And Opportunities "The Middle Man"

The previous six columns examined alternatives to the home studio, including online teaching, teaching at a for-profit organization, teaching at a non-profit organization and teaching in students' homes. There is another scenario—a middle ground where the teaching may occur in the home studio or online or in students' homes, but someone else provides marketing, invoicing and other business tasks. …

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Think Outside The Home: Teaching Options And Opportunities Teaching In Students' Homes…(Open Access)

Early in my teaching career, I moved to a nearby town and sustained my studio by teaching former students in their homes. Parents loved this idea for its convenience and continuity. It was a bit of a drive to get to town, but once there, all homes were within 15 minutes of each other. This arrangement started as a financial necessity, but I discovered how enjoyable it could be too.

Financially, teaching in students' homes can be a lucrative position. …

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Think Outside The Home: Teaching Options And Opportunities Teaching At A Non-Profit Organization

The previous column (December/ January 2014/2015) examined teaching at a for-profit organization. This column examines non-profit organizations, which I define as organizations classified as 501(c)(3) by the IRS.

Non-profit organizations seek to maximize income, but any surplus is kept in the business to support the mission rather than benefitting an individual owner or shareholder. Many non-profits supplement their income through individual donations, corporate sponsorships and grants. …

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Think Outside The Home: Teaching Options And Opportunities Teaching At A For-Profit Organization

When I graduated with my master's degree in piano pedagogy, teaching in my home was a viable, attractive option. But I soon found it isolating, and I missed my colleagues. When the opportunity arose to teach at a for-profit academy, I accepted! My reasons included: …

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Think Outside The Home: Teaching Options And Opportunities Online…And Onward

A student moves out of state or to a rural area … A parent's job takes the family away for a year … A student has an extended illness … These situations typically lead to the loss of students in our studio. Sometimes the student quits music lessons entirely. Teachers also face these situations and give up cherished students. Are online lessons a viable solution?

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Think Outside The Home: Teaching Options And Opportunities Part 2: Online…And Onward

In the previous column (April/May 2014) we met four independent teachers who were supplementing their existing studios with online lessons …

These teachers did not seek online teaching as a new revenue stream. They simply wanted to keep students playing, maintain relationships and provide superior customer service. As young teachers, they were comfortable with the technology; but online teaching is available to all. …

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Think Outside The Home: Teaching Opportunities And Options
Part 1: Independent Contractor or Employee

A home studio is not for everyone. Home ownership may not be feasible or funds may not be available for purchasing a quality instrument. …However, the choice to add debt may not be attractive either, especially for young professionals with student loans. Home studios/ownership may not be compatible with contemporary lifestyles that include urban apartment living, delayed marriage or a desire for mobility. …

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A New Calendar, A New Paradigm

It is 20 degrees and snow is still on the ground here in the Midwest; what better time to think summer, or better yet, re-think summer. The superintendent of my state's largest school district, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) … is championing a new "balanced" calendar … to counter the documented "summer learning loss" of children who are away from a structured school routine for two to three months. I can almost hear music teachers cheering! Our profession has long advocated that taking the summer off from music study results in skill and learning loss and the need to catch up in the fall. …

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Having it All Without Doing it All

I had just finished teaching a series of pedagogy classes, covering many business aspects of running a studio (including studio policies, marketing, recordkeeping, tax returns), when one of my students, with a deer-in-the-headlights look, asked, "Can I just keep working for you (the Community Arts School) when I graduate? I'll never be able to do all this! I just want to teach." …

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Studio Employment Legal Documents

MTNA's attorney has developed several sample employee contracts and non-compete agreements.

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