Many people aspire to have a home business, After all, what’s not to like? No overhead, no commute, no boss. I have taught piano lessons at music stores, in public school, at my home, and I have traveled to students’ homes. I really like teaching piano lessons in my home. Starting a home piano studio is not without its challenges but I believe the pros outweigh the cons.
First and foremost, if you are considering starting a home piano studio you need to be able to play the instrument yourself. Decent playing skills and a good knowledge of piano technique, music theory, etc, are a must if you want to have a successful home piano studio. I firmly believe that as teachers we should always be learning and growing both as pianists and teachers.
After determining that you wish to teach piano lessons it is important to be sure you are permitted to teach lessons in your home. Where I currently live in South Florida, many homes are in neighborhoods where businesses are not permitted to operate. Be sure to check with your town’s governing board before you get started setting up your home piano studio. You would hate to have 30 or 40 students and then be told that you have to move them to another location.
The next thing to consider is space. Where will the lessons be taking place within your home? To conduct effective lessons you will need a space that is virtually free from noise and distractions. If you live with other people choose a room away from household activity. A spare bedroom, garage room, or finished basement are all good choices. A living room can be a good choice as long as it is relatively free from interruptions. You need to have a place for parents and incoming students to sit and wait. (I have personally never had a waiting room and this has always worked out fine). Your home piano studio should be a professional-looking space that is inviting and decorated to reflect your life and your personality. Be sure to have places for your student’s parents to park and be sure studio parking does not infringe upon your neighbors.
A Word About Neighbors
Even if you have permission from your community to teach at home, you must have the support of your neighbors. Be friendly and explain what you are doing, Assure them that if there are any problems you will solve them immediately. Invite them to your recitals, and remember them at holiday time. Remind your piano families to always be considerate of your neighbors. Disgruntled neighbors can cause big problems for your home piano studio so be proactive, talk to your neighbors, and get off to a great start.
Once you have your teaching space you will need a piano. I like for my students to learn on an acoustic piano whenever possible. Having a good instrument in your studio lends credibility to your business, Do not skimp in this area! get the best piano you can afford. Be sure your piano is tuned and keys and pedals are working properly. Have proper benches, use foot benches for very small children.
Now that you have your place squared away you will need to choose a piano method with which to work. A set of books that you can use to teach people the skills and knowledge necessary to become pianists. There are many fine methods out there but as you are on the Paloma Piano LLC website might I recommend the Paloma Piano Method. This method is skill-based and comprehensive, and it’s the only method that allows you as a teacher to become a member and then print the materials for your students.
Studio Policies and Other Considerations
When starting a home piano studio. You will also need a Studio Policy that can be signed by both yourself and your student’s parents or whoever is responsible for the lesson attendance and payment (We have some examples here in the Parent Information Book). I always make sure my homeowner’s insurance is up to date and includes “Home Office Exposure”. There are also some tax issues that come with running your own business so check with an accountant for information.
So now all you need are the students. But that’s indeed another entire blog post. Don’t worry though you are more than halfway there. To quote the movie Field of Dreams “Build It And They Will Come”. Take special care in starting a home piano studio and before you know it the students will be coming in droves.
I hope one day to have a large studio with beautiful studio rooms and a big room with a grand piano in which to conduct recitals and workshops. But I’m not there yet. I know that some of you are, and I would love to hear about all of your teaching situations. Please leave a comment below or better yet send a pic of your studio home or otherwise.
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If you would like to find out about becoming a member of Paloma Piano we have a number of very attractive membership options including a free membership that offers a large number of piano scores, teaching resources, and games. The free membership is forever free and no credit card is needed. Check it out!
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