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Building a student base 
 

Building a student base

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Building a student base    16:05 on Wednesday, January 04, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

phred
(80 points)

I'm currently part-time employed, and in my field, in this area, that's almost all there is. Sad that libraries are getting so many cuts. Another thing getting cuts in California is music programs. I've thought it would be nice to offer lessons to the community at large. I definitely could teach beginning students, and would be fine through all but those high schoolers who are going on to a music program (they'd probably teach me a thing or two). I've put word out to the two band teachers (they circulate between all the schools) and put my name on the list at the one local music store. We have really no local community band or orchestra, so not a lot of "continuing" students. After 6 months of doing this, still no bites, not even one. Any suggestions for encouraging students? Sorta hoping to at least earn a little extra cash through music.

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Re: Building a student base    21:13 on Wednesday, January 04, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Val_Wells
(214 points)

I tried all sorts of ways to get my name out there at first, but the thing that has brought the most students to my door is a listing I put on line....somewhere. I think it was originally the hornplayer.net website. I'm not sure where it is now, but I still get calls from people who have found my name on the web.... somewhere. Once I started teaching kids from my neighborhood who originally found me on the web, they told their friends & they told their friends..... Now after about 4 years, I have almost more students than I have time for. It took me a while to learn to feel confident teaching. Sometimes in the first year or two I taught, I even found myself dreading lesson days because of my fear of not doing it well. But the kids kept coming & improving, so I began to feel more & more confident. Now I love it & look forward to it.

It helps if you teach more than one instrument. Members within the same family often like to play different instruments from one another & parents like "one stop" shopping. So I have three horn students, two piano students, three trumpet students, one euphonium student. You needn't be an expert, to be effective. I'm not much of a pianist anymore and I haven't played euhponium since junior high, but I am helping this young man with this instrument. He gets personalized attention from me that he can't get from his band director.

Valerie Wells

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Re: Building a student base    10:44 on Thursday, January 05, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

phred
(80 points)

Thanks, I'll look up some online listing services, maybe Craigslist? I could teach trumpet and baritone, though I too have not played since HS. Piano, I'd really only feel comfortable with beginning students there. I never got much past simple Mozart stuff on that particular instrument. Thanks for the advice, and continued success with your music endeavors.

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Re: Building a student base    15:23 on Thursday, January 05, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1273 points)

I don't know what part of California you're in (send me a PM if you want)but here some ideas that can help, although I don't know if you can do them in your area.

You can post at the local Boy's and Girl's Club. You can try and offer a master class type event. If you can get a room somewhere you can do a basic presentation, or an instrument maintenance class. People then get to know who you are, and your demeanor. You can get a couple people together or some small solo stuff and perform at a close by senior center.

When these people talk it will eventually get to people who might like to take lessons. You might also try going outside your area. If there is a more populated area you can contact the middle school music teachers and try to get several students from one or several schools in that area. Offer lessons on a single evening for that specific area. Thne you can drive from student to student. Parents love you coming to their homes; and if you have several in one night your not spending that much for gas.

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Re: Building a student base    17:25 on Thursday, January 05, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Val_Wells
(214 points)

http://www.hornsociety.org/teachers-database

This is the site.

If you can play any piano at all & you have a keyboard, you should teach it. It's such a good choice for a first instrument, or a compliment to other instruments. Siblings of my brass players take piano lessons.

I'd forgotten how complicated it is to learn piano until I started teaching it again. Get getting through that first piano primer is a MAJOR accomplishment. Surely you can play well enough to keep up with a first year student.... that is, if you practice, too! LOL!

Years ago I was a serious piano student & taught the Suzuki method. But I start my new students on something more conventional, because I like to get them reading music asap. I have plans, however, to incorporate Suzuki method into their second year. Suzuki is great for 3 & 4 year old kids in Japanese culture, but it's not as appropriate here when a 10 or 11 year old wants to start.

Val

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Re: Building a student base    00:02 on Monday, January 09, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Val_Wells
(214 points)

I should add here, that it takes time to build up a studio. The first two years I taught, I only had 2 students, then one quit!

Val

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Re: Building a student base    16:26 on Monday, January 09, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

phred
(80 points)

Val, thanks for all the input. Interesting phenom in California, at least in Central/Sacramento Valley, almost no one teaches out of a home anymore. That's the only way things happened when I was studying. Now, only out of the music stores, since many parents want you to carry outrageous levels of liability insurance. T

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Re: Building a student base    23:06 on Monday, January 09, 2012 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Val_Wells
(214 points)

I tried the music stores in the area, but they are all full. I know some teachers who only teach in the students' homes. But that's never really appealed to me 'cause it sounds like a lot of time on the road fighting traffic.

However, if the parents would be willing to pay me more, it might be worth the time & effort... and would sure free me up from having to provide space at home.

Val

   

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