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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPedagogy(Moderators: JP, Doug Elliott) How might one start a studio in a new city?
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Bragsm71
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« on: Mar 02, 2015, 02:28PM »

Hello all,

I will be moving from one Wisconsin city to another (Oshkosh to Madison) to earn my masters degree in trombone performance, and I am hoping to set up a studio of beginning-high school level students interested in trombone/euphonium lessons. I have taught/currently teach privately, and would like to continue to do so upon my arrival in a new city. 

The thing is, I'm quite unsure as to how that needs to happen.  I know patience is a virtue in this sort of thing (I'm not expecting the phone to be ringing off the hook as soon as I step foot into town), but I don't really know the steps involved in attracting students in a new area.  The students I've taught/am teaching in my current area were referred to me by teachers.  I will be pretty much completely new to the Madison area, and would like to set myself up for success as early as possible.  Half of music is preparation, after all!

Any advice, anecdotes, or tips would be greatly appreciated.

I thank you!

~Matt
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SethMatrix

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« Reply #1 on: Mar 02, 2015, 02:44PM »

Hello all,

I will be moving from one Wisconsin city to another (Oshkosh to Madison) to earn my masters degree in trombone performance, and I am hoping to set up a studio of beginning-high school level students interested in trombone/euphonium lessons. I have taught/currently teach privately, and would like to continue to do so upon my arrival in a new city. 

The thing is, I'm quite unsure as to how that needs to happen.  I know patience is a virtue in this sort of thing (I'm not expecting the phone to be ringing off the hook as soon as I step foot into town), but I don't really know the steps involved in attracting students in a new area.  The students I've taught/am teaching in my current area were referred to me by teachers.  I will be pretty much completely new to the Madison area, and would like to set myself up for success as early as possible.  Half of music is preparation, after all!

Any advice, anecdotes, or tips would be greatly appreciated.

I thank you!

~Matt
At my high school, if a teacher can get one of our band directors on board with them giving lessons, then the director will reach out to our students, and tell them to get lessons with the new teacher. I'd get in contact with the local band directors.
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 02, 2015, 03:13PM »

Yup, send out emails with your resume and a well-worded letter to local schools. The other students at your school can help you too. My girlfriend has been referred at least a couple students from her peers.
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 02, 2015, 04:08PM »

If there is a community/muni band that some of the local band directors play in, that might be a good place to network.
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 02, 2015, 04:15PM »

To add to that...
I am VERY skeptical of receiving emails and regular mail about giving private lessons.
As an educator - I WOULD NEVER SEND A STUDENT TO SOMEONE I DO NOT KNOW!
That is a recipe for disaster in this crazy world!
If you have the time - it would be wise to visit selected schools and teachers PERSONALLY!
Even that might not work! It is going to take time and perseverance - dont expect over night success!
I have been teaching for 20+ years and I have only regretted not responding to ONLY 1 person who has approached me in this regard!
Sorry Paul :o(

Sam
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 02, 2015, 05:49PM »

Good point! ^

It's better to have some tenuous connection to those teachers (you know a friend of theirs or another local teacher) than to completely cold-call. Connections are everything.
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Bragsm71
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 04, 2015, 10:06PM »

I've learned a lot from this discussion.  Thank you all for your input! 

It seems like a good course of action for me would be to try and personally meet and network with the area music teachers.  I wouldn't want them to feel uncomfortable about my wanting to give lessons.  I'd much rather they meet with me, get to know where I'm coming from and how I can potentially be of assistance to them and their students, and go from there. 

Thanks again, all!

~Matt
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 05, 2015, 09:32AM »

Work your connections in Oshkosh to introduce you to their connections in Madison.
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 06, 2015, 08:32PM »

Try getting a band director let you work with his trombone section on current band music and do it for free.
If he sees improvement then ask if you could offer them lessons. Find out if the students are interested. Get parent contact information. E establish a reasonable fee. Demographics come in to play for charging. Plus your own experience as a teacher/performer.  Students look for help with all county, all district, etc. Once you have students doing well in these venues interest should increase.

My main job is serving as an academic dean but I will teach up to seven HS students and charge $20 for half hour lesson.  I have picked up these students by word of mouth....moms contact me. All of them made all county and all district. Tomorrow is all state auditions and I have one eligible to audition...he made last year and I expect him to make this year.  You will be surprised how much the parents influence each other in looking for teachers.  Almost all my students come from one high school........and i have yet to meet the band director.

As an aside note my students go on as music majors at Shenandoah conservatory, Appalachian State, East Carolina, and  UNC ChapelHill......I say this not to brag but to say how important your reputation as a teacher and the influence you have.

By the way, the fee helps pay for my golf needs:)

Good luck!
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 14, 2015, 01:40PM »

Great discussion!

Moving somewhere new presents several dilemmas. I think you have to decide what you want most:

1.start adding some students to your teaching studio.

2.develop relationships to become a trusted, in-demand musician/teacher in a community.

Cold calling, sending resumes, and offering free master classes and lessons to directors is a good way to do #1.

I don't know how much playing you also want to do in your new scene, but I bet you want great relationships with fellow player/teachers.

Get to know and develop musical respect for your new colleagues by going to hear them and their students play. Let them hear you play in groups (throw a quartet rehearsal bbq or somethin??) and let them see you as non threatening. New people to a place sometimes create problems for themselves if they offer freebies to directors who have been recommending a more established local player for years.

There might be a very tight bone teacher/player community there. You can choose have it respect or trash you.

"Networking" in our world is not yge same as many other professions.

Maybe connect with a local music store or community center to do a free masterclass or recital.

Remember,there is always a small degree of resistance with established players and teachers. You don't need them to give you everything, but you will set yourself up better in the long run!

Best Lx

PS...also throw your name in every music teacher referral service you find. Music stores often keep lists of teachers as do many college music departments
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 03, 2015, 08:22PM »

I highly recommend you to make a website. Have your teaching philosophy, bio, recordings of yourself, resume, and your contact information on it. Start emailing schools and tell them that you are interested in teaching. Attach your resume as well.

All Best,

Marco P. Samperio
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