I Left My Thriving Group Studio. Here's Where My Path Has Led. (Starting Over Pt. 3)
Happy New [Studio] Year!
How does your studio look this year? Have you made any big changes?
We’ve had an eventful 2019:
In May, we moved from North Carolina to Eastern Washington. I planned to rebuild my group piano studio in our new city.
In June, we faced some big decisions. Our new neighborhood and house weren’t as conducive to rebuilding a piano studio as I’d thought they would be, so I took some time to explore the best alternatives.
Here’s what’s happened between now and then - as well as a few thoughts about pivoting as a piano teacher.
When it’s time to pivot:
There are a lot of potential reasons why a piano teacher might need or want to pivot in their teaching career.
In Facebook teacher groups, many of you have talked about making changes because of:
-Moving to a new city or state
-Your local economy shifting
-A desire to try something new
-A spouse or partner changing jobs, losing their job, or going back to school
-Feelings of burnout
In my case, it was a cross-country move followed by logistical challenges to rebuilding my in-person studio.
There were several options that I considered. I thought about shifting my focus toward adult students, teaching in a different space (this could also have included travel teaching), and teaching online.
Why a pivot can be healthy:
Big life challenges often present new opportunities. A hurdle can be a good time to take a step back and think about big picture goals - and where you want to be in 5 or 10 years.
One of the things I’ve always wished I could change about teaching is the need to be physically in the same place every week.
Jeremy and I would love to do more travel in the future, and although we can build studio websites from nearly anywhere in the world, I cannot teach in-person lessons from anywhere.
I realized that this might be a great time to move toward our travel goal.
Online teaching allows flexibility with my physical location. In fact, in some ways, starting over after our move would’ve been much easier if I had been able to bring my entire studio along with me online!
In the spring, I had enrolled one day’s worth of students from my previous studio in online lessons. We began lessons a few weeks ago.
There has been a learning curve, but it’s going well and I’ve received positive parent feedback. It’s rewarding to work with students I already know and care about.
I’m also building an online lesson program toward new students. This is slightly different than the work I do with my long-time students, and is allowing me to learn a ton about teaching online to reach a larger audience.
I’ve built a new website for this, changed my approach with my SEO and have been working with a fantastic AdWords expert to be sure my website is seen by the right audience. Since I’m no longer trying to reach a local audience, I have a much larger potential reach with my website.
While this season has brought a lot of change, it’s deeply rewarding to acquire new skills this far into my career. I’m highly motivated by what I’m learning and am grateful for the chance to explore different ways of teaching.
What’s coming your way:
Have you considered teaching piano lessons online? Or have you tried teaching online?
If so, stay tuned.
I’m going to share some valuable resources in the coming months for those of you considering (or already offering) online lessons. These will include:
-My favorite tools for teaching online
-Resources for a smooth transition to online lessons (the experts are out there to help you do this easily!)
-Powerful ways to showcase online lessons on your website
-How to get started with Google AdWords - and how to get the most for your money. This will be a valuable guide for every teacher who needs to leverage their website to attract more students, whether locally or online.
Looking forward to sharing these resources with you soon.
Thanks for reading!
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