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Using a church for your studio #2751102
07/12/18 09:39 PM
07/12/18 09:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 144
M
MiguelSousa Offline OP
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MiguelSousa  Offline OP
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M
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 144
Hello!

I am a music teacher and also a music director at a church. My friend, that is violin instructor, as been using one room to teach his students. My church is really supportive of music activities and they are not wanting to do profit, but we are a small church so any extra use of utilities affects our budget.

I met with the priest and we were trying to find a fair balance to both parties. She suggested that 10% of his income would go to the church.

I was wondering your opinion about this and if you know of other types of agreements.

I want to help my friend but I also want to be fair to the church.

Thank you!

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Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751116
07/12/18 10:52 PM
07/12/18 10:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,178
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,178
Toronto, Ontario
I have a colleague who is paying a church 30% to teach there, so tithing (10%) sounds like a bargain.

Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751122
07/12/18 11:34 PM
07/12/18 11:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 29
San Francisco
S
SchroedersCat Offline
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SchroedersCat  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2016
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San Francisco
My personal experience on this is with the Presbyterians (More Light) and they have a handbook for these types of situations. I was told that I was welcome, and encouraged, to use the church for teaching purposes with no financial responsibilities whatsoever. What was kinda unspoken was that those lessons/rehearsals/etc...would be for and with active members of the church. If Mr. Smith, who tithes as expected, wants his girls to take lessons with the DM, there is no payment other than what the DM charges. For outsiders...well, I didn't even ask. I had no interest in teaching at the church as I have my own studio.

However, when I was hired as Director I noticed they only charged $15/hour to rent the facility for concerts, recitals, meetings, etc.... I told them that was nuts, they could be making so much more on those facility rentals. So they upped it to $125/hour...and yes, I pay that fee to rent the church for my studio recitals. Well, the parents pay that fee...

So, to answer your questions, I'd suggest NOT scalping the teacher for a percentage, but rather encourage that teacher to rent the church for recitals and charge for that. This way, the teacher can pass on the venue rental to the students and the church makes a little side money on rentals. Everyone wins. Teacher makes what's owed him, church gets some mad money and excellent PR, and parents get to see their kid play in a lovely setting with awesome acoustics.

Or...simply upping the lesson fee to include the % that the church wants, and stating that clearly to the clients.

Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751125
07/12/18 11:43 PM
07/12/18 11:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,650
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Online happy
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Online Happy
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,650
Orange County, CA
What's the condition of the piano? One good thing about using a church for lessons is that there will never be a parking problem with neighbors.

10% is not a very hefty fee at all, and it can easily be added to the regular tuition to offset costs.

That being said, I would be VERY hesitant to use any religious facility for piano lessons. If I were a student in that situation, I would feel very awkward.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751195
07/13/18 10:27 AM
07/13/18 10:27 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,178
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,178
Toronto, Ontario
AZN raises some good questions. The condition of the piano is clearly important, and who pays for its service will be important. Also, the privacy of the lesson space is important. You don't want church volunteers or staff traipsing through teaching space.

Teaching studios for struggling music teachers are often problematic; churches can work.

Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751203
07/13/18 11:07 AM
07/13/18 11:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 47
M
mostlystrings Online content
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mostlystrings  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2018
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I generally teach in my home but rent a church space one day per week and for events. They are used to dealing with facility rental to the community but allow me to pay a below market rate (the time we use is not popular for public bookings). I like to keep the church of which I'm a member out of business-related activity.

I've had one or two prospective students, after learning that some of my classes and events are held in a church building, decline to meet and specifically give that as the reason (although there could have been more who didn't say so). I wonder how they would feel about, for example, the separate building that is more of a community hall than place of worship but is still "church property" (we don't use that because the other space is better in general and has a better piano). There is a reason churches attract this kind of activity...if they are satisfied with covering their costs, not being hugely profit-driven, compared to a more commercial place...

Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751249
07/13/18 04:01 PM
07/13/18 04:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 106
NM
N
NMKeys Offline
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NMKeys  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 106
NM
I grew up in a church school and some of the teaching members were available on site for lessons (could leave class during the day for piano - sweet for the student AND for the teacher who was able to teach ALL day long). None were ever charged for the use of the building (even in other churches where I taught).


Private Piano Instructor M.M.
Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751359
07/14/18 01:16 AM
07/14/18 01:16 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 508
San Diego, CA
S
SoundThumb Offline
500 Post Club Member
SoundThumb  Offline
500 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 508
San Diego, CA
In the US there can be tax implications if a nonprofit church rents to a for profit individual, organization or company. It can be especially tricky if the person they rent to is a member of the church. Not that there is an automatic problem, but the church can be putting their nonprofit status in jeopardy if they don't handle this correctly.


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Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751441
07/14/18 11:05 AM
07/14/18 11:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,085
Virginia, USA
T
TimR Offline
4000 Post Club Member
TimR  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,085
Virginia, USA
I've recommended my church subsidize lessons for our member's children, in an attempt to grow our own musical talent.

alas, our supply of children has dwindled.

But here''s another complication. My church has a 2 adult rule when minors are present. I have a high school student in my bell choir, and I'm careful not to be alone with her - if her parents aren't there we don't start until other adult members are present. Potentially if the church has that rule, but the piano teacher doesnt follow it, and something happens or is alleged, there might be a problem. That rule is mandated by my church's diocese, we have to follow it.


gotta go practice
Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751500
07/14/18 03:32 PM
07/14/18 03:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 47
M
mostlystrings Online content
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mostlystrings  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 47
Oh! The church I rent has another (non profit?) business entity that deals with services to the community, so I write the check to that, not the "church" part.

Once I had a joint recital with a church music director friend. I/we didn't "rent the space" (his perk, for his place of employment) but he did ask would I please make a gift to help with piano costs. That's like if I were a church attendee (member or not) and felt like giving something. But I wouldn't do a casual arrangement like that on a regular basis - fraught with pitfalls for both parties.

Re: Using a church for your studio [Re: MiguelSousa] #2751790
07/15/18 10:27 PM
07/15/18 10:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 144
M
MiguelSousa Offline OP
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MiguelSousa  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 144
Thank you! You guys helped me a lot!


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