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#935080 - 08/01/08 02:13 PM Student roster in relation to economy
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Everyone knows that Canda is 2 years behind the USA when it comes to economic forces. I have been teaching in Canada for 6 years now. The economy has been very very strong for the entire duration of my career, and it shows, I (and every other serious teacher in my area) have comfy waiting lists, and Zero compliants when we raise rates.

Of course, when the USA catches a cold, we sneeze up here too. House prices are beginning to slide, GDP is hovering near Zero. Some areas are in recession...the only thing that keeps us from being in a national recession is oil-rich alberta...bless thier hearts.

For those of you who live in areas where consumer confidence is shaken, or areas where the last number of years had construction based economies, how has the economy affected your roster?

I've always thought of our work as recession-proof, but of course, I know nothing about the flip side of the business cycle.

Any Comments are welcome.
Music is the surest path to excellence

Jeremy BA, ARCT, RMT
Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

Piano & Music Accessories
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#935081 - 08/01/08 02:56 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
Highlander One Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Texas
Piano slaes are slow........piano lessons are not.

Piano Sales since 1992
Piano study since 1969
Piano teacher since 1992
Touring musician since 1985
Studio musician since 1996
I Love the Piano

#935082 - 08/01/08 03:02 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Ditto here. The school I was working at last year has seen a 50% growth in enrollment. I moved two months ago and already have eight students from referrals and two recitals to accompany for the coming school year.

In about a week, I'm actually going to start advertising, so we'll see what turns up and I'll keep people posted.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#935083 - 08/01/08 03:47 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1269
Loc: California
My town has one of the highest housing foreclosure rates, however I've never had as many students as I have now. I figured that high gas prices would force families to make some tough choices and that enrollment in piano lessons and music/movement classes would be affected. Apparently not. Go figure.
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

#935084 - 08/01/08 04:31 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I raised tuition rates by 10% this year, and although I was worried about two families and was ready to make a concession in their cases, I didn't get a single cancellation or negative comment, and still have a waiting list. This probably means I'm still underpriced.

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians

#935085 - 08/01/08 06:49 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Interesting insights. I heard on the financial news yesterday that a typical vacation at Disney World costs over $4,500. I cannot imagine a family spending that kind of money on such clap trap. But apparently they do. But now, with the cost of gas at $4/gal, vacations are being canceled and low and behold, $1,400 for a year's worth of piano lessons is now doable! Our good fortune.

By the way, I've picked up quite a few new students as well. I am most appreciative.
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

#935086 - 08/01/08 07:20 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I have that appreciation going too, John, in my studio. I started 4 really great younger kids 4,5,6,8 in July, all beginners and I'm having such a wonderful time with them and vice versa. These kids are musicians in their profiles - I'm amazed at the good ears they have, and the confidence, and the patience.

One is a sister team, and then the boys are not related. The older sister went to her Mother's bedroom at 5:30 last Monday morning to get her Mom up because it was her lesson day and she didn't want to miss her 10:30 lesson. Now if that isn't enthusiasm, what it?

I'm amazed of the number of my student's families traveling around the country this year - nothing seems to have changed in their lives (thank goodness for that!)that is making them feel deprived or making compromises that I can tell from here. I'm happy for them.

Regards everyone!


#935087 - 08/01/08 07:43 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
Our family went to Disney World this summer--we PERFORMED as part of a jazz ensemble at Cosmic Ray's Cafe in the Magic Kingdom! Hubby is the director, I play piano (of course!), son plays trumpet, daughter jazz flute, and 10 other players (saxes, brass, percussion). No, our family probably wouldn't have spent the $ to go to Disney World this year; but we were able to go because of a nice package we got as a "performer's discount".

And if anything, I've seen an uptick in the number of families inquiring about lessons. When money is tight, most folks want to get maximum "bang for the buck"!

Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

#935088 - 08/02/08 02:52 AM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6974
Loc: Orange County, CA
It's weird. My roster has maintained similar numbers for the past two years. Whenever two or three leave, two or three come. I just lost three this summer (they claim to be "on vacation" and never returned) and got a new transfer that's better than all three of them put together. One of my colleagues is moving (20 miles away) and is giving away her local students; I'm waiting for the calls.

September is always the best month, but I'm hoping to fill all the slots by the end of August and (for the first time) start a waiting list.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#935089 - 08/02/08 03:01 AM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6974
Loc: Orange County, CA
Wow, speak of the devil...I just got three calls for lessons on my voicemail, all from the studio of my colleague who is moving away.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#935090 - 08/02/08 11:54 AM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I've thought again about this thing of wanting a large studio and I am remembering that when my studio was 35-40 students, I was busiest taking care of business and working very hard to stay on track in every way that a piano teacher does.

This was before the advent of computerized everything and e-mails - then I used telephone and US mail for communication. Today most of my communication is quickly done by e-mail. I can prepare a message that pertains to all and address it quickly and out it goes to everyone. Saves a lot of time obviously.

The music was not the difficulty, it was the pleasure of it all, it was the business end - record keeping - making notes to follow through on - that needed daily attention and effort at the time.

I think it's important to keep good balance going for everyone - the more participants there are the greater the odds and the risks toward being overloaded.

With a talented, personable assistant in the office arena, that would allow me to take on more students. Someone else would handle the details according to my studio policy and recordkeeping needs.

The problem of this being, finding that person and being able to employ them at the wage they deserve. I dream of having an assistant to be the extra head and hands to my business.

AZN, I hope the "crop" of new students will be a wonderful experience for all in your studio. I think this is a very exciting experience!


#935091 - 08/02/08 10:34 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Originally posted by AZNpiano:

September is always the best month [/b]
Wow, I'm completely opposite.

May/June, I have phones ringing off the hook to try out lessons for the summer and into the Fall. And then a steady trickle throghout the rest of the year.
Music is the surest path to excellence

Jeremy BA, ARCT, RMT
Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

#935092 - 08/05/08 06:44 PM Re: Student roster in relation to economy
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I'm actually being forced to turn away students...even after interviewing to help make sure the student and the family will likely be a good one. Even my boyfriend is almost full, plus I need to prepare for my exams, (clarinet, piano, and theory!), auditions, and several performances.

Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com


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