Violin teacher moving to LA! Any moving advice?

Tiffany said: Mar 7, 2010
Tiffany Osborn
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
Los Angeles, CA
41 posts

I’m so heartbroken to leave all my students, but I’m also excited at the prospect of starting new. I was inspired by Kimmiecello’s post to put something up myself- too bad I’m not moving to Louisville! If you know of any openings for summer/fall in the city (we’ll be living in the silver lake/echo park area, but I’m willing to commute wherever) please let me know.

I would also appreciate any information on what the scene is like there- what the schools (music and otherwise) are like, institutes, anything you can think of.

Also-does anyone have any advice for telling your students you are moving? What was it like for you? How long before the move did you tell the students? Any advice for starting another studio over?

My fiancee got a job in LA, and he’s already there- I’m staying here to teach through the school year- we have concerts, competitions, and auditions coming up in may and there is no way I could leave my students before then!

Also if there are teachers in the chicago area looking for students, please let me know and I can give you the contact info for the music school where I teach- it’s an amazing program with a great director and fantastic colleagues in the south suburbs (soooo sad to leave) and I have some students in the city too.

Thanks! Any little bit of info will be helpful!

Ruth Brons said: Mar 8, 2010
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

Hi—my heart goes out to you, as I have had to relocate a few too many times myself.
But don’t worry, it will all work out!

Reaching out to this forum was a good first step.

Next, it would be a good idea to reach out to any LA teacher listed in the SAA directory—send an email, or give a call—to introduce yourself and ask advice from the local experts. Most string players are nice people, so don’t be shy! The musician’s union is also a good source of contacts.

Meanwhile, update your resume and business cards, and perhaps look into setting up your own website [check out!]—you will need them when you reach out to all the private schools, music schools, public schools, music contractors, private teachers, and youth orchestras when you get to CA [I have used to make lists before]. Once you do get a student or three, teach them SO well, as they will become your best advertisement. You should be able to find a local teacher that will let your new students join a group class or play on a recital, until you have sufficient numbers of your own. It never hurts to ask!

You do need to tell your students before the end of the year; but first canvass your colleagues as to who has room in their studio so they are not in a panic about being teacherless. Your colleagues may also have contacts who may be able to help you. Then you can suggest they may take a sample lesson or two over the summer as they “shop” among available teachers for a good fit.

Best Wishes,

Ruth Brons
Inventor of Bow Hold Buddies[tm] and CelloPhant[tm] bow hold accessories

Cynthia Faisst said: Mar 9, 2010
Cynthia Faisst
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Irvine, CA
127 posts

It would not be fare to invite you to California at this time with out encouraging you to take a sober look at what is happening to the economy. If you have complete confidence in your fiancee to support you until things begin to improve I would consider it. Examine carefully how recession proof his new job is. If he is expecting you to supplement living expenses while you are waiting for the economy to improve you may find it very stressful on your relationship. Be flexible, very well prepared and have a plan B and C.

California is about to lay off large numbers of teachers by summer as well as other talented people. The city of LA is also laying off a significant number of employees. My boy friend is not seeing the usually subbing jobs he used to get (as a bilingual male) and nobody is hiring new teachers. Even the hospital where my boyfriend is usually working is not offering much over time. There are people in CA who are already getting paid in IOU’s.

You might want to go on Google maps and check the real estate condition of the communities you are hoping to find students in. We have not even hit the prime loans on the commercial real estate yet. Keep in mind that gasoline is at a low $3.00 a gallon and is known to go much higher. We just don’t have the trains, buses and subways here in CA that you have in Chicago. You need a car for everything.

If you want to get teaching experience, even if you don’t get paid I recommend that you volunteer for an urban nonprofit arts community. Their enrollments are up. But the connections you make will eventually pay off. We used to have as many as 300 children in our Suzuki Festival. This last year we were down to 200. This is reflected in public school enrolements as well. There are age group gaps in my own suburban studio population.

Many performing arts nonprofits have also started to cut back on their usual budgets. The corporations who used to feed them have cut back on donations. Instead of hiring union musicians for an event, organizations may consider paying honorariums to student organizations (who also need funding) for their musical services.

Be prepared to do something besides teaching or performing until things improve. If you can multitask or bundle more than one skill, i.e. teach Chinese and math your prospects will be better.

Definately do some research on the alternatives not just the music positions before you get here. Be smart.

Ms. Cynthia
Talent Education Center: Suzuki Violin
Director of Santa Ana Suzuki Strings located at the
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center
Volunteer, bring music to under-served communities around the world. Create Sound Investments and Futures.

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