Ask the Experts

Last summer, focus groups at summer Institutes were asked to submit questions for a panel of “Suzuki Experts” to answer. Here is the second installment.

Does SAA have any written materials free for members that outline all business aspects of starting and administering a studio or music school? How do you start a studio? What resources are available to beginning Suzuki teachers?

Make It Your Business

This is an excellent question and you are wise to recognize the importance of this issue. The manner in which you manage your business affairs will not only affect your financial success, but also the level of esteem assigned to you by your colleagues and your studio parents. You may have received some guidance in your Suzuki Book 1 Teacher Development course about establishing a studio, but considering the vast amount of material that must be covered in this course, it is difficult to do justice to all of the business aspects of operating a successful music studio. Many highly trained teachers have degrees in performance or education, yet these degree programs still leave us ill-equipped to run a business. Fortunately, there are resources readily available that can give any teacher the tools to build and manage a successful studio without having to start from scratch. Two valuable books on the subject are:

Promoting Your Teaching Studio by Philip Johnston
The Complete Guide to Running a Private Studio by Mimi Butler

These experienced and knowledgeable author/teachers offer advice on setting up a studio, marketing, managing finances, communication, scheduling, and setting policies. This information is vital to the success of your studio. It is imperative that teachers concern themselves with these practices in order to be organized and professional.

Expert of the Week, Sue Baer

See more Ask the Experts answers.