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I want to add more homeschoolers to my studio


Dmmetler
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Which piano option would you prefer as a homeschool parent?  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. Which piano option would be most likely to get you to sign up for daytime lessons?

    • Traditional lessons with a "before 3:00" discount, 30 minutes 1-1?
      52
    • 45 minute small group class (4-6 students) at 2/3 the cost of a private lesson?
      1
    • 60 minute small group class (4-6 students) at 3/4 the cost of a private lesson?
      0


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Next fall, I don't think I will have any online students as schools are expected to be back in person, and most of my online kids will likely return to in person lessons. Right now, I have few to no spots available to add new after school students, but next year, when I'm no longer homeschooling or supervising learning for L, I'm going to be long on time during the day. This is thinking ahead post-COVID. 

 

So, which would you prefer, as a homeschool parent? I've listed three options in the poll that are viable in my current set up, once COVID is over.

I cannot, at this point, offer a larger group keyboard class because I simply don't have a keyboard lab. I do have two acoustic pianos and can bring in a digital piano to get up to three performance stations, and have a LARGE collection of theory games and music centers that students can work with, so a group of 4-6 kids would be viable, with students moving between piano activities and center activities, but the question is whether this would be valuable to parents. The groups would need to be within a few years of the same age and start at the same skill level, so I would not necessarily be able to take entire families (I do have several sets of homeschooled siblings currently where one works on theory during the other's lesson, and we occasionally combine for games, if appropriate, but that's just several lessons back to back since I still have the kids for the same amount of time). 

 

I am also hoping to offer preschool pre-piano groups once we get past COVID, but honestly, most preschoolers aren't available until after school hours, either! 

 

 

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My DS did small group piano classes through our co-op and they were a good fit for us. I think that option (45/60 minute small group might be appealing to.parents and allow you to better schedule your time. Perhaps offer both - the daytime discount and the small group option and move promising students toward the discounted private lessons as you see them emerge (the ones who are clearly progressing, practicing etc) 

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I am leery of group lessons of any kind because the group, by its nature, includes a variety of skill levels. Often the group time focuses on those farther behind AND my dc and others tend to check out unless the focus is on them. You have a lot of teaching experience, so perhaps this isn't a problem in your classes!

I like individual lessons with occasional group lessons.

DS has continued online lessons primarily for Covid safety reasons but also because both he and i are really enjoying not having to commute (10 minutes) to his lessons! Perhaps you will have similarly motivated students.

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My kids did Musikgarten group piano classes for several years (full three year program for my oldest, two years for my youngest), and honestly, there were significant advantages to the group lessons, at least for my older kid.  The social component inspired them to practice and was motivating from a need to keep up with peers standpoint.  I don't think my oldest would have progressed nearly as quickly in individual lessons, and the social interaction was fun for my then homeschooled kid.  

My younger one, in retrospect, was a terrible fit for the group lessons.  

I like the idea of offering both, honestly.  

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I have a college music student that came up through a large music program playing piano (eventually adding voice and guitar).  I also have a 16 year old advanced violinist.   They both did group toddler and preschool classes along the lines of kindermusik, etc.  And I cannot over emphasize how well that set both my kids up to be successful in private lessons.  They learned skills like rhythm, copy cat, singing, marching in rhythms, intro to instruments, etc.   So I might offer pre-private group class in a like a 4-7 age range (or whatever would work for your studio demographics) emphasizing the goal would be transitioning to private lessons when a child showed readiness.  But then I'd offer 30 minute private lessons to those kids when they were ready.   

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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That's one reason why I was thinking small groups might be good-it would give a small group of people to interact with regularly. 

 

I don't plan not to offer private lessons-the question is, would a discount at the level I can afford to offer be worth potentially breaking up your homeschool day for? I know we did piano lessons at 2:30 on Thursday for years, and the reason was that it was late enough that it generally didn't interfere with homeschooling, but it left the after school hours free for the piano teacher's students who were in school-but there are only so many 2:30s in the week!

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I would be uncomfortable with group lessons due to covid, but if the classes were for siblings, I think it would be great!  Everyone having their lesson at the same time would be sweet!  I would totally be on board.

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I dare say it depends on the student and the situation as to what situation would work best for any given family.  When my children were young we preferred group classes because the main focus was for them in a group activity and the level we were looking for was on an introductory basis.  We wished them to be exposed to a variety of instruments, learn some basics such as rhythm, basic note reading and so forth.  Once they moved into actually playing an instrument, they moved into private classes because they were supposed to focus on the lesson and not the other kids.  For three of my children music was only an extracurricular activity, part of a general education.  My youngest though is a serious musician (was just accepted into university as a music (composition) major) and music was always part of her curriculum.  For her we preferred classes during school hours, for my boys afternoons would have been better because elective school time was spent on math/science/technology classes.

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Other, because yes to private lessons but 30 minutes seems really short to me. Our music lessons were always 45 to 60 minutes, usually the full hour. I would have been less likely to go anywhere, at any time, for something that lasts half an hour. 

Timewise, I probably would have done almost any time in the very early grades, through third maybe, then one o'clock after that, and nothing until two o'clock for late middle and high school. That's a general rule of thumb that I would have broken for something I felt was exceptional, but not for standard level activities. 

I would not have done group classes at those percentages of a private lesson. 

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1 minute ago, Junie said:

I would be uncomfortable with group lessons due to covid, but if the classes were for siblings, I think it would be great!  Everyone having their lesson at the same time would be sweet!  I would totally be on board.

I won't be offering indoor group lessons again, except maybe for siblings, until after kids can be vaccinated. I am offering a bucket drumming class outdoors again this summer. I'm mostly looking towards the future. I currently have a few sets of sibs that have back to back lessons, where I have one sibling do theory or other activities while the other is in their lesson. 

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I will say we always did mid afternoon lessons as homeschoolers.  Our start time was always like in the 2 to 3 pm range.  We never got a discount though, so I don't even think you need to offer a significant discount at all for that to be appealing to homeschoolers.  

When my kids started private lessons they were 30 minutes between the ages of about 4 and 8 or so.  I actually think that amount of focused time is perfect for a young beginner.  

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4 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I will also say-the "before 3:00" discount would be maybe 10% or so. I can't reasonably go any higher unless I raise rates for everyone else first!!

I would have been happy to get 10% off if the time worked well for me, but it would not have motivated me to take an inconvenient time (and we had a limited budget for sure). Two o'clock for my fourth-grader one day a week, that I might have done and been glad for the discount. I would not have taken a morning slot for sure. 

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2 minutes ago, katilac said:

Other, because yes to private lessons but 30 minutes seems really short to me. Our music lessons were always 45 to 60 minutes, usually the full hour. I would have been less likely to go anywhere, at any time, for something that lasts half an hour. 

Timewise, I probably would have done almost any time in the very early grades, through third maybe, then one o'clock after that, and nothing until two o'clock for late middle and high school. That's a general rule of thumb that I would have broken for something I felt was exceptional, but not for standard level activities. 

I would not have done group classes at those percentages of a private lesson. 

I teach at a community rec center. If I set my price based on hour lessons, I would be far and away the most expensive program in the catalog. I do have a lot of students who move to longer lessons once they get past beginning stages. 

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5 minutes ago, katilac said:

I would have been happy to get 10% off if the time worked well for me, but it would not have motivated me to take an inconvenient time (and we had a limited budget for sure). Two o'clock for my fourth-grader one day a week, that I might have done and been glad for the discount. I would not have taken a morning slot for sure. 

 

So maybe the answer is to offer a discount for "matinee lessons" starting at, say, 2:00, 2:30, or 3:00, and offer groups at, say, 1:00, and see what happens. 

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I actually would have somewhat liked morning lessons, because it would have been an incentive to get everyone up, dressed, out the door, and focused by a certain time rather than the always tempting "loll around in our pajamas and take our time getting started with school."  A morning lesson could actually have enhanced our school day productivity.  

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Just now, Dmmetler said:

I teach at a community rec center. If I set my price based on hour lessons, I would be far and away the most expensive program in the catalog. I do have a lot of students who move to longer lessons once they get past beginning stages. 

Can people book two 30-minute lessons? 

Also, I wanted to change a previous answer about not taking group lessons at that level of discount, bc I didn't quite catch the time differences. I would have considered either of those, and my dd actually did small group lessons at around 6 & 7. As she got older, I would have considered it in addition to, not instead of, private lessons. Classroom management and expectations would have been a huge factor for me; my kids still talk about how they were the only ones in a certain group of friends who didn't take homeschool tae kwon do, because the instructors let them goof off and be disrespectful, and I wasn't having that, lol. I certainly wasn't paying for it. 

I mention that because it would have really caught my attention if a teacher marketed her class that way (student expectations, etc). 

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2 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

So maybe the answer is to offer a discount for "matinee lessons" starting at, say, 2:00, 2:30, or 3:00, and offer groups at, say, 1:00, and see what happens. 

I honestly don't think you need to offer a discount for those time slots at all. Many homeschoolers will be happy to just get the lesson done and get back home before traffic hits, y'know? 

I'd start without the matinee discount, offer the groups earlier, and see what happens. I do think you could go earlier than one o'clock for younger groups. 

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3 minutes ago, katilac said:

Can people book two 30-minute lessons? 

Also, I wanted to change a previous answer about not taking group lessons at that level of discount, bc I didn't quite catch the time differences. I would have considered either of those, and my dd actually did small group lessons at around 6 & 7. As she got older, I would have considered it in addition to, not instead of, private lessons. Classroom management and expectations would have been a huge factor for me; my kids still talk about how they were the only ones in a certain group of friends who didn't take homeschool tae kwon do, because the instructors let them goof off and be disrespectful, and I wasn't having that, lol. I certainly wasn't paying for it. 

I mention that because it would have really caught my attention if a teacher marketed her class that way (student expectations, etc). 

Absolutely. I just don't post it that way in the catalog, because, honestly, for beginners 30 minutes is enough, and by the time they get to the point that they need longer lessons, we have a relationship and can discuss it together.

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Two of my children have taken private piano lessons, starting about age 7 or 8 years old.  I would have loved to have a daytime discount, even a small one.  Our previous teacher expected homeschool students to take the daytime slots.  But she did not offer any discount.  Some years it worked easily, other years it didn't.  But I always resented the expectation that we were more flexible than any other family.

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Every other week lessons, while not as effective as weekly lessons, can sometimes allow families on a budget to have access to lessons that they otherwise would not be able to afford (but you still keep your hourly rate as a teacher). One of my kids does this currently with a dearly-loved teacher; the teacher said that frequency could work if we could meet him online at 8am, so we do. 😉 (Lessons were in person until teacher moved to a new city, and I'm SO THANKFUL for his continued instruction to my kiddo.)

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I would want your first option, private lessons, but small group classes are extremely popular with homeschoolers in my area. I particularly think it is popular because parents can have two kids do the same activity at the same time.

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29 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

I chose the 1-1 lesson, but would need an option for 60 minutes for my more advanced kid.

I'm kind of assuming that anyone who needs 60 minutes either a) already has a teacher or b) will ask about scheduling longer lessons and rates, since they have to contact me to schedule anyway. And if I'm not the right teacher, I'll happily tell them and refer them to someone who is likely to be a better fit. 

 

 

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We did 2:30pm private lessons in the past just to get the before 3pm discount. It was a challenge some days because it did break up the school, basically ended it for us, but the discount was why we did it. You will probably get some families willing to schedule the earlier time with a discount.  This was well before high school though.  We try and schedule everything after 5pm now.  The group class would not have brought us in.

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My youngest did private piano lessons for several years. I would not have considered group lessons. 

Her lessons were always after school (private school music teacher was her instructor). That was nice as we were always through with school well before lesson time. This was helpful to me so the 'school day' wasn't interrupted by having to leave and go outside. As my kids got older, we could do this with no problem, but when they were younger, it was hard to return to do more school work once we had left the house. 

So, I think a larger discount before noon (assuming you want to have classes that early!), lesser discount from noon - three, regular cost after that. The larger discount might have encouraged me to strongly consider coming earlier and just work/schedule around the disruption of our normal school time.  

Both my kids have graduated now, so attitudes may be different now!

Edited by Bambam
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My dc has taken piano lessons during the school day for the past ten years.  We've never received a discount for taking lessons earlier in the day, but the instructors have had more flexibility for days/times of make-up lessons.

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I didn't respond to the poll because I had two thoughts. When my kids were little - like before age 8 - I would have liked the group lesson and in the mid-morning or mid-day would have been good. However, with Covid, I doubt I would have been willing. After about age 8 though, private lessons for sure and the time of day discount - even a small one - would have been nice.

 

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15 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I didn't respond to the poll because I had two thoughts. When my kids were little - like before age 8 - I would have liked the group lesson and in the mid-morning or mid-day would have been good. However, with Covid, I doubt I would have been willing. After about age 8 though, private lessons for sure and the time of day discount - even a small one - would have been nice.

 

I'm not planning to offer group lessons until kids can be vaccinated for COVID. I have done one group percussion class last fall, and have one on the schedule for summer, but that can easily be done outside, or in the gym with the doors and windows open if the weather is too bad. 

 

I'm thinking I'll offer a time of day discount for this fall, and then go from there. I'd really like to eventually offer groups for new beginners simply because so much of what we do at the beginning CAN easily be done in a small group. Things like "Here are 8 mini erasers. put one on each C-go!!!" 

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I'm actively looking for daytime lessons for my kids.  I currently have 2 kids who I would put in lessons, but I'll have two more coming up.  I would also like to take lessons.  It would be so convenient for me to be able to bring my family in and do an afternoon lessons all in one go, and of course a 10% tuition break would be awesome.  I probably wouldn't do group lessons, but that's because I have dubious experiences with groups of homeschoolers.

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Why can't you offer both options? Group and private discounted before 3:00. Also, look to see if any co ops or arts center nearby offer home school classes where you can either teach or advertise. 

 

 

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On 4/3/2021 at 3:46 PM, Dmmetler said:

That's one reason why I was thinking small groups might be good-it would give a small group of people to interact with regularly. 

I don't plan not to offer private lessons-the question is, would a discount at the level I can afford to offer be worth potentially breaking up your homeschool day for? I know we did piano lessons at 2:30 on Thursday for years, and the reason was that it was late enough that it generally didn't interfere with homeschooling, but it left the after school hours free for the piano teacher's students who were in school-but there are only so many 2:30s in the week!

Group stuff is mixed--some families flake, sometimes the kids socialize way too much, etc. But my kids have done band and choir with some built-in socializing at a rate that is less money than individual lessons, and that has been fine. But then they have to do private lessons for their instrument on top of the band to progress.

On 4/3/2021 at 3:56 PM, kristin0713 said:

As a musician myself, I would prefer private lessons and I would not expect a huge discount.  I would appreciate the ability to schedule before the after school rush and any discount would be a bonus in my mind.

Our teacher has very reasonable rates already, so the discount was not a factor for us either.

On 4/3/2021 at 4:02 PM, Dmmetler said:

I teach at a community rec center. 

I strongly suggest scheduling near times that other stuff is going on for homeschoolers if the rec center offers a lot of homeschool options--this lets families do one-stop stuff--the 6 y.o. in dance, the 10 year old in music lessons, the 8 year old in swim lessons, whatever.

Also, if there is a place nearby for the sibs to do schoolwork, that makes it so much easier--even a table and chairs in a hallway or a nearby lounge can make it easier (and it will get older kids used to using bits of time in college--there is so much lounge study time between classes!).

On 4/3/2021 at 4:12 PM, katilac said:

I honestly don't think you need to offer a discount for those time slots at all. Many homeschoolers will be happy to just get the lesson done and get back home before traffic hits, y'know? 

I'd start without the matinee discount, offer the groups earlier, and see what happens. I do think you could go earlier than one o'clock for younger groups. 

I agree.

A multi-sibling discount is probably as attractive or more so than a discount for time slots.

Also, if you are good with kids who are quirky, letting that word get out is helpful. My kids' teacher is very good with students who have difficulties--both of my kids have a fair amount of innate musical ability that may or may not come out depending on the teacher. One has some physical issues that sometimes interfere, but his teacher works around those. He's seriously considering music therapy as a career (though he's young enough to change his mind), so I am super grateful his teacher was willing to make things work for him. When he started playing piano in early elementary, his hypermobile fingers did not have the stability to press keys without collapsing on themselves, and she worked with it. Is he going to be a seriously competitive musician? Probably not, but he enjoys it, enjoys people, and can probably major in music therapy if he adopts an in-demand instrument. Anyway, music has enriched both my kids' lives, and not just any teacher would've been a good fit.

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9 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Group stuff is mixed--some families flake, sometimes the kids socialize way too much, etc. But my kids have done band and choir with some built-in socializing at a rate that is less money than individual lessons, and that has been fine. But then they have to do private lessons for their instrument on top of the band to progress.

Our teacher has very reasonable rates already, so the discount was not a factor for us either.

I strongly suggest scheduling near times that other stuff is going on for homeschoolers if the rec center offers a lot of homeschool options--this lets families do one-stop stuff--the 6 y.o. in dance, the 10 year old in music lessons, the 8 year old in swim lessons, whatever.

Also, if there is a place nearby for the sibs to do schoolwork, that makes it so much easier--even a table and chairs in a hallway or a nearby lounge can make it easier (and it will get older kids used to using bits of time in college--there is so much lounge study time between classes!).

I agree.

A multi-sibling discount is probably as attractive or more so than a discount for time slots.

Also, if you are good with kids who are quirky, letting that word get out is helpful. My kids' teacher is very good with students who have difficulties--both of my kids have a fair amount of innate musical ability that may or may not come out depending on the teacher. One has some physical issues that sometimes interfere, but his teacher works around those. He's seriously considering music therapy as a career (though he's young enough to change his mind), so I am super grateful his teacher was willing to make things work for him. When he started playing piano in early elementary, his hypermobile fingers did not have the stability to press keys without collapsing on themselves, and she worked with it. Is he going to be a seriously competitive musician? Probably not, but he enjoys it, enjoys people, and can probably major in music therapy if he adopts an in-demand instrument. Anyway, music has enriched both my kids' lives, and not just any teacher would've been a good fit.

I get a lot of kids with LD and ADHD. There is another teacher in my area who is awesome with kids, especially tween/teen boys, on the spectrum and does group classes that basically double as social skills sessions, so I refer those students to her. 

 

There have been homeschool art classes in the past, although COVID stopped a lot of the group classes. 

 

I actually have one teen now who does her Algebra 2 while her sister is in her lesson, and then trades off (older sister does the driving. I think I've seen mom twice all semester). Fortunately, I've also tutored math, so I've occasionally answered a quick question to get her unstuck. 

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I'm also considering doing the teacher certification for these this summer, and adding them once COVID leaves. I love teaching winds, and they're a lot more cost effective than the full sized models. Of course, that could be because they are just plain super cute...

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