When you start piano studio it is intimidating to get to the teaching part as quickly as possible. However, owning a piano studio is very different from working for somebody else. Sooner or later each owner learns the importance of the policies. What are your piano studio policies for?
Playing the piano. What a remarkable skill to have! However, students are up for a big haul when they decide to learn it. It takes years to master. With the big commitment comes a big investment of Money and Time accompanied by life in general. And those are three major categories of policies you would be crafting for your piano studio Money, Time and Force Majeure.
To post or not to post tuition fees? There are two schools of thoughts and if you have doubts it is normal! We believe in transparency. Posting tuition fees is essential to funnel the right customers in. Students (or more often their parents) will appreciate the openness. This may also include fees for registration, books, and recitals. Transparency helps tremendously with financial planning. Policies must have answers to all money questions. Consider listing the methods of payment, and the policies for the cancellation and refund scenarios. Add conditions for more than one sibling joining!
Just like Money, we never have enough of it. In the beginning, when there is very little revenue coming in, consider manual scheduling. We will write about the automated scheduling in the near future!
Registration cycle will determine when the payments are collected. Once a month, term/season or a year. Shorter registration cycles create bigger overheads for scheduling and invoicing if done manually. Remember that changing the registration cycle later is possible, but hard and painful. Pick the duration of the cycle wisely, document and stick to it.
Another point of contention is usually the time of the lesson itself. The working hours, the duration of the lessons, the time in between. When it comes to teaching kids piano study is not the only activity they have, there is also dancing, hockey, soccer, and many others. Scheduling for all those activities is their parents’ dreaded reality, not yours! Unless it is your competitive advantage stay away from personalized schedules.
Things happen in life. Sickness, lateness, traffic. Getting last day or even last minute requests to re-schedule, move or make-up lesson is not unusual. Do not wait for those to happen, document the scenarios and the outcomes as the studio policies. Add a disclaimer that sick students will not be accepted to avoid the spread of infection. And finally, the plan of action if you cannot make it.
When you start piano studio it is good to be a little bit paranoid about the ‘what-ifs’. Outline the worst-case scenarios as studio policies. Money, Time and Force Majeure are three major categories. Document them well ahead of first registration, make them a live document and constantly update when something new comes up. Enjoy your piano teaching experience!
We have put together a draft of what the piano policies of a small home-based piano studio might look like. Please download it, modify to your liking or copy/paste the content to your website. It is all yours now!