Beavercreek Piano Teachers Association

Passing our love of music onto our children through piano education.

How to Organize Your Studio Space

Organizing your Studio can be challenging and involve more than just your music. First, you need to make sure you have a defined space designated for just teaching purposes. This helps to separate work from home (although most of us work during our "off" hours!) and keeps your personal space just that. Some of you may have your Studio set up in your living room or spare bedroom or other converted space which requires students to enter your home. If you don't want this you may rent a building space, but this is usually more costly. Make sure you design your space to have a good walking flow from the door. Have a waiting area for students who arrive early and/or parents. Install coat racks to keep student items off the furniture or floor.

Organizing your music will obviously take the most work, but will be well worth it. One way to organize is by type of music, such as: classical, pop, movie, method, etc... This allows you to go to the specific type of song you want. Another suggestion is to organize by level. This saves time during lessons when searching for a new piece, but takes more work to set up. Categories might include: pre-primary, primary I, II, III, Elementary I, II, III, Intermediate etc... You might also do a combination of these and organize by level within a category. This is by far the most organized and efficient during lesson, but more work to set up and maintain.

An often overlooked area of organizing your Studio, is student records and the business part such as receipts, dues, books etc... Keep a file for each student to show pieces used in recitals, festival or guild categories, and attendance record. You may also consider putting any disciplinary problems you've faced with the student, that way if you have to dismiss them you have an accurate account of the difficulties or action taken. These student records will help you stay up to date and make it much easier if the student moves to send their file to their new teacher. The new teacher will be forever grateful and amazed at your organization!
Business records are needed for all teachers regardless of whether it is declared a business for tax purposes or not. This should include any maintenance you have done to your piano (including tunings), cost for recitals, cost for new music, or books and cd's used for teaching examples. Also remember to keep track of the dues you paid to become or maintain membership in any professional music organizations, cost for attending conferences or special lectures and performances. All of these records will come in handy for tax time or to demonstrate your continued pursuit of learning new things yourself.