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Vocal Coach Yvonne DeBandi, Creator of the Vocal Training Method - SingSMART, Not Hard TM

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Creating a SUCCESSFUL Vocal Studio - Free Tips
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Free Teaching Tips
Creating a Successful Vocal Studio

Your vocal studio is a business and requires skills above and beyond teaching. You will be more successful with effective organization and set policies. Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.

  • Require a curriculum.
    Determine which curriculum materials best suit your training style and require purchase with the first lesson. This requirement demands commitment from the student and provides needed structure. Every class has a textbook - singing should not be an exception.
  • Require payment in advance. Absolutely no exceptions.
    First Lesson: Lesson cost plus your curriculum materials.
    Following Lessons: Monthly payment by check or credit card on file. This clause may seem harsh or difficult to enforce at first, but it is VERY important to the success of your studio. Don't allow "no shows" to run your business into the ground. Weed out qualified students from those that are not committed, save yourself a lot of administration time, and enable yourself to concentrate on teaching instead of collecting money and making appointments by requiring payment in advance.
  • If possible, hire a business manager or assistant.
    Having someone else handling the money and arranging the lesson times for you will make your students appreciate your time and take scheduled appointments more seriously. It also makes it much easier to enforce policies you have in place. If you are unable to hire someone, schedule your administration time and take care of it the same time every week. It makes things easier and saves you time.
  • Do NOT provide free lessons/ interviews for "possible" new clients.
    Many students or parents may ask to meet you prior to signing up for lessons. Unless you are a vocal school with an open house opportunity, do not waste your time and never give a lesson away for free. Your time is much too valuable and you have a light bill to pay too. Speak to the student/parent briefly on the telephone and refer them to your web site for more information.
  • Require at least 48 hours for rescheduling. No cancellations.
    Rescheduling exceptions only for medical or family emergencies.
  • Screen your students.
    Set yourself up for success. If a match feels uncomfortable (for any reason - age, vocal challenges personality), or if you feel like they will not be committed to your class, refer them to another teacher.
  • Advertise in your local phone book.
    You might be lucky enough to be the only one listed.
  • Advertise your studio online.
    In today's world, you must have a web site, whether it is a dedicated web site for just you or a directory listing such as those found at http://vocal-coaches.com. If possible, put as much information as you can on your site so that when students or parents ask questions you can answer them briefly...and then refer them to your web site. It will save you many hours of answering the same questions over and over and over again.
  • Advertise with local school newsletters and network with other local singing teachers.
    Most choral directors and school music teachers have very little time left over for private student training and would welcome a network opportunity or another teacher in their corner. Work together as a team and everyone wins!
  • Network with local Karaoke Stores.
    Many times these establishments do not have an affiliation with a qualified vocal training, but host numerous talent competitions. This is a great way to get more exposure and meet new students.
  • Be prepared to train various styles of music.
    Many vocal teachers limit themselves to old school training and classical music. While every student can benefit from this type of training, many students are intimidated by classical arias and opera music, while others have no interest in singing music other than what they hear on the radio. Singing is singing. Teaching all styles of music will not only open your studio up to many more singers, but will have your singers be more well-rounded musicians.
  • Market to current student parents.
    Parents will purchase everything in your training tool library one item at a time if they know it will help their child. Display your available tools in your vocal studio where parents can see them and encourage questions. Give qualified answers. Don't sell them what they don't need.
  • Supplement your income.
    There are many training tools that can help you teach more effectively and enhance the student's training experience. These tools include metronomes/tuners, vocal health items and additional vocal warm-up material to further their education.

Running a vocal training studio or teaching voice lessons as a career can be easy....or it can be difficult. Use these tips and organized curriculums to TeachSMART, not Hard! For support, please visit our help desk and submit your question to SingSMART Vocal Studios.

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