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Reflections and Updates

Five years ago was when I decided to start, or at least attempt, a launch at opening a piano studio. I had just left a terrible, horrible job (that story is reserved for another blog post), and part of the healing process included a restoration of music in my life.

For the first three years of this business, I treated the studio more as a side hustle, if you will. I worked either part or full time for other employers and took some evenings to teach a small amount of students.

It was in late 2016, however, when I decided that it was time to mark the beginnings of a transition and make a significant effort into becoming a fully self-sustaining operation. At that point, I was starting only with 3 students. I'm thrilled to say that as of right now, I have 40 students on my weekly schedule.

Thanks mostly to the referrals given out by my first piano parents, I have been able to grow and develop not only my business, but myself as a small business owner. So to my piano parents that continue to refer me, I thank you!!

So as these parents have invested in my business in allowing their children to learn the basics of piano and beyond from me, I am now finding ways to give back to them in the form of professional development. Here are a few updates as to how I am working to become a better instructor now and in the future:

1. As of September 11, 2018, Cate Bryan Piano Studio will finally become a Steinway studio.

There will be two pianos in my music room: an upright for my beginning students and then my 1917 Model M Steinway, en route from Colorado for my older students. Investing in such a forever piano such as a Steinway will help my students understand the difference between a good piano and an excellent piano and the care involved in a stellar piano.

2. I am now a Music Teachers National Association / Iowa Music Teachers Association Member

Being a part of these associations will allow me to develop my skills as an instructor. Not only that, the Iowa Music Teachers Association offer yearly competitions for students, which will allow my students the opportunity to compete if they wish and add a new level to their weekly instruction.

3. I am continuing to develop and increase my Skype piano lessons.

I am looking to increase my Skype piano lesson teaching, as only 3 of my students are utilizing this technology. I want to be able to continue to provide the piano lesson opportunity to anyone across the United States. Right now I'm teaching students in Idaho and Maryland. We've been able to find the right camera angles for instruction and ways to communicate properly despite the miles. I think that Skype lessons are a strong part of the future, and I would appreciate any referrals to students that live across the country.

4. My after-school availability is booked full with 40 students, but I do have availability in the mornings / early afternoons.

So for students or adults that have unique school / work schedules, such as homeschooling or working from home, I have the flexibility to teach at an earlier time to accommodate those unique schedules. As an example, I teach an adult at 8:30 in the mornings on Wednesdays, followed up with a homeschooling family from 9:15 to 10:15. So if you or someone you know is interested, please contact me and suggest a time that would work with your specialized schedule.

I could write more and more about the ideas and future plans I have not only for my students' education, but for my own education, but these blog post is already fairly long. :)

Suffice it to say, I am very humbled and honored to see this studio grow in such a short amount of time, and I am very excited for the future and where this studio, and my students, will go and grow!

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