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The One Year Mark

The studio is celebrating the one year mark, as of this past March!

Granted, I've been teaching lessons part-time since college, and teaching off and on over the past five years since my husband and I moved to Waukee, but I can officially say that this is my first year of full-time teaching.

I was not planning on full-time teaching, well, to be honest, ever. The goal was to teach lessons in college in order to pay my own way through school. Post-graduation, I would get the "dream job" to pay off my college debt and start saving for a house. Little did I know that the "dream job" was to be working from home and teaching music lessons to the next generation.

The past decade was spent working between an insurance firm and the state and federal government. All jobs involved helped prepare me for running my own business, but were rarely, if ever, flexible. The best boss that I ever had (one who was full of integrity and honesty) during that decade of work was only around one year before retiring. I knew then that there was something wrong if I was only ever truly happy one out of ten years of work. Something had to change.

So the plan in October 2016 was to work from home for a start up company while I slowly but surely built up my own business, the piano studio. I started out with 3 students. By March of 2018, I had grown to about 15 students. I was at this point planning to hang onto the "day job" for a few more months and then quit in fall of 2018 when the next school year began, but other plans had been made for me. The start up company ran out of money, and the company dissolved and I was laid off in the middle of March 2018.

This surprise layoff gave me the motivation to work harder to obtain and grow my studio goal of 45 students. I wanted to be in control of my own destiny and was thriving on the flexibility of being a small business owner. By the end of 2018, I had grown to a studio of 40. Today, I have the blessing of 45 students that I teach in a given week.

Let me be clear: I do not take the students or their families for granted in entrusting me with such a job. The best part of teaching is that I see improvement every week in my student's work, thanks to their dedication and practice with the support of their families. How special is that?!

So in tallying the accomplishments of the past year, I'm happy to say that the studio has:

- grown to a total of 45 students (5 through Skype)

- allowed me to join the Iowa Music Teachers Association to further my pedagogical education

- granted me the opportunity to serve as Vice-President of the Des Moines Music Teachers Association for the 2019-2020 year

- increased its social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a blog through a new website

- given me the time to complete and perform my song cycle composition The Aeneid Series

So what's in store for next year? A few goals I have in mind:

- create summer camp curriculum as a supplement to piano lessons during June and July

- continue to grow my Skype studio to provide flexibility for those families with unique schooling schedules

- continue compositional work for both secular and sacred music

- continue to educate myself so I can be at my best in teaching each lesson to its full potential

Once again, I would not be where I am at today without the outstanding support and recommendations from my piano families. This blog post is dedicated to you all!

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