how do you schedule your students? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I am interested in learning about how some teachers out there create their own schedules. Do you have a certain teaching hour load that you carry or a certain number of students you try not to rise above? How many hours do you teach straight without a break? How do you keep yourself healthy and still teach as many students as you can? What's the point of diminishing returns - when you're so tired from giving your all to students that your students begin to get less?

-- Sandy DiIulio (, January 21, 2002


Since I also go to college full-time I only teach from 3-7 Tues- Thurs. This gives me enough time for homework, etc. but I also put in four hours at a time. Since my lessons are half-hour I just try to get understanding of at least one concept - if it takes the whole lesson then thats what we focus on. Also, if you're having recitals I would recommend 2 months in advance to start looking at songs so they have adequate time to feel confident in that piece. Just try having fun and keep a healthy level of insanity so you can come out of those hours unstressed and happy!

-- Jasmyn Bradley (, January 22, 2002.

I also am a very busy person. I have a husband, two young boys, an adjunct college position and a direct sales business. I consider teaching to be my primary business, however. With this kind of load, organization and limitations are musts.

I arrange my college schedule so that I am there just two days a week. I teach straight through with only a very small break each day there. I set my home schedule to teach Tuesday through Thursday from 3:15 til 6:15 and on Friday from 3-5:30. I teach 45 minute lessons. I don't deal much with the bookkeeping end of things because many of my students pay up front for the whole year.

Each August 1, I send out a letter that asks the parents to indicate both their payment plan choice and their first three choices of lesson times. I plan my teaching schedule from their preferences. Oddly enough, most seem to get their first choice. The others go with their second or third choices. This year I had one who couldn't fit in anywhere and it became clear that she was simply so overloaded with other activities that she decided to give preference to them.

I could expand my studio if I wanted to, but I really enjoy being done early enough to make dinner and spend time with my family. I also like teaching only 15 students at home. I feel like I have enough variety of students within the studio and that I have enough time to plan adequately for them.

If you want more students but don't want to teach in the evening, consider these possibilities: homeschoolers, adults, preschoolers or securing a position at a local community college. My own teacher in my school days had an arrangement with the school that allowed us to get out of class for our lessons. She only taught during the school day and had a full studio of 40 students!

You are wise to think ahead about the stress and strain of too heavy a load. I find that the balance for me comes with teaching some college and some pre-college. You will have to find what works for you. Good luck!

-- Arlene Steffen (, January 29, 2002.

Since i am a full time college student I dont have a lot of time to schedule different hours. Whenever I call my students I tell them the free spots that I have and then they get to choose., I make it clear that I dont have a lot of hours so basically they have to work with what I offer. Of course I could not be this way my first semester, but once they got to know me it was easier to set times that worked best for me.

-- gabriela fernandez (, April 20, 2003.

Thank you for a very comprehensive insightful question. I think that the answer is unique to each individual teacher. How is your health? How much time do you feel comfortable designating just for teaching piano? Husband? Children? Studio accomodations? Time to relax? Time for you own piano study? Pets? Recreation? Everyone goes to the bathroom and gets a drink of water once in a while. The fact that you are asking this question says to me that you need to step back and ask a lot of questions of yourself. Sometimes writing the questions and answers down helps and it also helps to share with a trusted mentor. Good Luck!

-- Mary Ann Templeton (, September 12, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ