The Business of Teaching Music

“Sandi made a huge difference in my life. At a time when I needed guidance and craved confidence, she was instrumental in giving me both. I feel I was extraordinarily lucky to have her as a teacher, and more importantly, a life-long friend. Enjoy the book, folks. You're in good hands.”
Michael Bublé, Recording Artist, Singer

photo of Michael Buble

The Business of Teaching Music
The Private Studio

By Sandi Siemens In the past 40 years, respected British Columbia music teacher Sandi Siemens has learned through trial and error what it takes to run a successful private music studio. In The Business of Teaching Music – the Private Studio, she shares her secrets to creating a stable income and stress-free livelihood, while maintaining a passion and excitement for music.

Filled with practical advice and tools, this easy-to-follow guide helps music teachers do what they love while avoiding the usual frustrations of running a private studio and small business.

Author and veteran music teacher Sandi Siemens is available for speaking engagements and one-on-one consulting to individuals, music organizations, conferences, master classes, and music programs.

The Business of Teaching Music - Book


Purchase at Mayfair Publishing

Also available at Long & McQuade stores across Canada and USA.

Seven Secrets for the Private Music Teacher

  1. Finding students can be easy. While it may seem a daunting process to build a private teaching business, The Business of Teaching Music provides the reader with proven strategies for finding students.
  2. Teaching as a business. Just like any successful business, teaching music privately requires detailed record-keeping and a manageable business plan. First and foremost, however, you must view yourself as a “working professional.” With the plan found within this book, attention to detail and the right attitude, the “business” of teaching music can be exciting and rewarding.
  3. Staying on track is critical. As a professional, you need to understand and maintain control of your teaching business. To do this, you’ll need workable policies to address issues such as the timely payment of fees, the loaning out of books (and getting them back) and dealing with missed lessons. The Business of Teaching Music addresses these issues, and many others, clearly and concisely.
  4. Achieving financial stability. Many musicians find it difficult to put the mechanisms in place to run a studio efficiently and be able to earn a living that can be counted on. Sandi’s principle regarding fees differs dramatically from that of other private music teachers - but is the reason she has been able to create a stable, reliable income for 30 years.
  5. Solving the typical problems and frustrations. These everyday challenges can be a significant cause of aggravation and dissatisfaction for the private studio teacher. For example, because the lessons are taught out of a private home, many students and parents view the teacher’s business differently than they do a commercial business. The book includes tips for day-to-day operations as well as solutions to the common problems and frustrations that plague studio teachers.
  6. Organization of Studio Performance Events. Studio performances can be time-consuming and costly for the private teacher. The author presents a detailed road map on all aspects of holding a recital, master class and concert. The reader is guided, step-by-step, from conception to completion of each event. The last chapter provides practical cost-saving advice.
  7. The right tools. Forms are helpful in keeping records and communicating with parents and students, but they can be time-consuming to set up. The Business of Teaching Music appendix contains a generous volume of helpful forms that can be adapted or used as is. The spiral binding was especially chosen to assist with photocopying these forms.

“Hooray for Sandi, she has taken her years of experience and created a manual for others to follow. This is a must “How To” read for anyone who wants to get into the private music business.”

Dennis Goin Dennis Goin, Ed.D.
Senior Engagement Leader
John Kotter’s 8 Step Leading Change Model
Dennis’ full testimonial

“This book is a must for anyone setting up a private music studio for the first time. It provides professional solutions to common problems inherent in the “business” of teaching music. The appendix alone is a gift and will save many hours of organization.”

Arlene McIntyre Arlene McIntyre, B. Mus.
NATS emeritus

Teacher of Singing

“What makes this book a standout is that on every page, Sandi clearly defines the boundaries that determine the efficient and rewarding operation of a professional music studio.”

Elizabeth Brodovitch Elizabeth Brodovitch,
B.A. Honors, M.A., ARCT

Elizabeth’s full testimonial

“This book is a perfect tool and step by step plan to organize a studio, and take a professional approach to teaching. A great addition to my Music Teacher's library.”

Elaine Lindbjerg Elaine Lindbjerg
Voice Teacher
Elaine’s full testimonial