A violin owned by Albert Einstein will go under the hammer on Friday — and experts believe it could fetch up to $150,000.
“Made for the Worlds Greatest Scientist Professor,” reads the inside label.
The instrument, dubbed Lina, was constructed by Pennsylvania cabinet maker Oscar H. Stegerr in 1933, the year the German-born Einstein decided to remain in the United States after Hitler came to power. It is being sold by Bonhams Fine Art division in New York.
Einstein reportedly played the violin often and was known to crank out Mozart while working.
“Life without playing music is inconceivable for me,” he once said. “I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music . . . I get most joy in life out of music.”
…a virtuoso was, originally, a highly accomplished musician, but by the nineteenth century the term had become restricted to performers, both vocal and instrumental, whose technical accomplishments were so pronounced as to dazzle the public.
In recent years, the term virtuoso has been overused and downgraded to include any artist who has command over their instrument. The word ‘proficient’ should suffice when describing most accomplished performers however, once in a while, a musician will come along who goes way beyond just proficient. I am reminded of the likes of Paganini, Pavarotti and Jacqueline du Pre when looking to fit this bill.
Alexander Hrustevich fits the description perfectly. There is nobody more proficient at playing the accordion than Alexander.
Ukrainian-born Alexander Hrustevich is one of the best bayanists in the world. Mr. Hrustevich is constantly invited to perform in many countries, including Poland, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Serbia, Brazil and many others. Just recently, he performed with legendary musician and composer, winner of several Grammy awards Bobby McFerrin in a sold out, three thousand audience arena in Kiev.
The very first notes will take your breath away… Alexader Hrustevich is able to play the most complicated transcriptions of violin, piano and orchestra pieces with the bayan; starting with Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra and finishing with a fragment from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” Using his ten fingers at the same time, he is able to easily play both orchestra and violin parts. For these extraordinary abilities people and critics call Mr. Hrustevich – “the man orchestra“.
As prof. David Yearsley writes about Mr. Hrustevich’s recording, which he saw on Youtube: “The small stage on which Hrustevich demonstrates his art is festooned with yellow and orange balloons and fake flower garlands. The camera is hand-held, but despite all of this, you can feel how great are this virtuoso’s gifts.” The professor also compares his interpretations of Bach Passacaglia with a pianist: “Tricky passages that the pianist divided between the two hands, Hrustevich manages with one. He revels in the virtuosic spectacle of fingers flying and sliding and contorting over buttons and in the same time picking almost every note cleanly. It’s rather like playing the Bach Passacaglia on a travel typewriter, only harder.”(The Musical Patriot).
Born in 1983, Alexander Hrustevich started to play the bayan by the age of 6. He graduated Ukraines National Academy of Music as a student of prof. Besfamilnov. Apart from his solo activity, he is also a member of the National Academy Orchestra.
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If one were to brew up the perfect storm as a metaphor for a brass soloist, the recipe would be thus:
Huge range and endurance
Sweetness of tone at all dynamic levels
Power and control
A stage presence, sense of performance and occasion
Well colleagues, Algirdas Matonis has all of these components and more.
Originally from Lithuania, Algirdas Matonis started playing euphonium at the age of eight. In 2000 he entered his first ever competition which was ‘Juozas Pakalnis Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Solo Competition’ held in Lithuania. At only 9 years old Algirdas managed to win the 8 – 13 age group. This was the beginning of his active participation in various music events.
Algirdas continued to enter and win solo competitions throughout his teenage years. 2009 was his last year as a teen competitor. He was offered to perform as a soloist with the Lithuanian Military Band at the ‘International Band and Orchestra Championships’ held in Lithuania where he received the best solo player award and performed at the prestigious ‘Siemens’ arena in front of over 5000 people at the Gala event.
In 2010 Algirdas Matonis decided that he wanted to pursue the life of a professional euphonium player. He entered the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he studied under the guidance of the legendary euphonium pioneer Steven Mead. In 2014 he got his Bachelor degree and was awarded with entry scholarship for his Master’s degree studies.
During his study years at the RNCM he kept actively performing as a soloist. Algirdas was invited to perform as a guest artist at the biggest low brass festival in the world, ITEC, in 2012 and 2014. In 2013 Algirdas won the ‘Fodens’ open solo competition in UK and received a Besson prize award. As a part of the prize he was invited to perform as a guest soloist with the only full-time professional brass band in the world, the River City Brass Band in Pittsburgh. In 2014 Algirdas did a concert tour with the band, which led to a scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a move to the U.S.A. a year later.
Since 2015 Algirdas has been living in Pittsburgh, where he started playing with River City Brass on regular basis as well as continuing his Master’s degree in music performance.
At the moment Algirdas is an actively performing soloist with various solo recitals under his belt, having performed at venues in the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Scotland, USA and Austria. Very recently he performed an opening recital in a well-recognized festival in Lithuania called “Sugrizimai”. His performance received positive reviews from music experts and critics through multiple music magazines and public media. Algirdas’ upcoming season schedule is looking extremely busy, filled with not only solo and brass band activities but also many innovative projects which will take place in the near future.
Visiting and subscribing to Algirdas’ Youtube channel is an absolute must for euphonium players and brass players in general. His insights into brass playing and presentation are inspiring and highly entertaining.
Born in Madrid, 1952. His musical training took place at the conservatories of Barcelona and Madrid, as well as in many master courses (Vilaseca-Salou, Granada, Santiago de Compostela), mainly in Piano(Manuel Carra), Violín (Hermes Kriales), Harpsichord(Genoveva Gálvez), Harmony(José Olmedo), Counterpoint and Fugue (Francisco Calés), Orchestral conducting(Enrique García Asensio and Jacques Bodmer) and Composition(Antón García Abril, Román Alís, Rodolfo Halffter and Carmelo Bernaola). In 1979 he received a grant from the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for studying at the Spanish Fine Arts Academy in Rome, where he attended the classes in Composition given by Franco Donatoni at the Santa Cecilia Academy.
En 1981 he won the First Prize in the Internacional Composition Contest First Centennial of the Orchestra of the Valencia Conservatory with the work Meeting Point. In 1986. In 1986 he won the First Prize of the Musical Composition Contest Queen Sofía, from the Ferrer Salat Foundation, with Ocnos (Orchestral Music on Poems by Luis Cernuda).
He has been commissioned by different official national and international institutions, as Spanish National Radio, Ministry for Culture, Spanish Society for Broadcasting (SER), Spanish National Orchestra, Madrid’s Cercle for Fine Arts, Cuenca’s Week of Religious Music, Community of Madrid’s Autumn Festival, Alicante’s Contemporary Music Festival, Rencontres Internationales de Musique Contemporaine de Metz (France)), Tenerife’s Symphonic Orchestra, Canarias’ Festival, Juan March Foundation, Community of Madrid’s Department of Culture, Spanish Radio Television Symphonic Orchestra, Music at Compostela, Colgate University (Hamilton, New York), Expo’ 92, Caja Madrid Foundation, Soria’s Musical Autumn, Segovia’s Chamber Music Weeks, Madrid’s Symphonic Orchestra, Galicia’s Symphonic Orchestra, Mexico’s Ministry for Culture, San Sebastian Music Festival, Community of Madrid’s Symphonic Orchestra, as well as by many national and international soloists and chamber music groups.
His works have been played in many important festivals, such as Cuenca’s Week of Religious Music, Lisbon’s Contemporary Music Meetings, La Rochelle’s International Music Festival, Cuenca’s Chamber Opera Meetings, Prix Italia 1983, International Platform of Composers (UNESCO, Paris, 1984), Alicante’s Contemporary Music Festival, Strasbourg’s Music Festival, Barcelona’s International Music Festival, Vicenza’s Music Festival(Italy), Madrid’s Autumn Festival, Madrid- Burdeos’ Biennal, Metz’s Rencontres Internatinales de Musique Contemporaine (France), Zagreb’s Musical Biennal, Granada’s International Musica and Dance Festival, Geneve’s Spanish Music Festival, Rome’s Italy-Spain Festival, La Habana’s festival, Canarias’ Festival, Oporto’s Days of Contemporary Music, Seville’s EXPO’92, Milan’s Antologia di Musica Spagnola contemporanea, the cycle A series of 20th century Spanish music at Almeida Theatre (London), Soria’s Musical Autumn, Santander’s Music festival, and the Festival COMA of the Association of Madrid’s Composers, among others. In january 1992, his Violin Concerto was played in the inaugural concert of Madrid, Cultural capital of Europe.
Likewise, he has taken part in many juries of different national and international composition and performance contests (Madrid –SGAE, Queen Sofía- Oviedo, Granada, Alcoy, Valencia, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, La Coruña, México –Rodolfo Halffter Prize-, among others).
From 1981 to 1985 he was teacher of Harmony, Counterpoint and Composition in the Conservatoy of Music at Cuenca, where he also was Secretary and, later, Director. From 1985 he was teacher of Harmony in the Royal Conservatory of Music at Madrid and, from 1992, of the Conservatory of Music Arturo Soria, also at Madrid. Between 1991 and 1993 he was chairman of harmony and Counterpoint in the High Music School Queen Sofía , of the Isaac Albéniz Foundation. In september 1991 he led the course of Composition and Analysis of the International Contemporary Music festival at Alicante, and in october 2001, along with Cristóbal Halffter, the course devoted to contemporary opera in the Conservatory of Music at Zaragoza. From 1998 he is teacher of Analysis in the High Musical Studies School at Santiago de Compostela.
In 1986 he was designated Correspondent Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Santa Isabel de Hungría (Sevilla), and in 1997, of that of Granada.
In 1989 and 1992 he was invited by different USA universities (Colgate University –Hamilton, N.Y.-, Oneanta University, Cornell University and Hunter College of N.Y.), to pronounce and introduce a series of conferences and concerts about contemporary spanish music, taking place in september 1992 the world premiere of his work Three Sonnets, commissioned by the Department of Roman Languages of Colgate University. In 1996 he was invited by the Spanish Consulate in New York and the General Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers to give master classes in the Manhattan School at New York.
In 1995 he was commissioned by the Cercle of Fine Arts of Madrid, in cooperation with the Department od Education and Culture of Madrid’s Community, to write the musical-scenic work The Strike on the Water, performed in the re-opening of the Theatre Fernando de Rojas, in september 1996.
From 1993 to 1996 he was Technical Advisor for Music and Scenic Arts of the General Subdirection of Artistic Teachings of the Ministry for Education and Science, with the aim of participating in the ellaboration of the normative developpement of the reformation of the teachings of music, dance and drama in the frame of the new Organic Law of General Regulation of the Educative System. In october 2008 he came back to this same work, and in february 2001 was designated Artistic Director of The National Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE), until nowadays. From 2005 to 2015 he was president of the Spanish Association of Youth Orchestras.
In december 2007 he led the seminary Youth Orchestras and Social Task , joining Piadeia Galiza Foundation and Spanish Association of Youth Orchestras, around the National System of Youth Orchestras of Venezuela, with the presence of its founder, Dr. José Antonio Abreu.
In november 1996 he was awarded with the National Prize of Music of the Ministry for Education and Culture. Since october 2001 until october 2008 he was member of the Music Council of the National Institute for Music and Scenic Arts (INAEM). In 2007 he was designated member of the Artistic Council of the National Auditory of Musica of Madrid.
In january 2000, his Piano Concerto was performed for the first time in the 16th Canarias’ Music Festival. In october of the same year his opera D.Q. (Don Quijote in Barcelona), with libretto by Justo Navarro, scenic direction by La Fura dels Baus and scenography by Enric Miralles, had its world premiere in Barcelona’s Liceo Great Thatre. In may 2001, its DVD recording was awarded with the 16th Prize to the best DVD of an opera production by the magazine CD Compact. In november 2001, D.Q. was awarded with the Prize Daniel Montorio of the Spanish General Society of Authosr and Publishers to the best score of a lyric work first peformed in Spain during the year 2000.
In november 2001, the Tokyo String Quartet performed, in the Chamber Hall of Madrid’s National Auditory, the world premiere of his string quartet Clémisos y Sustalos, commissioned by that chamber group. In may 2003 the sopranist version of Four Sonnets by Shakespeare, commissioned by Madrid’s Symphonic Orchestra, had its world premiere in Madrid.
In may 2003, Sevilla University and the Central Theatre devoted him their Concert à la carte, including the world premiere of the soprano version of Four Sonnets by Shakespeare, and the definitive instrumentation of Ocnos.
In may 2004 he finished the composition of the string quartet The seven last words of Jesus Christ in the Cross, commissioned by Caja Madrid Foundation for the cycle Haydn at Cádiz, where it was performed by the Brodsky Quartet. In october 2004, the Sonata for violin and piano, commissioned by the Spanish Embassy at Bulgary in commemoration of the Hispanity Day, was performed for the first time in the Bulgarian Hall, at Sofia.
In january 2006, Málaga’s Filarmonic Orchestra devoted him its 12th Cycle of Contemporary Music, made up with nine symphonic and chamber concerts, in which 18 works by him were performed, including the premiere of Sleeping Notes, for harp, and the Violin Concerto, with Ara Malikian as soloist, along with the release of an ample biographical study written by José Luis Temes, as well as a monographic CD with five orchestral works.
In may 2006 he was part of the jury of the 2nd Iberoamerican Composition Prize Rodolfo Halffter, which took place in Mexico D.F., along with Mario Lavista, Mario Davidovsky, Roberto Sierra and Tristan Murail.
In december 2006, the Community of Madrid’s Orchestra and Choir, conducted by José Ramón Encinar, performed in Madrid the premiere of Three Carols.
In july 2008 the monographic CD José Luis Turina. A Portrait opened the Collection “Contemporary spanish and lationoamerican composers” of the BBVA Foundation and the label Verso.
In august 2008, in the María Pita Square at La Coruña and before an audience of over 5.000 people, the brass and percussion section of the Galicia’s Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Victor Pablo Pérez performed the premiere of Hercules and Cronos, written in commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the granting of the title of City to La Coruña.
In april 2009 he is appointed to collaborate with Maestro José Antonio Abreu for the creation of Iberoamerican Youth Orchestra, which, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, gave its first concert in Estoril in december 2009, during the 19th Summit of Iberoamerican Chiefs of State and Government.
In january 2010, the Madrid Community Choir gives the world premiere of Ritirata notturna, written for its 25th anniversary.
In october 2012 he is object of a homage for his 60 anniversary, at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid.
In January 2013 the label Verso releases the CD José Luis Turina. Chamber music, second monographic recording devoted to his music in the collection “Contemporary spanish and latinoamerican composers” of the BBVA Foundation, including six chamber pieces performed by Plural Ensemble conducted by Fabián Panisello.
In June 2014 the label Verso releases a CD including Exequias (In memoriam Fernando Zóbel) and the Violin concerto, performed by the Córdoba Orchestra, the Ziryab Choir and Ara Malikian, conducted by José Luis Temes.
Rarely in my 40 years as a student of the trumpet have I come across a player that is primarily a musician whose playing is governed by music and not the need to impress with pyrotechnics. I have always held the opinion that 99% of the audience do not care about or even like screaming high notes and macho trumpet playing. It is the sound and musicality that communicates with the listener and Lucienne has this in spades.
Her undeniable command of the instrument allows her to channel her innate musicality and to interpret a melody as would a vocalist or string player. Simply by exploring the operatic and neapolitan song repertoire, Lucienne is bringing our beloved instrument to a new and very welcoming audience.
Lucienne’s new album, ‘The Voice of the Trumpet’ includes an eclectic array of music from Gershwin to Donizetti and demonstrates her ability to embrace a range of styles with imaginative interpretations and delivery.
In my humble opinion, Lucienne Renaudin Vary is the most refreshing player to enter the trumpet world since Sergei Nakariakov. Bravo Lucienne!
“I chose vocal music as the theme for the album because I always aim to play the trumpet as if I were singing. It was a great honour to collaborate with artists I admire; notably Erik Truffaz, who improvises in duet with me in Gershwin’s Summertime, and Rolando Villazón who suggested we record a Donizetti aria together.”
The voice of the trumpet as you’ve never heard it before in arias, jazz standards and Broadway favourites: Lucienne plays it all with panache, alongside her guest soloists and the Orchestre National de Lille conducted by Roberto Rizzi Brignoli. The album also pays tribute to Lucienne’s idol, Chet Baker, in a new arrangement of My Funny Valentine.
“Chet is a god to me. He played it and sang it, the perfect blend of voice and trumpet.”
Lucienne Renaudin Vary
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This is one of my pieces entitled ‘Romance’ that was played and recorded by the Jubilee Quartet at Lauderdale House in Highgate London in 2012. It was my contribution to an evening of music composed by members of the London Composers’ Forum.
Stephen is an impressive live performer and successful recording artist in both film and music industries. He has worked directly with Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe on background music for street scenes and scene links for Guy Ritchie’s film ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and played at the film premier at 1 Mayfair.
He is the founder member of the original Punchbowl Band and has played at innumerable private functions at the Punchbowl in Mayfair(Guy Ritchie’s pub!) and at a host of other well known London venues e.g. Black’s Club (Soho) Bortch n’ Tears (Kensington) Lobster Pot (Kennington) BBC Studios (Friday Night is Music Night)and 55 Exhibition Road (Corporate Venue)
He has also played with various bands and band combinations at weddings and corporate functions in the UK, Southern Ireland, Norway(Oslo), France (Paris) Brittany (Rennes and Nantes)Portugal (Estoril)and Bulgaria.
Stemming from his orchestral experience mainly with the Northern Ireland Studio Symphony Orchestra( first violin) current projects include ensemble arrangement and musical direction of early music of the middle Baroque period, and the composition of original pieces for string quartet.One such piece entitled ‘Romance’ was performed and recently recorded by the Jubilee Quartet.
Stephen has also written a number of pieces with an original slant (although with conventional chord structures) for wind band comprising up to 40 instruments one of which has been performed by the Lewisham Concert Band.He is a long time member of PRS/MCPS and has over fifty of his original compositions registered with them.He continues to work on new compositions in a range of styles including Classical/Celtic/Gipsy/Latin and Trad jazz.
For more information about Stephen Mulhern and contact details, visit Linkedin.
When we think of the music that defines our current youth culture, genres like hip hop, jazz and indie music come to mind. We are living in an era of autotune and lip sync where anyone or everyone can become a singer. On the other hand, classical music is probably one of the genres which many youth would be least likely to identify.
But, the notion of youth towards classical music is changing. The young superstars of any genre of music are the icons for society and so is the case with classical music. The young maestros are the icons for the youth. The young maestros, who not only are great performers, but are also imparting the rich culture and tradition of Indian Classical Music to the generation next.
Ustaad Waseem Ahmed Khan, who comes from the great lineage of traditional musicians of Agra Gharana, is one of the finest vocalist of Agra Gharana in the country currently. The musicians of the Agra Gharana play with laya, weaving in words, to make patterns around the beat. Khayal in the hands of the performers from the Agra School is a progression — from the abstract to the concrete and from the divine to the human.
All these can be seen in the singing of this maestro.He took his initial taalim from his grandfather Ustaad Ata Hussain Khan and also his father Ustaad Naseem Ahmed Khan. Later, he joined ITC Sangeet Research Academy where he took his taalim under Ustaad Shafi Ahmed Khan. Currently, he is imparting his knowledge of music to the future generation as a faculty at ITC Sangeet Research Academy.
The sweet, melodious and the divine voice Smt. Kaushiki Chakrabarty, one of the most promising classical vocalists of Patiala Gharana of this generation. The famous thumri of Patiala Gharana “Yaad Piya Ki Aaye”, Kaushiki in her unique style has not missed a chance to impress the audience with this thumri, whenever and wherever she sings.
She, born into a musical family learnt music under her father Pt. Ajay Chakrabarty who himself is a legendary vocalist. She, with her mellifluous and melodious voice and her mastery over various ragas has made the music lovers her fan across the globe. She is also regarded as the “torch bearer” of the Patiala Gharana.
A very rising Shisya of a very able guru, Pt Omkar Dadarkar shisya of Pt Ulhas Khasalkar are two such great musicians of the country who can sing the gayaki of Agra, Jaipur and Gwalior gharanas with equal ease.
Omkar Dadarkar was previously a scholar at ITC SRA and now he is also imparting his unique style of singing to the generation next. Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar has been awarded to him in 2010 for his services to the Indian Classical Music.
The Indian Classical Music is very unique. In order to truly appreciate/learn this style of music, one must have patience and a true love for musical prowess. For current youth, it’s a process to enjoy Hindustani classical music, and it takes some research to find the right songs and proper singers as well. The complexities of the art include the taal (beats), the thaat (notes specific to certain raags), and the coming together of melody, beats, and scales that take years – even decades – to master.
But, one must understand that there is no need to understand music as along as it gives you peace and happiness. There are many musicians like- Ankita Joshi, Arshad Ali Khan, Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra, Brajeswar Mukherjee who are not only great performers but are also passing the rich ethos and tradition of Indian Classical Music to the next generation. The time will soon come when people, especially the youth will have Indian Classical Music in their playlists. Because Indian Classical Music is not only a music to ears but also a music for soul.
To Conclude, Ustaad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan talking about Indian Classical Music said-“If in every home one child was taught Hindustani classical music, this country would never have been partitioned.”
Are you starting up a private music teaching studio? You probably have questions. Beginning teachers often ask the same questions. Usually the first is “How did you get started teaching?”
Let me answer that one before digging into others. I grew up in a family of professional musicians. My sister and I sang and played—and got paid for it—from the time I was five years old. Relatives composed songs and choir cantatas, wrote musicals and played in dance bands. My mother coached countless kids performing vocally and instrumentally, both individually and in groups. I was in on it most of the time, and began to coach others during middle and high school. By the time I started college, I had sung/played for over three hundred weddings. Yet it never occurred to me to earn a living at it until I discovered how unsuited I was for waiting tables!
So in my hometown, I let it be known I was going to teach beginning piano. I told people at church and put up a couple of small posters, hand-made. I started in the basement of my parents’ home on a 100-year-old piano with three students. I used the books I’d grown up with. I went straight through the books without variance. Somehow those three students stuck with it, thrived, and by word of mouth my studio grew. I was passionate about helping others make music. I added other instruments. And I got bored with the books. That made me take every opportunity, whether at the university or beyond, to educate myself pedagogically and grow as a skilled—and fun—teacher.
There are five questions I am most often asked. However… I will start with
One question no one asks, but should!
What is my motivation for teaching?
Your answer to this is crucial. It will affect almost everything about your approach to teaching. There are lots of possible reasons, and all are legitimate. But whichever ones reflect your mindset, I encourage you to run your studio in a businesslike manner. Take it seriously enough that music will happen. Here are four motivations, some of which may blend together:
It’s a hobby. You enjoy it and would love others to have the same fun with it you do.
It provides a service. One that is appreciated by many people. Plus there’s the added benefit of giving you extra cash.
You need to pay bills. You must earn a living, and intend to make this a success. It is your job.
It’s your passion. You want to pass music on to as many students as you can. You know how important it is to individuals for their entire lives. You know what music means to you and those around you. It is pure joy to see others take off and make music for themselves.
Be honest with yourself about why you want to do this. Many of the other answers to questions will hinge on this!
Five Questions I’m Most Often Asked:
Where should I teach?
Home—do you have a piano in good shape on which to teach? Is family privacy an issue? Is there space for parking? Do you need to ask neighbors about parking? Do you need permission from a neighborhood association? Are there insurance concerns? Where will parents wait for students?
Rent a room—from a church, school or community center? How is the piano? How much will the room cost? Is parking an issue? Is the place available whenever you need it? Do you have any control over heat or air conditioning? Think it through thoroughly!
Teach at a music school, store or studio—how is the piano? What size is the room? What are the studio’s policies? What is the policy concerning missed lessons—will you still be paid? Will you be responsible for scheduling makeup lessons? Is there sufficient noise control between other teaching rooms? Who does the billing and how do you get paid? Will you have other duties besides teaching?
Travel to students’ homes—they have a decent instrument, right? Will parents be at home when you’re there? Are there pets to watch out for? Are they friendly? Do you have a place to teach without distraction? Will the student be there when you come, and not forget?
I know many teachers enjoy going to the student’s home. I had an unfortunate experience with it. The dog was friendly, but jumped on me, piddled on my feet and on the piano bench; the students were not always there; the parents both worked and had not always arrived at home yet, so I’d be there alone with the kids. Essentially babysitting as well as teaching. Think the logistics through ahead of time!
What should I charge?
What’s the going rate in your area? Inquire of other teachers. Take your experience or lack of it into consideration. But don’t undersell yourself, or you won’t be respected. Start conservatively, but expect to raise your rates regularly to reflect standard of living and your experience and level of training. What sort of families do you wish to attract? What will be your overhead costs? What is your time worth? Remember that the actual teaching time is only a portion of it! You have lesson preparation as well. Factor in continuing education. Also studio costs like instrument upkeep, computer equipment and software, bookkeeping, etc. Here’s an article by Sarah Luebke in Music Teachers Helper.
What ages should I teach?
Are you uncomfortable with certain ages? Some teachers don’t want the wiggliest littles, or feel intimidated by adults. Or teens! Would you prefer beginners or are you prepared for higher levels?
How do I get students?
If you know other teachers, perhaps they’d be willing to speak to someone on their waiting list. Make yourself visible. Perform whenever you can. Do a program at the library. Be involved in your community. Put up posters wherever you can—at grocery stores, laundromats, other stores. Advertise in the local papers. Get to know music teachers at the schools and offer business cards. Get to know homeschoolers in your area. Offer a few group lessons as a springboard. Ask friends and acquaintances if they are aware of anyone looking for lessons. Volunteer to teach at a nursing home.
How should I set up my schedule?
If you teach at someone else’s studio or store, you might have to adhere to their hours. Otherwise, decide how many hours you feel you want to teach. How much money do you need to make? That might determine your hours. Understand that fewer people are available during the day because of school or work hours, so you might have to stick with 3:30 to whenever in the evenings, unless you add weekends. Homeschool students might be available during the days. Whatever you decide, do schedule yourself a break or two. I learned the hard way how important it is to have time to eat a meal or just breathe.
I use Music Teachers Helper to set up my schedule. I can save it as a spread sheet and see it on the calendar a month, week or day at a glance. It is a great help–check out the features.
All these things to consider, and you haven’t even gotten to the actual teaching yet! Who’d have thought?
In the next months I’ll cover questions about the actual teaching: methods & books, resources, games, composing, recitals, and more. If you have specific questions, feel free to put them in the comments, and I’ll see about including them soon. See you then!