Monday Mailbag

Thanks to the great input I received from the recent survey, I’ve decided to start a weekly mailbag feature here on Music Matters Blog. You can e-mail me any questions you have and I’ll select several that I receive each week and post them in my Monday Mailbag post. In addition, if you have any questions you want to submit for input from other teachers, I’ll also select one question each week to post for open discussion. That way other teachers can weigh in with their thoughts and suggestions on specific questions. When you e-mail me, just put “Monday Mailbag” in the subject line.

For starters, here are a few questions that I’ve received recently:

I would like info/help to get my own website started. What are the choices?
There are so many great options now to consider! I was going to type up all of them here, but I just gave a workshop last fall at our state music teachers conference on this topic, so I think it will be most helpful for you to download a copy of the handout from the workshop. Some of the information is specific to our state, but most of it is applicable to any music teacher. Once you look over this, if you have additional questions, feel free to ask!

How does a private music teacher go about securing a recital location? Typically, churches are free and super. What about when a teacher is new to the area, has called every church and the churches haven’t heard of this teacher before and won’t allow the teacher to use their church for a recital…what are good tips for locating hotels, nursing homes, malls (?…I’m desperate!) to allow a group of 25 piano students to give a recital?
Here are a few suggestions that come to mind:

  • Connect with other teachers in your area (do you have a local association that you can join?) and find out what venues they use. Then ask if you can use them as a reference when you contact the location to inquire about using it for your recital.
  • Ask your students’ families if one of them could be the liaison between you and their church facility to secure use of it for a recital.
  • If you have a college or university in your area, see if they have a hall or room that you could use for that purpose.

Your best results will probably come through networking and getting someone to put in a good word for you or make a connection on your behalf. That old cliche rings true, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

Open Discussion: Do most teachers teach their students to play black-key octaves with the thumb and 4th fingers (those students who can accomplish this stretch)?
What do you do? Weigh in with your answers and advice by leaving a comment below.

And of course, if you have additional suggestions pertaining to any of the above questions, feel free to chime in with that as well! If you have a question that you’d like me to include in a Monday Mailbag post, just send it my way (don’t forget to put “Monday Mailbag” in the subject line)!

Share and enjoy!

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