Found in: About Business
Diane C., California
My current home studio is right in front of my house and is perfect in every way except it is too small for groups larger then 3 students and their parents. But now I have started a piano camp of 6 groups, 5-7 students each and I moved them in my dining room. Which is working fine, except I would like my dining room back and secondly, I have a great space upstairs that is excellent for any size group.
However,I have been talking to people friends, family, students, campers etc. about using the upstairs and have received some negative response because its “upstairs”. They seem to be concerned that it is out of view or ? I’m getting comments like “Are parents allowed to stay?” or just “upstairs, really?” It is not viewable from the front of my house but is very open and of course parents are required to stay! Does this seem bad to anyone else? Am I missing something? What does it seem like to you? Should I rule this space out or am I hearing something that is not real?
Thanks for your opinion!
Carrie L., Michigan
I would just move upstairs and just tell your students you’re moving up there! I wouldn’t ask for opinions…
Will they have to go through your whole house to go up? That would be my only concern that I’d have to clean everything up and deal with people going through my house.
I taught upstairs in our house for a brief time as we were finishing up the home studio downstairs (separate). It wasn’t ideal for us, but the kids didn’t have an issue with it.
Mark M., New York
I can understand on one hand why some people might have a negative reaction to “upstairs,” but on the other I think there’s really nothing at all wrong with it. Indeed,the initial images/thoughts that come to my mind when I think those words, upstairs studio, when I saw the subject of your email, are these:
The song “At the Ballet” from the musical “A Chorus Line,” in which some dancers reminisce about their passionately attending ballet classes when they were younger — “Up a steep and very narrow stairway….”
The novel “The Contender,” about a teen in Harlem in NYC who struggles to become a successful boxer, which I had to read in school when I was about 13 or 14, and for whatever bizarre reason, an image that hit me while reading it and which has stuck with me all this time is the main character heading up a tall stairway for the first time to go up to the gym where was going to train and meet his destiny.
People will get used to being upstairs, then they won’t think twice about it. Except for handling any issues with business liability insurance in terms of ensuring proper egress, I wouldn’t worry in the slightest about this.
I think most people perceive upstairs as personal space, since that is where most bedrooms are. If it is something like an open, upstairs bonus room, maybe you can have an “open house” type event like a tea or ice cream social (and with or without students playing if you choose to move the piano up there ahead of time), just to introduce people to the space in a neutral setting. (You could even create a little music museum for the day: bring in some other types of instruments borrowed from the local high school, and explain to students what they are and how they work.) Keep the area as professional looking as possible – maybe some SM posters, or photos of students at the piano – and people will feel less like they are intruding on your private territory.
Cheryl W., Pennsylvania
My studio has always been upstairs since I started to teach piano. On rare occasions when my students have not been able to get upstairs due to a broken leg, I also have a piano on the first floor to use.
I have never found the need to mention ahead of time that the studio is upstairs. When people come for the first time I tell them. There has never been an issue with it, from anyone.