What is the purpose of having a policies document for your music studio? (Or if you’d like to call them something else, that’s fine too!)
There are many! A studio policies document:
- Gives you a framework for how your music teaching studio works
- Sets expectations for your students about how your music teaching studio works
- Protects you and your students and families from misunderstandings about billing, schedule, snow days, make-ups, etc.
- Establishes you as a music professional running a business in your families’ minds – as opposed to a hobbyist musician who teaches on the side.
- Sets the initial boundaries and limits in your relationship with a student (For those of you who have taken “Creating a Profitable, No-Burnout Music Teaching Studio”, I am talking about territory).
I realized that for me personally, the boundary-setting piece is really important. In the same way that I set ground rules and boundaries for my 5 year old daughter, I set ground rules and boundaries for my students and families when I talk them through my studio policies. Both function better when they know what to expect and when their expectations are met. They know they can trust me to do what I say I will do, to deliver on my promises. For me, this fundamentally feeds into the trust my students have in me as a teacher. My students trust me every lesson when they come to learn a new song or a new concept from me. They even trust me when it’s difficult and they are struggling with something, because I say, “You’ll get it,” and they have learned that they can count on me to tell the truth.
Would you necessarily need a studio policies document to establish that kind of trust? I don’t know the answer. But I do know that in my studio, the establishment of territory and of trust is really important in the student-teacher-parent relationship. If you would like to create or revise the policies for your own music teaching studio, check out my online class, “Creating a Profitable, No-Burnout, Music Teaching Studio”.