Printer-friendly version

Advice for Recent Music Major College Graduates

Briana Page

Written by
Published: January 13, 2014 at 4:08 PM [UTC]

Hello Everyone!

My name is Briana Page. I am a 2012 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelors degree in violin performance. I perform with the Corpus Christi Symphony and teach over 50 students in the San Antonio Texas area.

I wish to share my journey. Through series of blog entries, I will chronicle how I went from zero students to over 50 in year. I wanted to create this blog to help newly graduated music majors (especially performance majors) who don't have a clue what to do after college to make a living in the music world.

Lastly, this blog is to teach you what 5 years of intensive practicing and performing at the music school didn't...HOW TO GET A JOB :)

Please enjoy as I add more entries on ways to get your foot in the door as they say. Thanks!

Topics Covered:
What to expect after graduation; How to find private students; How to run a music business; plus much more.


From Paul Deck
Posted on January 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM
Briana, congratulations on starting up your own independent studio so quickly and on the completion of your performance degree. Both are fine accomplishments.

If I were thinking of the type of career that you're planning to describe, here are some questions that I would have:

(1) How much time each week do you spend on the phone or texting or emailing parents or students or maintaining your web site?
(2) What are your out-of-pocket expenses to maintain your studio? Travel, space rental, books, sheet music, professional development, computer/software/web hosting?
(3) What are your fees? How many students do you have who pay reduced/negotiated fees because of financial need?
(4) What is the age/experience range of your students?
(5) What's the basic setup -- individual lessons, violin class on the weekends, recitals?
(6) What/how is your relationship with other professionals in your area who also teach violin and therefore, in principle, are in competition with you for students?
(7) Do you have a waiting list for students? (That's key in my opinion because it allows you to dump students who do not practice. Only a teacher with a waiting list can do so.)

From Briana Page
Posted on January 14, 2014 at 4:37 AM
Thank you for your comments.
I will try to answer your questions as best as I can. I hope this helps.

1. I generally spend around 45 minutes per day answering emails, setting up lessons, adding posts to my website and student resource page. I will admit this takes a lot a work, but the effort pays off.

2. Out of pocket, I spend about $200 a month on travel (I live in a big state- Texas), I have a free website I use off of google sites. I do not pay space rental, but teach at public schools or private which usually do not charge.

3. I charge $50 per hour, but $40/hour for larger families. For group lessons I charge $15 an hour (for five students this equals $75/hour). And I definitely take into account if a student needs financial need.

4. I teach ages 3 up to seniors. In my area there is a shortage of violin/viola/fiddle teachers, so I have a vast range of students from advanced to beginner.

5. My schedule is very busy, I teach Saturday through Thursday, with Friday off (only when I am not performing a gig). My hours start in the morning to teach home schoolers, then public schoolers in the afternoon/evening. Also, I hold a winter recital and spring recital.

6. I have a very friendly relationship with the other teachers in my area. I am in contact frequently and wish to collaborate on different string projects. As I said before, violin teachers are much in need in my area.

7. I sort of chuckled when I got the last question. Currently all my time slots are filled, but since I have so many homeschool students, I have extra time to teach in the evening. But I would honestly rather stay with a number of students I can handle, and not take on a load too heavy. I currently average around 4-5 new students per month, I am honestly not sure when to stop adding more students to my studio. Pretty soon I hope.

If you are considering this as your occupation, please know this is one of the most wonderful but challenging jobs you can have, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Good luck to you!

From Tom Holzman
Posted on January 16, 2014 at 10:50 PM
Congratulations! I am sure this blog will be very helpful to students, much as I think Emily Grossman's has been, in providing guidance and encouragement to those who would use their music degree to make a living.

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Our Kokopelli
Please support Violinist.com
through your
one-time donation or
sponsorship campaign.

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

The Potter Violin Company

Coregami Performal

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Zhuhai International Mozart Competition - Apply by April 30, 2017

Connolly Music

Corilon Violins

Meadowmount School of Music

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Heifetz International Music Institute

Long Island Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop