I started out in a rusted old sedan driving from one house to the next, delivering piano lessons as I went. More often than not my students would still be in their pyjamas while younger siblings shrieked past the living room; our “teaching studio”. The family dog would rest his whitened snout on my lap, the dishwasher would rumble in the background, and I . . . would teach piano.
Before long, demand was great enough that I parked the old jalopy and students came to my house to learn piano. And when I had more students than I could handle, our second bedroom became a second studio, we hired another teacher, and whammo … we were running a music school.
Well, not long after, our driveway started to look like a Wal-Mart parking lot, our backyard became a communal gathering place for waiting parents to do yoga, our kitchen table became a place for siblings to do homework, and our bathroom became … well it became the reason we needed to move the studio out.
So, we leased a nice commercial location in our town centre, built some studios, bought some pianos, put up a sign, and the rest is history.
If this sounds fast, it was. We literally went from 30 students to 300 students in 3 years. And while extremely exhausting, it was also immensely satisfying and fulfilling. So, how did we do it?
Well, I can tell you how we didn’t do it. We didn’t build a studio by calling in favours or using a massive social network. We are admittedly shy, and somewhat reserved. We didn’t tap into our trust fund (if such a thing exists, our families are playing a mean joke) to hire a top-notch marketing firm to help us become a household name. We started with no money at all. And we certainly didn’t break into a market void of competitors. There were three major studios within ten kilometres of our house, not to mention countless private teachers teaching from home studios.
Having a massive social network, a top-notch marketing firm, or a competition-free zone certainly would have made our job easier in the short term, but more likely than not, relying on these conveniences would have lead to failure. Why? Because they are all short-term solutions to building a business. They lack the true substance that makes a business great. And it is this, the substance of piano teaching, where we excelled.
What we lacked in social connections we made up for in our understanding of what makes kids connect with the piano. What we lacked in money, we made up for in our understanding of how to convince parents that we were the right choice for their children’s piano lessons. And what we lacked in community history, we made up for in good old creativity, both in music and in business.
The result is our unique, creative, and wildly successful approach to running a piano studio and teaching piano lessons; a philosophy that we decided to start sharing with the world, and the Teach Piano Today community, 5 years ago. And, just like the growth of our musical school many years ago, the Teach Piano Today community has also exploded.
We now have the good fortune of being able to interact with close to 15 000 piano teachers every week. We spend our waking hours developing new and exciting piano teaching resources and helping readers develop their skills and grow their music studios.
Having discovered our passion for helping others succeed, we recently handed over the reins of our music school to our long time studio manager and friend, and now focus all of our energies on the Teach Piano Today community and on our private experimental teaching studio where we explore new techniques, technologies, and resources before releasing them online.
We are thrilled to help you on your piano teaching journey! Teachers who work with us know our approach inside and out. They understand our philosophy (and therefore understand their students). And best of all, they are successful – without fail … every time!
TeachPianoToday.com is operated by Andrea Dow and Trevor Dow DBA Teach Music Today Learning Solutions… a company co-founded by Andrea and Trevor. They operate their business in the quiet community of Cowichan Bay, British Columbia, where they live with their daughters Alexa and Halle. When not inventing ways to help teachers expand and enliven their studios, Andrea and Trevor enjoy showing their daughters the world.