The #1 Reason People Fail To Build A Thriving Private Studio

Studio Building

"Yeah I'd love to do The Flute Teacher's Playbook but the timing isn't good. I'm busy. Maybe in the fall."

"The flute studio program thing sounds great but it's not a good time right now."

"You know, everything is fine right now so maybe I can look at it again later."

Tell me... exactly when would be a good time for you?

When 3 of your students unexpectedly quit in one week - and you've got to scramble to replace them?

When your cashflow is at a standstill and a major expense suddenly shows up?

When you've worn yourself down to burnout level and you're ready to quit teaching altogether?

Look, I get it...

"Fine" has become the normal operating level of everyone. My studio was "fine" for years - except there were so many things I was unhappy with.

So keep telling yourself you're gonna "make a real go" of this studio building thing - but make sure you think back to the first time you said that. How long ago was that?

Keep telling yourself "it'll get better" - but make sure you count the number of months (or years) you've been saying that about your studio.

And then ask yourself again why you say you "don't have time".

You can start now and fix it now. Or you can never start.

Because that's how it really goes. And you know it.

10 Things I Used To Do When I Was Struggling To Build My Flute Studio

Studio Building

....And Had To Quit In Order To Create The Amazing Studio I Have Today (And That I've Had for Years Now No Matter Where I Lived)

1. Constantly second guessing myself - even if I had what I thought were great ideas, I would talk myself out of them within days and sometimes hours

2. Always choosing the "hard" way thinking it had to be the "right" way (even if it was the wrong way...because I was addicted to everything being hard)

3. Being a total flake about having standards...and assuming students and parents would walk away if I enforced anything

4. Settling,sacrificing and compromising all the time

5. Thinking I had to earn everyone's attention and respect (and that my resume, credentials, etc. were never enough... I need more more more!)

6. Charging what I thought I could charge, lowballing my rates, playing the smallest money game ever

7. Assuming I had to deal with slow paying, flaky and unsupportive parents (everybody does, right?)

8. Waiting for someone to annoint me as "the best flute teacher" like throwing fairy dust on me or waving the wand or whatever

9. Wondering deep down if I had what it takes to make this thing GO! (and wondering why it wasn't working... DUH)

10. Not being the real me - fun and sassy and creative

Here's the reality...

If you want awesome students
If you want supportive and available parents
If you want a flute studio on your terms
If you are tired of feeling burned out
If you are done settling for what you've already got because you know it could be so much better
(and so do I)...

The Secret Behind Students Who Practice


The Spark is what I call that inner drive to do well at anything. I mostly talk about it in teaching. Some people call it grit. When it happens to a student, I see a literal spark in them. Many teachers ask me how I get students to practice. Let’s be honest - some of them don’t and most of them have lapses in practicing. The students who are consistently practicing at home have The Spark. They want to do well. They recognize that putting in work between lessons yields amazing results, and they get hooked on the path of preparation and confidence. It boosts their self esteem and self worth.

What do you do with students who don't come prepackaged with The Spark? Some teachers choose to not deal with them and discontinue lessons immediately. I have a different take. I do everything I can to get The Spark to show up in a student. It involves digging deep into figuring out what makes that student tick. You have to understand the student as a person and what they value. Once The Spark starts to show itself a little, you have to ignite that thing like crazy! Huge amounts of praise and congratulations, showing them how much they grew in only one week, etc.

Sometimes the catalyst for The Spark comes from competition. If a student knows an audition is coming up, they suddenly start practicing more. Sometimes it comes from motivation from their parents and/or me. Sometimes it comes from being praised by a band director for the first time. Whatever triggers The Spark, you have to keep withdrawing money from that bank!

The Spark isn’t there for everyone, and that’s okay. I have a trial period for lessons of 4-6 months. If The Spark doesn’t happen in that period of time, I have a conversation with the parents and student about lessons not being the right thing, or maybe I’m not the right teacher.

I tell students when they get The Spark. It’s something to be celebrated. I got The Spark in the 8th grade. When did you get yours?

Here are my top 5 ways to get students to practice. You can download it here: