About The Book

Based on her 50 years of teaching music in a private studio setting, Sandi Siemens’ The Business of Teaching Music: A Guide for the Independent Music Teacher, Second Edition is a professional resource for independent music teachers of all instruments and levels that provides a step-by-step road map for setting up and running a successful teaching studio. The book includes strategies for finding students, establishing workable policies, and achieving financial stability.

This guide provides tips for the day-to-day operations as well as solutions for the common problems and frustrations that plague teachers on a daily basis. Guidance, timelines, and cost saving ideas for various events such as recitals, masterclasses, and concerts/shows are provided.

New Chapters Include:

  • The Novice Music Teacher
  • Making an Impression at Auditions
  • Showcasing Our Students
  • The Internet: The Music Teacher’s Website and Online Music Lessons

New/Expanded Topics Include:

  • The Collaborative Artist/Pianist
  • Working With the Professional Musician
  • Income Tax Time
  • Code of Ethics and Its Importance
  • The Issue of Copyright
  • Fees

The book also includes access to a PluralPlus companion website with useful, printable documents, including annual teaching income sheets, registration forms, rehearsal and recital notices, and student assessments.

“Sandi made a huge difference in my life. At a time when I needed guidance and craved confidence, she was instrumental in giving me both. I feel I was extraordinarily lucky to have her as a teacher, and more importantly, a life-long friend. Enjoy the revised version of her book, folks. You’re in good hands.”

Michael Bublé, Recording Artist, Singer

About The Author


Canadian mezzo-soprano and author Sandi Siemens has devoted much of her life to sharing her deep passion for music with students, peers and audiences. Based in Port Moody, British Columbia, Sandi has gained a reputation over the past 50 years as an accomplished and enthusiastic vocal coach and teacher (in both private and college settings), clinician, choral consultant and adjudicator. An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who, Sandi operates a successful private studio where she has nurtured hundreds of talented voices over the years. Many of her students now enjoy active professional careers in opera, musical theatre, jazz and pop – most notably recording artist and multi Juno and Grammy winner Michael Bublé.

Over the years, Sandi has performed on stages in North America and internationally and has served as an adjudicator for numerous vocal competitions and talent searches such as Filipino Idol, Japanese Talent Search and the Pacific National Exhibition Talent Search. She has held executive positions with the Burnaby Lyric Opera Company, Triad Concert Society, Vancouver Cantata Singers, National Association of Teachers of Singing, KPU International Music Festival and was founder and artistic director of the highly successful All Saints Gala and Songs from the Heart fundraisers in British Columbia, Canada.

Her passion for music and desire to teach led Sandi to open her own voice studio and to write The Business of Teaching Music and create the Maestro Joli Clef teaching tools. One of her greatest pleasures in life is to help others fulfill their potential and to experience the joy of music.

Table Of Contents

About the Author

Chapter 1. The Novice Music Teacher

Welcome to the World of the Private Music Teacher
Initial Concerns of Those New to the Private Music Teaching Business

Chapter 2. Teaching Music as a Business

The Code of Ethics and Its Importance
Building a Strong Student Base
Initial Call of Inquiry
Setting the Stage
The Music Teacher
The Private Studio
The Teacher’s Home
The First Meeting
The Student Interview
The Audition/Mini-Lesson
The Initial Student and Parent Interview
Setting the Stage With Talkative People

Chapter 3. Achieving Financial Stability

The Music Studio Agreement
Comments on the Studio Agreement
Fundamental Principle for Fees
Lesson Fee
Increasing Fees
The Collaborative Artist/Pianist
Payment of Fees
Record Keeping
Filing Taxes

Chapter 4. Studio Communication

General Notices and Issues
Studio Performances
Student Performances
Cultural Events
Studio Parking
Cancellation of Lessons by the Music Teacher
Social Events
Helpful Hints for a Successful Performance
Student Assessment
Year-End Newsletter
Email or Texting

Chapter 5. Making an Impression at Auditions

Helpful Hints for Auditions
Rule of Thumb for Auditions
Professional Groups (Choirs, Orchestras, Opera Chorus)
Musical Theater

Chapter 6. Showcasing Our Students

The Recital/Master Class/Concert/Show
Preparing the Timid Student for a Recital Performance
The Recital
The Master Class
Studio Concert/Show
Profit or Loss
Obtaining Donations
Choosing the Right Companies
Keys to Success

Chapter 7. The Internet

The Music Teacher’s Website
Ideas and Tips
Online Music Lessons
The Lessons
What Levels/Ages Work Best for Online Music Lessons

Final Thoughts


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