Renting a Studio Location from Another Organization
Renting a Studio Location from Another Organization
If teaching out of your home isn’t a viable option for you, or if you feel you’ve outgrown your home environment, renting a studio location from another organization might be the best choice for you. This other organization needs to have space available during your teaching hours.
Frequently a school, community center, or place of worship is the best fit.
Schools and churches tend to be well-suited for private music teaching, and organizations like these often place a high value on music too. They usually have small rooms that work well as studios, and you will most likely be able to find a room that already has a piano in it, if you need it.
Even if you don’t teach piano in your studio location, it is helpful to rent a room that has one so it can be available when your students need an accompanist to prepare for a concert or contest.
Community centers, like recreation buildings or YMCAs, often have small rooms that may be suitable for your studio location. However, they are less likely to have spare pianos available. Still, they might fit your need fairly well.
Here are some things to check before you sign the dotted line on any rental space. As you evaluate what teaching space is best for you, consider these pros and cons of renting a studio location from another organization.
Pros of Renting a Studio Location from Another Organization
Renting space from a larger organization for your studio location has many benefits.
This disconnects personal and business life.
A rented space allows you to focus exclusively on teaching while you are at work. Your clients may take you more seriously if you have a separate professional environment. No dogs, no dirty socks on the stairs, no noisy roommates or family members—sometimes boundaries between home and work are a good thing.
This option offers a more affordable option than renting your own commercial office.
If you are a member of a church or organization, you might be able to use their space for free, or at least for a discounted rate. If you are already giving financial donations, you can probably get the organization to let you use the space free of charge. It’s a huge benefit for you—you can make a tax-deductible donation and get to teach in a location for “free.”
TRY THIS TIP: When asking permission to use a church, school, or community room, be sure to point out that you will give the organization increased visibility through your teaching students in that location.
For example, you are getting potential school, church, or community members in the door for lessons. These students might decide to start attending the organization based on the convenience and familiarity gained through their experience with you.
Check out this link for an example letter that we’ve used with proven results. (Coming soon!)
Renting from a larger organization creates connections outside of your normal social circles.
For example, while renting space from a church, you receive a side benefit of free advertising to everyone who walks by the classroom and hears students making music. This can be a great way to generate new student and parent interest, especially since the potential student already feels comfortable and is familiar with your studio space.
Also, this offers an opportunity to network with church or community center staff members who may refer students to you. Make sure they know what instrument(s) you teach, and go out of your way to be courteous and well-liked. This will go a long way.
TRY THIS TIP: If you use space at a church, be sure to make friends with the church music director. He or she will likely have connections and can help you in your professional connections as well.
Cons of Renting a Studio Location from Another Organization
Renting space from another organization might be challenging for the following reasons.
If an uninformed church or school member doesn’t know you are allowed to teach in their location, it can lead to uncomfortable interactions while you explain your reason for being in the space. Just make sure you are the one giving the explanation, not your student or parent.
If a student gets injured on property that does not belong to you, or if your student does some kind of damage to an instrument or space that is owned by the organization, you could be held responsible.
Find more information about insurance in this blog post. (Coming soon!)
Problems with piano maintenance
Pianos may not be tuned as frequently as you would like in a church or school. You could offer to pay for part of the tuning, benefitting both you and the organization.
An organization might not feel comfortable with parents and students wandering around the building or being unsupervised by church or school members. Naturally, this is made easier if you are a member of the organization; they will tend to trust you and your students more if you are one of their own.
Also, organizations might not want to give a key to you if you’re not already in their community. So your teaching hours might be limited to when employees of the organization are actually in the building as well.
The other organization might not be comfortable with you using their address as your business address, and you certainly won’t be able to receive business mail there. Your home address will likely need to remain your business address. This can impact your taxes as well.
For some basic information about taxes, see this blog post. (Coming soon!)
Certain organizations might require you to be a member in order to rent their space. For example, you might have to have children registered at a school, live in a certain community, or regularly attend a house of worship. (This is not necessarily a “con”—just something to keep in mind.)
Without signing a rental contract, you’re left powerless if the organization suddenly raises your fee to use their space.
We used to rent from a church that went through some financial difficulty. The first thing they did to get more income was raising the rates of all the organizations that rented their building during the week. We had to find another location due to the unexpected rent increase.
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