Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. There is no common job when each student has his or her own goals and objectives. Commonly we see clients who desire to increase their range, build power, learn proper breath support, learn to read written music and eliminate bad habits.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Do your research! We at Spikes Music Services are firm believers in the value of education as an investment and as such, we want our clients to be sure they are getting their money's worth.
Often customers will choose the service provider who has saturated the market with the most advertisements but we encourage anyone looking for lessons to dig deeper. Consider the ultimate cost of those advertising dollars and infrastructure and how those costs affect the value of your investment.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Students interested in private piano lessons should have a preliminary idea of what they want to accomplish by pursuing lessons. Here are a few good questions to ask yourself:
- What type of music do I want to sing or play?
- Have I budgeted properly for lessons?
- Am I able to commit time outside of my lessons to practicing?
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. We have an intense knowledge of vocal technique, physiology, repertoire and musical styles. As a result, our students have been supremely successful and enjoy the never-ending benefits of private voice and piano lessons.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. We love the opportunity to make someone's day better. There is no greater joy than seeing a student leave with more energy and less stressed than when she arrived. It is also supremely fulfilling to see a student chip away at a technical challenge for weeks and weeks and finally make that major breakthrough that lights up their faces.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Customers ask a variety of questions for innumerable reasons. Because our services are so individualized, most questions are specific to the person asking. In response, we have created tons of free content on our website to address the most commonly asked questions.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. About a year ago I was teaching a gentleman who had recently celebrated his 50th birthday and was finally ready to learn to play the piano--a lifelong dream. We spent so much time talking about music and his goals we didn't realize the whole lesson had already passed and my next student was knocking at the door.
I absolutely love it when my students get lost in their own goals!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. Any individual seeking private music instruction especially voice lessons where a risk of personal injury is possible, should know that independent music teachers are held only to their own standards. Unlike barbers, tax preparers, engineers, accountants, lawyers, real estate agents and most other professional service providers, we are not required to be licensed or subjected to regulation by any government or other professional organization. Spikes Music Services believes in maintaining the highest level of service for our clients.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. We love positively affecting people's lives and helping my students reach personal goals. Spikes Music Services was founded with the goal of inspiring musicians the way we were inspired by our own teachers.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. We recently had a student who was preparing herself for a CD release but was having a a number of vocal issues with swelling of the cords due to allergies. We implemented a plan to help minimize the swelling and get her in tiptop vocal condition for her CD release.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. We regularly participate in clinics, masterclasses, online courses and conferences sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the National Association of Music Educators and the Music Teacher's National Association.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. There are always exciting things happening in the ever-changing world of music. New technologies are developed everyday that make written music more accessible and information about vocal physiology more available.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Our pricing is unique among independent lesson providers. Most teachers, schools and services charge a per lesson or monthly fee with the understanding that if you miss a lesson without providing proper notice, you have forfeited that lesson and its associated fee.
We understand that last minute circumstances make it difficult to provide 24 hours notice all the time for cancellations, so we bill for lessons and appointments separately. If you need to miss a lesson, you will simply have to pay the nominal expense of scheduling another appointment rather than purchasing another lesson. Further details are available on our website.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. - Be honest with yourself about your skill set, experience and ability to provide exceptional service to your students. Remember that by hanging your proverbial shingle, you represent not only yourself but our entire profession.
- Be careful not to take students you can't handle. For example, if a student has a master's degree in music and you gigged for a couple years at your local bar, the two of you are probably not going to be a good fit for each other.
- Never stop learning. Continuing education is paramount in this field. Join a professional organization like NATS, MTNA or the Guild of Piano Teachers to ensure you're constantly bettering yourself