What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Every new student from Thumbtack gets a free introductory lesson. We will sit down together to discuss the specifics of what you want to learn, your ultimate lesson goals, and get you set up with some great resources to help you along the way. For example, every student is given their own private folder on Google Drive where music is stored. After that, each lesson is customized to help you meet your personal musical goals.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I received a B.A. in Music Performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and have been teaching private music lessons for over 13 years. I have been playing music for over 30 years and have performance experience with dozens of ensembles in many different arenas, such as in school (K-12), university, church, local pop/rock groups, and competition-level ensembles. I also currently hold the position of Music Specialist at the Open Magnet Charter Elementary School.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
First Lesson is FREE!!! After that, standard lesson rates are: $30 for 30 minutes; $40 for 45 minutes; and $50 for 60 minutes. In addition, a discounted monthly payment plan, billed on the same day of each month, is available at the following rates: $110 for weekly 30-minute lessons; $145 for weekly 45-minute lessons; $180 for weekly 60-minute lessons.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I first taught a music lesson when I was in the 5th grade. A neighbor who was a few years younger than me wanted to learn trumpet, so I taught him, free of charge. Throughout middle school and high school, I continued to teach friends and find creative ways to help them learn concepts that came easier to me. In college, I taught my first paid lesson to a friend of a friend who wanted to play guitar in his church. Every since then, my primary career has taken several different directions, but I have never stopped teaching private music lessons.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I work with students of all ages. I have taught 3-year-old students and I have taught 80-year-old students. And, I work with students of all levels of ability. Some of my students have gone on to major in music at the university or were in the midst of a professional career and others are just playing because they enjoy learning music.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Choose a teacher that you personally connect with and is qualified to teach skills you require to meet your goals. A large part of the reason I offer the first lesson free is that I know that I am not going to be the right teacher for every student. I don't think it is fair for the student to have to pay for a lesson just to find out the teacher doesn't seem to get them or their style. There is a right teacher for everyone and I encourage you to book a free lesson with me to find out if I'm the right one for you!
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
1. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS BOTH A MUSICIAN AND TEACHER? -- In my experience, many great performers are not great teachers. The ideal teacher is both an experienced musician and a qualified educator. -- 2. WHAT IS YOUR TEACHING STYLE? -- Most teachers will just stick a book series in front of you and make you play each exercise sequentially, whether it is to your benefit or not. I prefer to design custom exercises for my students which address their individual learning needs. -- 3. HOW WILL YOU MOTIVATE ME AS A STUDENT? -- One of the biggest ways teachers today fail is by neglecting to take responsibility for motivating the student to learn. If a student loses interest, they blame the student for having a short attention span or simply not being invested enough. I prefer to approach it as though every student has the potential to be motivated and just needs the right type of motivation.