Moving a Music Studio

At some time in your career, you may be presented with the problem of moving your studio to another town. It's like starting from scratch, but it will be easier since you've had a studio before!

Before the Move

While househunting, gather information about your new town that will help your business get off to a flying start.

Find out whether you will be required to have business permits if you teach in your home. Your realtor might be able to tell you, but sometimes a realtor will tell you what you want to hear in order to close the deal. More reliable information, and information from which you should work, is available from city hall.

When you return to your old town, immediately write thank you letters to all your new contacts, thanking them for their help and saying you look forward to working with them. Include the date you'll be ready for new students, if you know it. (Allow yourself a week to move in, find the bed linen and pots and pans, and rest just a little!)

Once you know your new address and phone, you can begin advertising, even if you aren't in town yet.

Arrange with your moving company for the transport of your instruments. Be aware that there will be extra "keyboard" fees for each instrument (these should be tax-deductible, however; check with your accountant).

Prepare a box of teaching items you'll need right away, such as your metronome, stickers, your copy of Hanon, etc. Mark this box very well so it's easy to find in the sea of cartons.

If you have music in filing cabinets, ask for them to be transported loaded. The company probably will want to pack the music into book cartons because they weigh less than a fully-loaded file cabinet and are easier to maneuver, but you'll lose a -lot- of time unpacking and resorting your music if you succumb to the company's preferences. You are paying for this move; get what -you- want. I suggest transporting file cabinets full so you can get at your materials immediately.

Check with your accountant. What is deductible? Can you accountant recommend someone in your new town? If you want to stay with him, will your accountant work by phone, fax, and e-mail?

Your piano technician may be able to give you names of tuner/technicians in your new town.

After the Move

As soon as you are marginally settled in your new home, focus on advertising and promotion. Remember that it will take time for these to pull.

Place ads in local media. Besides school newsletters, I like classified ads. I find that display ads don't pull well.

Call music stores, universities, and your other contacts and let them all know that you are now open for business. Follow up each call with a letter.

In the "empty" time before your roster is once again full, tackle some of those jobs you never had time to do before, such as reorganizing your files or investigating new publications. Try some composing or arranging for your students-to-be. And of course, you'll have lots of time to practice! What a treat! Take advantage of it!

A move can be a very healthy career event. You'll meet new colleagues, find new challenges, and soon have a studio full of new students who will bounce into your studio ready to learn about the joys of playing the piano!

I have written another file on packing, moving, dealing with movers and getting damage reimbursed/fixed.

copyright 1998-2003, Martha Beth Lewis, Ph.D.
Contact me about reprint permission.

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