Friday, May 18, 2012

Thoughts on "How I Made $100,000 My First Year as a Piano Teacher" by Kristin K. Yost

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It's that time of year when piano teachers everywhere are busily preparing for the end of the spring semester, getting ready for summer lessons, groups, and camps, and making changes and updates to policies. For the past couple of weeks, I have been scouring blogs, piano studio websites, and other pages searching for tried-and-true pedagogical ideas, inspiration, and additional business and marketing advice.

Rewind to 2009 to Kristin K. Yost's earth-shattering conference session in which she announced that she, a piano teacher, had earned $100,000 her first year of teaching! I must admit, I was a little skeptical. I had been teaching privately for several years at that point, and I was now a full-time faculty member at a private college. Needless to say, $100K wasn't even on my radar. My wonderful piano pedagogy graduate student Desiree (check our her blog here!) and I scratched our heads in skepticism, with brows raised, and, unable to attend the conference that year, continued to wonder what we were missing...

Now skip ahead to the past couple of weeks. I mentioned that I was searching for lots of new ideas and advice online as I am now solely an IPT (Independent Piano Teacher) in a new and rural region (after marrying my truly amazing husband and relocating!), trying to build my private studio from the ground up. One of the wonderful blogs I recently began to follow (since I joined the blogging world this year) is ComposeCreate by Wendy Stevens, and just a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across her wonderful Index of Dollars and Sense Articles. She includes several articles by guest authors, including Kristin Yost, so I eagerly read each article in anticipation and with great hopes that I would come across something helpful and exciting!

Indeed, I did find many wonderful and inspiring ideas, but reading her articles left me wanting to read more. I immediately ordered her book "How I Made $100,000 My First Year as a Piano Teacher" and read it from cover to cover this morning. I was not disappointed. In fact, after I closed the book, I went straight to my piano studio logistics spreadsheet and began entering additional goals and plans for the future of my studio. In Kristin's book, she offers strategies for bringing in 12 months of income, forming business plans, studying demographics to decide where you want to set up your studio, setting and reaching financial logistics, creating an image for yourself and your studio, outsourcing , and much more.

If you are an IPT who is just starting your career, if you have been teaching for years and are looking to integrate change to your current studio situation and want to "amp it up" a bit, if you are a pedagogy professor who wants to explore more of the business side of things as it relates to private piano teaching, if you want to attract more students, experience less turnover, and earn more money, then check out this book! It is a great resource, full of advice, tidbits, and stories of personal experience, written by someone who is extremely passionate about changing the lives of students through music!

Kristin K. Yost is founder and executive director of the Centre for Musical Minds in Frisco, Texas, and teaches at Piano Teacher School, which offers online business courses for piano teachers. Here's a link to her story.

By the way, I am not receiving any compensation for the comments on this book :) I just wanted to share this information with you and hope it can make a difference in the life and health of your own studio, just as it has with mine.


  1. Wow, amazing! Thanks for sharing. I think I may have to pick up that book.... :)

  2. It does have some great ideas, and I was very happy to have read it. She does make it clear (abundantly clear), however, that reading this book doesn't guarantee the reader to miraculously make $100,000 :) As she stated, it's all about location, location, location (among other things)!!