WELCOME TO THE PRE-SCHOOL MARKET!The pre-school market is a wonderful market for it gives a piano teacher the ability to give the gift of learning to play the piano to children who are in, what Dr. Maria Montessori called, the open Language Window.
It is also a way for piano teachers to expand their business.
"SOME THINGS TO "PONDER"
There are many corporate pre-schools. Some of the directors can implement programs in their school.....in fact, most can do this. In the past only large pre-schools could have a piano program, but with technology today, all sizes can have a piano program. In fact, even the private home "day cares" that can have only 12 or less students could even provide piano lessons.
SEARCHING FOR PRE-SCHOOLS
There are lists of Day Cares by state and counties. In Texas these lists are under the heading of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services....Texas Child Care is under that heading....And Day Care Search is under that heading. You want to search for a licensed Child Care Center or a licensed or registered Child Care Home. The Texas URL looks like this: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/child_/search_texas_child_care/
IMPLEMENTING A PROGRAM
As I discuss different ways to implement a pre-school piano program I am making a couple assumptions. Since my Anybody Can Play Piano app ($1.99/mo) teaches rank beginners as young as 3 how to play songs and ultimately read music, plus the fact that I am uploading free videos on youtube to introduce theory, techinque, etc. that compliment the app, I will assume you would take advantage of these.
To go to my Channel on youtube just click here.
If you want to take a look at the app, I have a youtube video that goes through the functions of the app.
To see that video just click here.
Most pre-schools want programs that include all the children. In this scenario, the school would pay you directly. So you would have to decide who provides what is needed, and who does what?
.....laptop computer connected to the app
.....activity sheets, laminated and not laminated
Many schools will say they will make the copies of the activity sheets and will provide a keyboard/app and make it accessible for the children. They try, but they tend not to follow through - even though they really want the program. From the start they need to know the additional cost if you have to take over some of these responsibilities.
So, the best way is for you, the piano teacher, to provide everything. Bring in the keyboard and app and set it up. Do group activities with the class, and then let each child who wishes, to have about 5 personal minutes with you - or two children for 5 or 10 minutes. I would allow a couple other children to observe quietly. This personal time would be in the classroom, but background activity does not seem to interfere with focus. The keyboard can also be used within the entire classroom group without the app connected....more later.
Giving every child personal time with you would be rather expensive for the school, so private (or shared time) with children may only be available for parents who pay an extra amount either directly to you or through the school - directly to you preferred - monthly, quarterly, by semester - your choice. As a teacher you have to figure out an amount for this based on the number of times per week you go to the school and the amount of time spent with each child.
Activity sheets (available free on my website) are needed for every child. The schools tend to say they will copy the sheets for you. Many times, however, as you walk in to the school they will gasp and tell you they "forgot" or "didn't have time" to make the copies. Sooooo, if the school wants to make the copies, have them let YOU make the copies on their printer at the end of the previous lesson so you have all the copies in your possession. You must remember to add the time needed to make copies into your fees. If you make the copies on your printer, in addition to the fee for the time needed to make the copies, be sure to add a fee for use of your printer, the ink and paper.
Many of the activity sheets should be laminated (5mm) for multiple usage as shown in the youtube videos. Again, remember to have your fee include the use of a laminator, the laminator pouches, your time and a place for storage for your equipment, etc.
ALWAYS have laminated 2 octave keyboards with standard sized keys for class use. These little laminated keyboards really work well for group practice. As mentioned before, the regular keyboard can be incorporated into these activities as well.....more on this later....
Most schools have a means to show the children youtube videos, so they can show the proper videos to the children on a daily basis. Keep reminding them!
Schools will also let you write a Message to Parents in their monthly Newsletter. I have lots of examples.....had to write lots of "Notes to Parents" over the years!
This should be enough information for you to make tentative costs for different types of program. Consider once a week, twice a week, once every two weeks types of programs. I would try to have the group activities only 15 minutes long per classroom or activity. You may have to add 5 minutes prep time.
ALWAYS figure in prep time for your cost. You do not just teach "x" number of minutes in the classroom; you have prep time figuring out what you are going to do, how you plan to do it....My programs were not "cheap" but I had a reputation for being incredibly well prepared, so they never griped about my fees. My students never had to "sit" while I decided what to do next. I always had a plan...and an alternate plan or two as well.
Make a list with columns and start adding your projected costs so you can come to tentative costs for your different programs...will need this before making marketing materials.
MORE TO PONDER....
How many times to go to each school per week or month?
Offer private or shared lessons for students?
Teach group activities to limited numbers or entire class with help from the pre-school classroom teacher?
Include transportation time in rates?
LOTS MORE COMING........
Anybody Can Play PIANO APPTo subscribe to the Anybody Can Play PIANO app in Windows 10 click here. First week is free - $1.99/mo to continue.
EZPianoNotesEZ Piano Notes features Busy Buzzy Bumblebee for enhancing the learning of notes. To subscribe click here. First week free - then $1.99 total cost.