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Closing the studio

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This time last year, I opened a teaching studio. It's a "side gig," but I've been renting space with a few other teachers nearby, bought a beautiful grand piano, and have been making a meager yet satisfying go of it (covering costs plus a little).


Well, since March I've been closed. I've migrated one student to "digital", but I don't really enjoy it or find it easy. Particularly as the rest of my life is also spent on the laptop. Part of what made lessons satisfying was the human interaction without an intervening device.


Two of the other teachers in the space have moved on to other things (things that were in the works before COVID), and now there are two of us with a lease up next month for a space that we can't afford.


We tried to find a smaller space, but piano studios are not silent neighbors, and we couldn't find a situation where we'd be welcome tenants.


So, we're closing up shop. I've found someone to house the piano for at least a year (can't fit it in my house), as I don't want to sell it unless I have to. I really love the instrument, and enjoyed playing and practicing on it in my studio, a 5 minute drive from home. Now it's going to be 45 minutes away in someone else's private residence. I can still have access if I want, but it won't be the same.


I'm planning on picking up some more remote students for the fall, as well as working on some workshops and multi-week programs, but I can and will do all of those from the corner of the spare room with my digital keyboard.


I'm bummed. I'm bummed that the studio is closing. I'm bummed that I've got this great instrument that I really should sell because I don't see any chance in the shot term for me to have space for it in my home, or for it to be economically viable for me to rent studio space again. I'm bummed that the studio experiment, which I had hopes of growing, is now down-scaling.



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Be positive in your outlook. That studio might be gone, but you and your passion and talent are still here. Prepare for another go. Spend time now to write your own syllibus. Use other method books as a guide, but analyze what works and what could be better, then create your own lessons. Test them out on some friends, get feedback, and prepare for Round 2.


In the meantime visit that piano twice a week. It will provide you with inspiration to get this this issue behind you and remind you that this is a temporary setback: Music will survive.



1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP


"It needs a Hammond"


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Not only has my studio been closed since the 1st week of March, I've been living in it. I was about 7 weeks into a projected 3-4 month repair/remodel of my house when this thing hit. I was supposed to be back in the house in early April - the latest estimate is October (but I'm not holding my breath). On the plus side, the mattress I bought to sleep on the studio floor is better than the one that was on my bed...
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Bad news, but stay positive.


Perhaps re-think your teaching business plan and look at options for development going forward.


Possibly being mobile, taking a DP and three pedal unit with you to students homes.


Perhaps next time if you go into a Studio again then you only have Keyboards and DP"s for at least with them you have more control over the volume. You and a partner could also operate at the same time if headphones are used or the space is subdivided.


Our local Music Stores only have electronic keyboards/DPs in their training rooms.


Discount nothing and keep all options open.



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It's a shit show. Took my kid for karate lessons for the first time since March the other day since they were just permitted to open. Only 3 kids have returned (which is honestly the only reason I said, yes). The instructor's rent is way overdue and every other business around them has shuttered. This situation has been horrendous for the small business owner, especially if they don't have any employees to get a PPP loan.


On the flip side of the coin, a lot of places have opened after biting the bullet and taking the beating because they read the guidelines and came up with creative ways to do it safely. A lot with curbside pickup, delivery, restaurants taking advantage of summer and doing outside seating. Not sure how restaurants are going to do it when the winter rolls in. Outdoor heaters maybe. But maybe we'll be in a better place by then.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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I just started teaching my martial arts class again with a few students which has been OK as I have a strict protocal for testing people every time they come in by taking temperature and wiping everything down. As for the music it's just terrible for us guys that like to play. Playing in the basement gets boring. My piano needs to be tuned but everything is still kind of on lock-down. A shit show is right.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"






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Condolences on losing the studio.


We are running classes again. An old traditional Okinawan method of Karate. We are following protocols. There are exercises and kata we can do but the bulk of the training should be hands on applicable training methods. It"s about 50/50 striking grappling. It feels like a waste of time not being close and personal but the exercise is better than nothing.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne


"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt


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I"ve known two musicians that I"ve played with while they closed shop on their studios. And just in regular times without COVID.


It wasn"t just about the time and money lost. It was like losing a child or a marriage. Hopes, dreams, plans. A community of people. Spiritual investment. Gone.


Condolences and hopes for the future.

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