Then and Now – 3.25 Years Later

Then and Now – 3.25 Years Later

I realize that 3.25 years is an odd number to celebrate. Still, it seemed appropriate with all the new advances in the studio lately. Let’s take a little “Then and Now” tour of Sara’s Music Studio:

In 2010, I opened my very own private studio. I was fortunate that a family member gave me a great deal on an empty office space in their building. So I packed up my music, found a couple of rugs to cover the floor, and moved my Kimball piano from my house into the studio.

On the day that I opened, I came to find a beautiful Peace Lilly and flowers waiting for me on my desk. It had a card that read:

“When words fail, music speaks.”

That card still hangs on my wall today.

The room was a bit bare and the walls were cement, so it was difficult to hang anything at first. It took me almost 6 months until I filled out my first full day of lessons. I was working my way through graduate school as an GA, and I was still teaching lessons at a local music store.

Teaching in my own studio was still a dream come true, even if I only taught there one day a week. I advertised in as many free places as I could find – flyers in the local diners and blurbs in the free newspapers. Finally I got my “big break” when one of my long-time voice students was featured in a local women’s magazine. My studio phone started ringing…

When I look at this picture below, I can’t help but laugh a little at how bare the walls were back then.

The fall after finishing my master’s thesis,  I took the plunge and went full-time into my studio. It was scary to leave the music store where I had taught for so many years, but I knew it was time to spread my wings. My studio schedule quickly filled to the brim, and I became a busy small business owner.

Little by little, I filled up that room with all kinds of things. I found a better way to organize my files. Parents and students brought me old music whenever they found it, and I sorted it through and stored it in the “Studio Library.” Little music knick-knacks and framed music pictures made their way into the shelves, and music games started piling up in boxes and drawers.

Work space and the 1993 Kimball consort

The school district just around the corner stopped using chalk boards. One of them made a nice addition to our wall. (Thank you, dearest Brad for hanging that monstrosity!) Nowadays, the bulletin board is always full of musical schedules, articles, drawings, and in the case of this year’s calendar… cats.

Where the magic happens

A 1935 Mathushek baby grand piano found it’s way to the studio. Now the Kimball had someone with which to play duets. I made name tags for my younger students, and they brightened up the windows. The walls got decorated with music maps and wall art. Things got a little bit cozier.

Our 1935 Mathushek baby grand

Here we are – 3.25 years later, and the studio is absolutely buzzing with activity. The Spring Recital date up is on the chalk board, and we’re planning on visits to a local piano festival and competition in preparations for joining up next year. It’s only January, and I’ve already got amazing summer programs buzzing around in my brain. On top of all that, there’s a Facebook page, a Pinterest page, and a brand new blog. It certainly keeps me busy!

Here’s to the Adventure of being a Piano and Voice Teacher!

Happy Friday, everyone.


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  • by Jumbo Posted January 24, 2014 9:41 am

    Kimball piano. Heh heh. What other brand would you buy? Kohler & Campbell?

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted January 24, 2014 9:42 am

      That would have been appropriate 🙂

  • by foxxpianostudio Posted January 24, 2014 10:10 am

    I love this, thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted January 24, 2014 10:11 am

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the tour 🙂

  • by Valerie Mishek Posted January 24, 2014 10:41 am

    I love how your studio is evolving!!! Great ideas on pinterest!!! Thanks

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted January 24, 2014 10:50 am

      Thanks, Valerie! It’s a constant work in progress 🙂 I loved the studio pictures on your site! What a great space you have there.

  • by Mary Cummings Cronk Posted January 24, 2014 10:47 am

    Love to see it in person sometime! Wonderful

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted January 24, 2014 10:51 am

      Thanks, Aunt Mary! It’s a pretty fun space to call “work”!

  • by Kat Tansey Posted January 24, 2014 11:45 am

    Thanks for sharing your journey, Sara — I love the pictures!

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted January 24, 2014 11:51 am

      Did you see the music history map? 🙂

  • by Mel Posted January 24, 2014 6:00 pm

    One day I hope to be where you are! Thanks for sharing!!

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted January 24, 2014 6:01 pm

      You’ll get there, of that I have no doubt! <3

  • by adrian semacio Posted January 26, 2014 5:25 am

    this is inspiring. i’m currently in the start up stage of my piano studio

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted January 26, 2014 12:14 pm

      Thanks, Adrian! The start up stage is so exciting, even if it’s a little bit nerve wracking at first. Best of luck to you! If you ever think of any studio start-up questions you’d like me to address as part of a blog post, please feel free to let me know! Take care.

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