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Business Practices


Business Practice Guidelines
MuBuS recognizes the impact and influence music teachers have on our children and on our communities. We are also aware that the current perception of music teachers and the music teaching industry does not accurately reflect the time, training and efforts of Professional Music Teachers. MuBuS believes that uniting teachers in common business practices is the first important step in changing perception. The better teachers are perceived, the more influence and value teachers will be able to offer their students and their communities. MuBuS supports the following Business Practice Guidelines and encourages teachers to come together in an effort to improve the industry by improving the way they do business.

Perception of the Music Teaching Industry
Factors that have shaped perception
A comparison to other professional industries
Taking responsibility for the perception of our industry
Changing the way teachers do business
Business Practice Guidelines for the Professional Independent Music Teacher

Perception of the Music Teaching Industry
Did you know Independent Music Teachers are perceived as being

  • unprofessional and untrained?
  • making less than truck drivers and janitors?
  • overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated?

Factors that have shaped Perception

  • Music teachers handle billing and collections themselves during the time of service
  • Studio attendance policies keep music lessons from being a client's priority
  • Music teaching is traditionally a female profession
  • Business practices vary from studio to studio

A Comparison to Other Professional Industries

  Doctor Lawyer Therapist Independent Music Teacher
Years of Training 10 years 7 years 6 years 8-14 years
Billing Practices Separated from service


Front Office and third party billing system
Separated from service


Third party billing system and/or secretary
Separated from service


Secretary and/or third party billing system
Collected during service

In person

Verbal reminder as needed
Business Practices are Standardized Yes Yes Yes No

Taking Responsibility for the Perception of our Industry
"The manner in which we present ourselves shapes the perceptions of those around us. It is up to us to change harmful stereotypes if our profession is to be regarded highly within our communities. I believe we determine the perceptions of those around us. Are we seen as highly trained, dedicated, well-paid professionals? Is what we do viewed as an important, valuable and profitable profession, or is it not even perceived as a real profession? If the old stereotypes have not died yet, it is up to us to lay them to rest. We can set professional rates, have a firm make-up policy, employ a workable system for billing services and print a studio brochure and policy sheet. We can, and we must, take responsibility for establishing a positive perception of our profession."

- Beth Gigante Klingenstein

Changing the way teachers do business
Managing the business side of running a private music studio using common business practices is the first step to changing the perception of music teachers and the music teaching industry.

Business Practice Guidelines for the Professional Music Teacher

MuBuS recommends the following Business Practice Guidelines.

Tuition Billing (billing in increments longer than a month)

  • Increases student commitment
  • More accurately reflects what the teacher is offering; a membership in a learning environment rather than an hourly service

Separate collections from service rendered by employing a third party billing system
  • Frees the relationship of money tension
  • Presents the teacher more professionally
  • Is common practice in every other professional industry

Attendance Policy: no make-ups for student cancellations
  • Increases student commitment and progress
  • Dependable and often increased income


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