Academic journal article Journal of Singing

A Most Rewarding Independent Music Studio

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

A Most Rewarding Independent Music Studio

Article excerpt

Laurie Lee Cosby and Donna Hinds Sawyers, A Most Rewarding Independent Music Studio. Delaware, OH: Inside View Press, 2012. Paper, I, 103 pp., $19.99. ISBN 978-0-9755307-6-4 www.VoiceInsideView.com

Throughout history, independent teachers have been primary purveyors of voice instruction. Long before institutions of higher education offered degree programs in voice, singing masters have hung out their shingle and passed down their knowledge. In recent years, an awareness of the importance of autonomous teachers has increased (as evidenced by programs such as the Independent Teacher Fellowship offered by the National Association of Teachers of Singing). Laurie Lee Cosby and Donna Hinds Sawyers, in A Most Rewarding Independent Music Studio, present a business model for voice teachers who are not part of an institution.

The authors state the modus operandi of their presentation in the opening chapter: as an independent teacher, "you should be fairly compensated for your work, and your work should be satisfying." The authors' premise is that owning a studio should be rewarding, both financially and in regard to the pride felt in the work. What distinguishes this book from other guides on this topic is that the duo presents a model for a collaborative venture.

The slim volume leads the prospective entrepreneur through the process of setting up a joint studio. For each topic, discussion is followed by a questionnaire to help the reader determine the most appropriate model. A critical element in an enterprise based on a joint venture is finding the right partner. Crosby and Sawyers identify four paradigms, ranging from coownership to cooperative events. Regardless of the level of collaboration, it is essential to establish ground rules-a code of ethics-and to set ego aside.

Most businesses and institutions formulate a mission statement, which is a brief explanation of how the philosophy of their organization will be reflected in their day-to-day dealing. …

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