About Working with LAAPA
Working at LAAPA
Thanks for your interest in teaching positions with Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts. This page will give you an idea of LAAPA’s philosophy of teaching and how LAAPA can best meet the needs of students and teachers.
As a professional music educator, you can teach privately in your home, in students’ homes, in a music store, or in a school. There are positive and negative sides to these choices.
If you teach in your home or students’ homes, the financial compensation is greater since you have no expenses such as rent, a receptionist, or yellow pages advertising. There is no percentage paid out to overhead costs. There are also downsides to teaching in your home or your students’ homes. It can be extremely difficult to keep your schedule constantly full with new students. Getting a full schedule can be impossible and expensive if you have to run classified ads or small newspaper ads. Even if you are a good, well-liked teacher, it can take a long period of time for referrals and word of mouth to fill your schedule.
If you are driving to students’ homes, you also have to factor in the driving time between students which limits the amount of teaching you can actually do. Another factor to consider is that enforcing your attendance and payment policies may be time consuming as well as unpleasant. No one likes being a collection agent. It can be difficult to concentrate on your teaching while trying to keep track of who owes money and to make sure you are paid.
If you are teaching on your own, it can also be difficult to enforce your teaching policies and have your time respected. For example, if a student tells you they have a soccer game for the next two weeks; it can be difficult to have them pay for their lesson time. Many students will refuse to pay for those missed lessons because they will think: “I’m not getting my lesson so why should pay?” Chances are you can’t book another student in that lesson time for just 2 weeks, so if you don’t charge the student during their soccer tournament, you have just lost 2 weeks of pay. If that scenario occurs a couple of times per month it can greatly reduce your earnings.
Now let’s look at teaching at a music school. The downside is you do not get paid as much per student. Teaching rates that in-home teachers and music schools charge are usually pretty similar. So the pay per student to the teacher is lower because of rent, yellow pages, receptionists, and other expenses. The upside can be having a consistently full schedule of students each day. Being paid a little less per student but having 10 or 11 students in a day will mean you earn more overall.
Another upside to teaching at a music school is that you do not have any collection hassles. You only have to focus on the teaching. Also, our music school provides a professional educational environment that is stimulating to the students. It is also free from distractions found in a home such as ringing phones or doorbells, tv’s and noisy family members. Those are the general differences between teaching on your own and teaching in a music school or store.
Here are reasons why professional educators in the Greater New Orleans area enjoy teaching with LAAPA over all other choices:
1. A constant flow of new students to keep schedules as full as possible
Over the course of the year, students can move or quit. This can leave a teacher with gaps or holes in their schedule. Most students register and start lessons in September. Most music schools only advertise in late August and September for new students. At LAAPA we spend thousands of dollars every month on advertising and marketing year round to keep our teachers’ schedules as full as possible. We are continually registering new students for our private music lessons even during typically slower registration months like May or June.
2. Extras are taken care of – your only responsibility is to teach
At LAAPA we have a full time front desk person to handle all of the “details” of teaching. From scheduling to collecting fees, or arranging an accompanist for recitals….these details are handled by our administrators, not the teacher. This means the teacher is free to focus on teaching and not get bogged down by administration.
3. Your time is respected and you are paid whether or not students show up
Teachers are always paid for lessons whether students attend or not. Our priority for teachers is to make sure that your time is not abused and your teaching day can be as productive as possible. It is for this reason that we have implemented a unique make-up lesson system that no other school in the area uses which both our faculty and students love. This system eliminates all private make-up lessons and dramatically reduces your extra personal time spent in makeup lessons. This is impossible to do out of your own teaching studio while still making your students happy should they miss a lesson and ask for a makeup.
4. You're hired as a regular employee
As a professional musician, you're probably used to getting numerous 1099's at the end of each year. These 1099's can take a big hit out of your annual income due to the high cost of the self employment tax. Most stores and even schools in our area hire music teachers as independent contractors to avoid paying their half of your social security and unemployment benefits. Even if you're currently teaching privately in your own studio, you are still paying the full cost of these benefits out of your own pocket. At LAAPA, you're hired as a regular employee and we contribute the full employer's share to your social security and unemployment benefits. Being hired as an employee is additionally helpful should you need to apply for home loans, car loans, etc.
4. Paid Vacation Time for Full Time Faculty Members
Our full time faculty enjoy 2 weeks of paid vacation time off each year. If you're currently a private instructor teaching in your home studio or in most other music schools, are you paid for your time off or losing money if you're not teaching?
5. Opportunities for Professional Growth and Performance
LAAPA is pleased to additionally offer teacher training opportunities a few times each year to help you grow as an instructor. Our Faculty additionally have access to our network of contacts from around the area regarding well paying performance opportunities. All Faculty additionally have the opportunity each year to perform in our Faculty Concert and receive a high quality audio/video recording.