If you have ever spoken to me about my journey in working with Lessons In Your Home, you would find that I am not only a proud member of this company, but a huge fan of what we do! As an organization in general, Lessons In Your Home does great business, not only from the perspective of the families with whom we work, but also from the perspective of teachers. You may think my opinion is biased, as I am the director of the lessons in your home D.C. and Baltimore area, but I assure you that I have a long history with Lessons In Your Home, and not one that began with the position I hold now.
In the summer of 2006, I was on break between my junior and senior years in college at Georgia State University and getting my degree in music. Basically, I needed a summer job and started searching through local papers for opportunities. After countless failed attempts at landing a generic summer job (waiting tables or working retail—all of which I had no experience in) I stumbled across an ad in Creative Loafing looking for in home music teachers. From the start I knew this would be perfect for me and something I always wanted to try, even though my experience with music thus far involved laboring over my own skills and taking lessons, not giving them. After a couple of interviews, I had my first teaching job, and I was excited to begin. Also, I thought the fact that I would be doing lessons in the homes of our students was a big plus, as I had roommates at the time.
I really didn’t know what to expect at first with doing in home lessons—how would the families receive me, and would I be a good teacher? The owner of Lessons In Your Home, Jay Maurice, offered a lot of support and seemed to be so confident in how the lessons would go that I found my own confidence in this new experience. In starting teaching for the first time, it was great to have the foundation of an organization behind me, as well as someone I could turn to as a mentor. Not only that, but as an independent teacher, I don’t know that I would be able to find my own students or know how to set up scheduling, pricing, policies, etc. These were all things that were taken care of before me, and all I had to do was show up on time and give great lessons, which I discovered was a talent that had not yet been realized.
As I finished college, my studio continued to grow, and soon I had over 20 students in the Atlanta area that I met with on a weekly basis. It felt so great to have a long-term job that I started before I even finished college and one that was actually in my area of study (which no one in my family believed would happen with a music degree). The families that I worked with became my weekly routine, and I always felt welcomed into their homes; I knew I was getting a way more personal experience than I would at a studio and that the work Lessons In Your Home did was special. I met my students’ siblings, family members that were from out of town and just visiting, and had time to chat with the parents about all sorts of things after the lessons on my way out. These students felt like my very own, and I had a sense of independence with the lessons, but knew there was a system behind them that was helping everything go smoothly. All of these factors made me feel closer and more invested in the gift I was sharing with my students and like I was a part of their lives in a greater way than just as a music teacher.
I never ended up working with a different company, and passed all of my referred students to Lessons In Your Home. I really believe in the process and strength that comes from Lessons In Your Home and the great possibilities that the company allowed for my future. At one recital in 2008, Jay Maurice asked if I ever had interest in moving to help the company branch out (an opportunity that is open to all teachers), to which I responded, “definitely!” After a year and a half of planning, I finally made my move to D.C. to be the director of a new branch of Lessons In Your Home, and I continue to be amazed by how wonderful this company is! Our students really enjoy and take away a great musical experience from our fabulous teachers in the D.C. and Baltimore areas, and our teachers can rest assured that they have a supportive and well-rounded company behind them.