Hosting Workshops With Your Favorite Teachers

Music Workshops and Classescathworkshopsinging

Cathy Britell
Seattle WA

It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to take a workshop or group or individual lesson from a world-class musician and teacher.  And it’s a wonderful opportunity for a teacher to be able to interact with a group of adventurous, eager learners.   Watching the “light go on”, and seeing people do things that they never before thought possible is often the greatest reward for a teacher.

When scheduling/hosting a concert for a performer, it is often desirable to take advantage of an opportunity to have a workshop.  Here are some things to consider:

1.  The venue.   Of course, this will depend on the projected size of the classes, but you’ll want a place with plenty of space, good acoustics, good lighting, comfortable temperature (heat or air conditioning),   comfortable chairs without arms, access to bathrooms, and parking.   If possible, it’s good to find a place that is available for a small or no charge, in order to maximize the performer’s compensation for work.  Hosting workshops in a home is nice, but not always possible.  Many music stores have workshop spaces, and church basements also work.

2.  The participants.  You’ll need to figure out at what level the workshop will be offered, or whether more than one workshop will be offered at different levels.   You’ll want to get a detailed workshops description, including, if possible types of instruments and keys the music will be in for some instruments.   You want to maximize the number of participants that will have contact with the instructor, and take advantage of the instructor’s unique strengths in performance and teaching.   You’ll need to talk with the instructor about whether to limit numbers of students per workshop.  Most workshops of over 20 are too large for many instructors and instruments.

3.  The cost.  Often the instructor has a customary charge for individual or group lessons or workshop participants.  Most workshop leaders charge $15-20/hr of workshop time per students in workshops of 20 or less.

4.  Sound reinforcement.  If your instructor is going to be talking/playing for more than an hour at a time, he/she may wish to have sound reinforcement.  It is often difficult projecting into a room for a prolonged period of time; particularly if the instructor is also doing a concert.

5.  And speaking of concerts, you should consider hosting one.  Most instructors have a great deal to offer as performers, love performing, and will really want to do a concert for you (see menu above)

6.  Food and lodging.   If you’re having workshops and concerts across mealtimes, you’ll need to plan for lunch and perhaps dinner.  Oftentimes potluck lunches and/or suppers work well.   You’ll also need to assist with lodging for the performer.

7.  Educational materials.  You’ll want to have a printer/copier available if possible.  Also a whiteboard or blackboard or flip chart will be necessary for most performers/workshops.

8.  Publicity, publicity, publicity!   This is the key to the success of your event.  Make sure to advertise in community music/arts publications, your local music store, in your email groups, Facebook, and other places.

Having hosted many of these events, and been the teacher/performer at many more, I’m always happy to answer questions.   Fill out the form below to contact me: