What is Off Bench Time?

Off Bench Time formerly known as “Music Tech Time” or “lab time” in my studio, is a 15-30 minute sessionIMG_2719 added to a private lesson.

Two students arrive together and while one works with me at the piano for 30 minutes, the other completes assignments on the computer, iPad, worksheets, theory books, or listening to repertoire. Virtually anything you can dream up that you’d like your students to complete that may not get done at home. Then the two students switch.

Advancing high school students spend 45 minutes with me and 15 minutes reviewing concepts with iPad app drills, listening to repertoire or completing theory worksheets.

With this format, you can charge more ($1 per lesson up to one-third of your what you charge per lesson) because you are offering longer lessons. In reality, your students are getting twice as much time with you but your parents will not be paying twice as much.

Find a “script” for selling this idea to your parents here.

To learn more about how this works and how to integrate Off Bench Time into your own studio, schedule a personal consultation with me.  Also, secure your copy of The iPad Piano Studio which describes how to begin integrating the iPad into your teaching. Find it at your local music dealer or order it here.

Looking to give your studio an update but need some guidance? Please contact me (Leila Viss) at lviss@me.com if you are interested a personal consultation.

Personal Online Consultation

Are you looking to expand your studio, make more income, find more time for theory, music history, composition, etc? Then you need to consider adding Off-Bench time with your On-Bench instruction.

Perhaps you know you need to reboot your current lesson format but need an extra boost. Let me help you design a customized plan to suit your needs with a balance of tech-savvy and non-tech activities via Skype or Facetime. I’ll coach you along the way as you launch off-bench activities combined with your on-bench instruction. (60 min for $90 with detailed notes)


If you are interested in hearing specific ideas and a detailed description of how to add technology and Off Bench time in your studio, you may want to register for The Upbeat Piano Teachers Webinar. Besides learning from a number of teachers about various topics, my interviews give specific descriptions of how this works in my studio.


2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’m taking from this article, Leila, that all your students take a one hour lesson time. Is that correct? The younger beginner students are in a 30 minute lab with their 30 minute lesson and then 45/15 for advancing students. What do you consider as the break off level? Do you charge the same tuition for all since it’s one hour? Thanks so much.

    • Hi, Saundra. Yes, they all have 60-min lessons. Usually my high school students move into the 45/15 format. Sometimes middle schoolers do if they are excelling and we need more time. I do not charge the same tuition. The 45/15 format is about 1/3 more than the 30/30 format per hour because they have more time alone with me. Hope that helps?

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