If you are a music teacher, then you know that the lifeblood of your business is finding and retaining new clients who are interested in music lessons. There are lots of ways that you can approach finding that business, but one of the very best is word of mouth. Most private music teachers find that a good portion of their business simply comes from people telling their friends and associates about their music lessons. Consider for a moment how important word of mouth exposure can be. For example, it is one of the key ways that extremely successful films get their break. Many of us often think that it is all the advertising that is responsible for how well a given film does, and much of the time that is true. However, there are occasions when films come out of nowhere and generate huge box office numbers. When this happens. it is usually because of very successful word of mouth. If you can get people talking about how great of a music teacher you are, then you will definitely see new clients roll into your front door for music lessons. So how do you get all of that word of mouth exposure for your music lessons in the first place? One good idea is to offer free classes to your existing clients that refer your services. Don’t shy away from this idea, as it is used by almost every industry you can think of or imagine. If you are teaching a child, for example, it is very likely that the parents know of other parents who may be considering music lessons. Why not let them know that an incentive is on the table? If you are uncomfortable discussing your offer of free music lessons as a thank you for referrals, there are other ways to get the information across. This can be as simple as a sign in your studio or office. Or this detail can be included in an informational pamphlet that you just happen to be giving out to new students. If you have a good relationship with your clients, you can also simply tell them that you are now accepting new students and that they can feel free to spread the word. This simple idea may indeed generate a good deal of word of mouth about your music lessons and fast. Donâ€™t just assume that people will think of telling their friends and associates about your music lessons. For all that they know you may be fully booked. Sometimes you need to spell things out for people if you want to get your desired outcome. This may sound a bit old-fashion, but delivering a very high quality service is probably the single greatest step that you can take to promote your music lessons. A great job performance may lead to many people finding you due to your glowing reviews
I had the pleasure today of having the chance to walk around the exhibition hall and see all of the great vendors that are at the National Music Teacher’s Association (NMTA) National Conference today. There were so many great things to see I couldn’t get to all of it, but I did want to post a few photos today from my friend Rick that I meet at Dowling Music based in Texas. Rick the manager has been with the company for 30 years and was very kind enough to pose for me with the Treble Clef sunglasses that every music teacher should wear while teaching lessons!
I am in Albuquerque till next Wednesday for the National Music Teacher’s Association Conference. I have been pouring over the program guide and there are so many music teaching lectures, it’s hard to decide. I have chosen my 1st & 2nd option for each of the time blocks & have been getting my interviews in line for the week. all of my daily video blogs & interviews will be posted here on the website, so check back.
I know it’s only February but as an independent music teacher have you started planning your summer camps for music students? It amazes me how early you have to start planning, because parents are already making decisions about what summer camps to put their children in this July. Summer camps can be a great way to make some extra money in the summer or even to just keep the income flowing to pay for the expenses that do not stop for the 3 months of summer. Here are a few tips to planning a successful summer camp.
- Decided on what ages you hope to attract?
- What summer camp theme can you offer that is fun and different from the regular lesson?
- What is the purpose of the camp, just for summer or to recruit students for fall?
- How many hours will the camp last and what weeks?
- How will you advertise the camps to get students? Please check back next week to read about more ideas on a successful summer camp.
If a music teacher attempts to teach adults and children in the same fashion, odds are that the results will be less than optimal for both groups. Clearly, children and adults are quite different. Developmentally and emotionally, they are simply not the same. Therefore, they will not respond to the same input in the same fashion when you are teaching music. An over the top example would be to give a thirty-two year old piano student a gold star. Yes, that wouldn’t work very well for obvious reasons. While there are clear differences between the young versus older students, the most important factor one must keep in mind is respect. The trick to teaching anyone anything is respect. Respect for the pupil and the subject matter is critical for any real, long-term success to mount. Taking this into consideration, it is important that respect flows back and forth between teacher and student and the material. This part of the process is unusually going to be much easier when teaching music to an adult student. After all, if an adult student really does not respect or like you, they are likely to simply spend their money elsewhere. You probably would not be teaching music to an adult who did not respect you in the first place.
With teaching music to a child, the situation may be different. Music teachers (perhaps more than anyone) see the value of learning to play a musical instrument, but a child may not see that value. It is possible that a child is feeling forced to take music lessons and this can be a difficult situation. It also marks one of the key differences between teaching music to an adult versus a child. Odds are you would never have an adult student that felt that they were being forced to take piano lessons so that awkward dynamic is removed from the equation. However, this is not the case with a child.
One is left wondering how to deal with a child that feels forced into taking music lessons. When you are teaching music, one of the key moves that you have is to make the subject matter as entertaining as possible for the student. One way may be to ask the student if there are any particular songs that he or she may want to learn. Even this simple act may give the child a feeling of empowerment. Having a say of some kind in the process may make a good deal of difference to a student. An adult student will more than likely just come out and tell you if he or she wants to learn to play a particular piece of music. However, when teaching music to a child, you will need to ask and encourage the child to give you suggestions.
If a student does not have his or her heart in learning an instrument, then the battle will be uphill indeed, whether you are dealing with a child or an adult. Realizing that your student isn’t completely invested in the process is a good first step towards fixing the problem. With an adult, you may need to address the issue head-on and have an honest conversation about your feelings. But this is not to state that you cannot take moves to try and make the learning process fit better with the personality of a older student as well.
Student’s young and old both learn in different ways, and acknowledging this fact can only help the situation. By properly adapting to the perspective of your student, young and old, it is possible to start teaching music more effectively. By that means, you may become a teacher that students come back to year after year.
Communicating with parents is the most important way of keeping students long term. Even though most of us talk to parents every week before or after the lesson parents often forget many important details they need to remember such as recital dates, special classes, or vacation dates the second they walk out your door. There are several easy great ways to keep in touch with parents and make sure they get all the information they need to know from your studio. Emailing parents is one way of letting them know about important news. Many teachers will have a newsletter they give at the piano lesson or guitar lesson, but people don’t read them! We have become a society of needing the most important information now. Here are three great ways to get in touch with your clients right now and they will pay attention! First consider using facebook and twitter to update parents about events with your studio or music school. Facebook is a great way of learning more about each of your families as you make them your “friends.” Music teachers can easily emal parents or even students about that upcoming master class or piano pizza party. Twitter is a second way to reach parents, everyone is “Tweeting” these days. Well tweet to your piano studio, guitar studio, or drum studio that children will be having a one octave scale quiz today at lesson. You would be suprised how many parents will ask you questions at lessons that day. The larger the studio the more you need to make sure parents are getting the message and feeling involved with the music school. Invest in using a newletter service like Vertical Response. This is a great company that lets you design custom newsletters, surveries, or announcements. Having a paid service is affordable, convient, and parents read the information. Vertical Response makes sure your email gets into the clients mailbox and not their spam. You also get reports telling you what email addresses bounced, who opened their email, and more. Parents can even forward the emails to their friends so it is a great way to get new students for music lessons!
Over the past six months I’ve been test-driving the new lesson book series American Popular Piano with students, and the verdict is in – the kids love it! The piano teaching series is an integrated, comprehensive course of study by Christopher Norton, bestselling creator of the million-selling Micro jazz series, and Scott McBride Smith
I attended Dr. Scott McBride’s workshop at this past summer’s Oregon Music Teachers Association conference. I was really impressed with how the lessons books incorporated modern elements of music – rock, jazz, blues – while still staying true to the core essential elements of teaching music to a student. The series has been really popular with students who are nine and older.
I am sure you have students who are always looking for a song that “sounds really cool.” In the Popular American Piano series, the students learn a song and then play along with a CD that has full band accompaniment at two different tempos. After learning to improve their playing, the students learn how to create their own song from the structure of the original music. The clear explanations of the lessons make it easy for any teacher to guide the student through the activity.
Click on the link below and order a few copies today. I hope you’ll share my enthusiasm. I believe this piano series is sure to become a nationwide favorite teaching method!