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Incorporated into magazine adverts, posters, flyers, packaging, menus and even on vehicles! What are they?
Quick Response codes or QR codes for short!
So what are they and how could they possibly help a music teacher? Read more…
Posted in Music & Technology, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio
The average time spent on a website is less than 60 seconds!
How can we, who have a website, possibly hope to engage with our audience and encourage them to want our services? There are some basic marketing techniques that can help our virtual “shop window” look attractive and encourage potential customers to “step inside.”
Put Your Feet in Their Shoes
The most effective way to present ourselves is to consider what information prospective clients want to know. Give them this information quickly and easily and their experience on your website will be satisfying. What do they want to know?
What instrument/s do you teach? Where are you located? How much do your lessons cost?
Think for a moment how frustrating it is when you look at a product for sale that doesn’t have a price tag, you can’t work out where a company is located or what exactly it is “they do!” You can see how important it is to clearly state your
Posted in Financial Business, Music & Technology, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Using Music Teacher's Helper
There is no question that it is far easier to hang on to current students than it is to go find new ones. This is true with just about any business venture – it pays to invest in keeping your current customers. It is less costly and easier than trying to constantly find a steady stream of new customers. If you’re teaching in a busy music store, this may not be as important to you, especially if you have a steady stream of new students coming through the store and a long waiting list to pick and choose from. But if you’re like me, you value each and every student in your care, not just for the money, but most of all for who they are and for the relationship you have developed. While some students will inevitably come and go, some will stick around for a long time if you treat them well. Here are a few suggestions for hanging onto your current students. Read more…
Posted in Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Teaching Tips
I was just discussing with a friend the importance of good communication. It is an essential element to success in relationships, work, and play. Any business, including private music studios, relies on good communication as one of the keys to success. For example, during my time as a makeup and skin care professional, I learned a lot during training sessions about the importance of business communication. I was taught that after a personal consultation, when a client purchased a skin care package, that it was necessary to follow up with the client at two days, two weeks, and two months. This customer service call helped to insure the client was happy with his or her purchase, reminded them to keep using it, and helped them to trust me enough to become a long term client. It also helped them to reorder when they ran out, which kept my business going and growing. Without the follow up communication, a client might be a once and done purchaser, rather than a consistent client. This frequent communication is just as important in the music studio as it is in the skin care business. Here are a few communication ideas that I use.
Posted in Music & Technology, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management
The new student is usually excited, nervous, full of potential, and ready to play. They may come with experience or they may not. They probably have a few preconceived ideas as to what happens in a music lesson. They probably have at least a little bit of knowledge from their school music classes. They may be beginners or they may be advanced. They may have bad habits; hopefully not. They may be experienced players, looking to hone their skills. Regardless of knowledge and experience, the first lesson is critical – not in ensuring musical success, but in helping your new student feel welcome and ready to learn music. While every studio and every teacher is different, here are a few things that I do to make my new students feel welcome.
Have a seat. Usually the first thing I do is introduce myself to the student and his or her parents, and then usher the student right to the piano bench. This is ‘their spot’ and I want them to be comfortable in it.
Posted in Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Teaching Tips
Recitals are a terrific way to showcase your students’ talents. Practicing for and performing in recitals certainly helps students mature musically and professionally. And it is great for their confidence when they are celebrated by family and friends. However, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate your students and give them performing opportunities, too. Here are a few great projects to try in your studio.
Write and record a CD. I tried this in my studio, and it was a fun project all around. Since recording someone else’s music can get into sticky copyright situations, all the students wrote their own songs appropriate to their playing level. After the songs were completed, we recorded them using my keyboard and computer, and I burned each student a copy. It was a great learning experience for all of us (me included!) and the students had a neat prize to play for their families and friends.
Nursing homes. Play Christmas songs for a nursing home. This is a nice way to give back to the community. Nursing homes love when young faces come to visit. Of course, you’ll need parental support, but it is fun to take a gaggle of students and have them showcase their abilities for an excited audience.
Church music. Have advanced students play in their home church. I love to see students get involved in their church, especially when it comes to music. There are a lot of opportunities from children’s church, youth bands, bell choirs, and even praise bands in today’s churches. Students can get involved from a basic level to a more advanced level, depending on their ability.
Coffee shop. Arrange for a student night at your local coffee s Read more…
Posted in Performing, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Teaching Tips
As a kid, I never thought twice about it when my parents dropped me off at private piano or violin lessons and left. I never worried that they had just left me with someone we didn’t really know, even when my lessons were in someone’s private residence. There was a common understanding that private music teachers were safe, trustworthy, upstanding members of the community. I hope that is still true today, but as professionals, I think we need to intentionally implement a few strategies to protect our reputations and keep in good standing in the community. A good reputation means more students. A bad reputation means a struggling studio. And even false allegations of a crime can ruin a private music teaching career forever. It’s sad that we have to take these things into consideration, but in the world we live in, with high profile abuse cases in the news every day, it’s important and prudent to protect our rep. Here are a few ideas that I am using my studio. What other things do you do to protect your reputation?
Open door policy. Educationally, I know it isn’t always the easiest strategy to have parents sit through their child’s piano lessons. But I always make it an option. That way, the parents are aware of my entire interaction with their child. Most of the time, parents stick around for convenience anyway. Ideally, I like to have parents wait in an adjoining room, so they can listen in on the lesson without actually being in the lesson. I like to keep the windows and doors open and the room well lit, too, so that people nearby are also aware of what is happening in the lesson. Even though it can be a little more distracting for the child, the parent never has to worry what might be going on behind a closed door. And some parents enjoy learning as their child learns, which gives them something enjoyable to talk about at the dinner table. Read more…
Posted in Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management
As you may recall, I posted a survey to find out if music teachers integrate jazz/pop music into their teaching. Although the results below are taken from the 1,114 responses received (wow!), I can only see the comments and Poll Daddy detailed reports for the first 200 responses. Many of the first 200 survey participants left insightful comments and I wish I could share them, just not enough space here. The comments of the rest (800+) will go unread as I didn’t want to pay the extra $200. The initial data below provides plenty of interesting findings and may generate further discussion here.
So, what do you glean from this survey? Are the results surprising? alarming? pleasing? as predicted? Will you change how you teach after seeing the results of this survey? If so, how? Is jazz/pop music a legitimate style to integrate in your curriculum or should it be used to “entertain” students who are losing interest in lessons? Do you feel validated in your present approach to teaching jazz/pop? Is there a disparity in how you were trained and what you actually teach? What are the implications for the future of music education, publishers and your teaching style? Did I miss one important question in the survey?
I have my opinons, but I’d love to hear yours!
1) Are you a classically-trained teacher?
- Yes 92%
- Somewhat 7%
- No 1%
Posted in Financial Business, Music History & Facts, Music News, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Teaching Tips
Many of my students are growing up before my very eyes. They are getting taller, developing crushes, and getting their own email addresses. It’s adorable! The last new trait is especially helpful for me. Because they have email now, I can communicate directly with them outside of the lesson. A couple months ago, I collected all of their personal emails, and now I use them to send videos that will hopefully inspire them.
When I taught High School Music Appreciation, I loved showing videos from the Ken Burns Jazz series and Wynton Marsalles educational videos. I took full advantage of film to enhance the class and make it inspiring for my students. Now that my kids are old enough to have their own emails, I am doing the same thing with YouTube. Every few weeks, I will search for videos of musical greats giving live performances. I like them to be within 2-5 minutes. Remember the kids have short attention spans. If I have a handful of students who are showing some promise in beautiful new-age sounding music, I will send them some videos of the Amelie soundtrack. If someone is good at improvisation, I will send them a video of Thelonius Monk. If someone needs to work on tone, I will send Bill Evans. If someone needs to loosen up, I send Jerry Lee Lewis You get the idea.
Posted in Promoting Your Studio, Teaching Tips