Promoting Your Studio

Any expert will tell you that the best source of new clients is current clients. Over the summer is a great time to get new students and to showcase your achievements.

There are several ways to promote your expertise as a teacher and your student’s achievements.

1. Late in summer as school is ready to resume is a fabulous time for a recital

2. Ask parents to sign a waiver allowing you to make a video of your best students in each category from beginner to advanced. You can use this video to show potential students, speak at community groups during the summer or post on your website

3. Offer an incentive plan for referring students. For example, if a student refers a new student and the new student completes a month of paid lessons, the referring student should receive one lesson free or a gift certificate to a music store

4. Offer a family introductory special if one member signs up at full price the second family member will be half price for the first month

The above steps are very proactive ways to reach new students, but the most effective way to increase your teaching base is to ask for referrals.

Many professionals use a note in red ink on invoices or correspondence to thank existing clients for their business and ask for referrals.

Another very handy phrase to use at the end of a lesson is: “Do you know anyone that is interested in taking lessons?”

By asking on a regular -but not annoying- basis, you are certain to spread the word and increase your teaching base. Persistence breaks down resistance, always has always will. So by focusing on increasing your teaching base and using your current resources to expand you will realize your goal.

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First, thanks to Stephane, Betty, James, and Lynda for new comments this week on Playing with Students at Lessons, and thanks to Betty and Jan for comments, some of them pretty detailed, on Collecting the Benjamins (about collecting lesson payments from students). Feel free to comment on any blog articles, however old, in the archive; I will call your attention to new comments made on any article, so they won’t be buried.


About 6 weeks ago, I wrote “Finding Students For You” about one website that helps students find music teachers. This time, I’ve looked at a number of them, and even conducted a little search-engine survey to help you consider which sites to try.

In thinking about these teacher-student matchmaking sites, it occurred to me that teacher needs are quite different from student needs. Students will want to look for teachers at sites that host the most teachers, so as to get the broadest selections. But as a teacher, you will do better with a site that has fewer teachers from your area, so that when a student looks for a teacher in your area, you show up in as short a list as possible.

There are a few other factors, of course. Some sites are free; others are not. Some have additional services you might find useful. Some are easy to use; others are inconsistent in their search results. Some search results are alphabetized, others randomized, others put premium customers at the top or give them first rights to answer inquiries.

Maybe most important, though, is whether students will actually find the website in order to use it and then find you. To address this question, I offer you my little survey, below.  [···]

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Are you a member of any of the music organizations listed below? Maybe you can recommend a group that’s not on the list. Is there an organization, whether national or local, that you especially like (or dislike)? Please feel free to tell us, by adding a comment at the end of this article; we’d all appreciate hearing about your experiences.

Music teachers and performers are necessarily people-oriented, and yet many are freelancers, running their own teaching studios, and spend precious time alone practicing, listening, composing, arranging, preparing materials.

Bringing them together is the goal of professional music organizations, which offer networking opportunities, educational workshops and conferences, publications, grants, awards, competitions, insurance, websites, with annual dues ranging from $35 to $120.

Before listing some organizations and their websites, I must confess that the reason I first joined a national music organization was to get half-price instrument insurance.  [···]

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