Written by: Carly Seifert
One of the challenges in scheduling piano lessons is that most of my clients are school aged children. This means that by the time a student gets out of school and over to my home studio it is typically 4:00. Most school aged children–especially the younger ones I tend to work with–are at their best if their lessons are over by 6:30 or 7. And since we live in an area where people tend to go camping or skiing on the weekends (myself included), Friday and weekend lessons are not a viable option. This means that I really only have about 12 hours of weekly teachable time (and income earning potential).
This past year, I’ve tried to get creative by expanding my studio offerings, and I have also observed many fellow studio owners in our area that have done the same. Here are some ideas from my experience:
- Expand your demographics. In my own experience, elementary aged children tended to be the ones most interested in piano lessons, but this doesn’t mean that’s all I should be offering. This summer, I trained in an early childhood music/keyboard program called Music for Young Children. I’m now able to offer music classes and keyboard group lessons to ages 2-4 during the morning hours. I also occasionally offer adult piano classes. Adult students often have the ability and desire to have a lesson either while their kids are in school or later in the evenings–time slots that are typically challenging to fill.
- Reach out to nearby schools. Is your program one that could be offered at local schools or park and recreation departments? A friend of mine owns a business called Performance Kids–a physical fitness program for children. Since she doesn’t have her own space, she travels to preschools and elementary schools in the area and does an hour long session with the students. If you’re a music teacher, perhaps there is an opportunity at your local private school to teacher lessons during study hall; for the dance instructor, consider offering ballet classes as part of a school’s P.E. unit.
- Utilize all of your studio space. Another friend of mine rents a piano studio space in a strip mall. The space has one large room and two small rooms. Every student is required to have a 45 minute lesson–a half hour private session with her, and 15 minutes on the computer in the second room doing theory games independently while she begins her next lesson. The third room is rented out by a guitar instructor. The studio where my daughter takes dance lessons has a similar set up: her ballet class takes place in one room while the other room serves as a preschool.
How about you? Do you have any creative strategies that you have implemented to expand your studio’s earnings? Please share below!