performance Tag

I believe that in order for my students to be successful, and in order for them to become long-term students, the most important thing I can do is have a strong and broad base of parents. The parents must be willing to invest a great deal of time into getting them to lessons and practicing with them at home. Lessons of any sort are a commitment not just on the part of the child, but on the part of a parent, too. The happier your parents are, the more likely you are to develop a long-lasting relationship with the student. Parents are integral to the success of your studio.

“Gratitude is the best attitude.” ~Author Unknown

The holiday season is a time for giving thanks. Do your customers really know how much you appreciate their business? What do you do to express your gratitude? In order to develop good customer service and build your brand, recognizing your clients for their loyalty goes a long way. Most businesses have some kind of special event, sale or special recognition for their customers. We, as studio business owners, are no different. When I first considered this, I asked myself the question and thought that I wasn’t doing much, but after some reflection, realized that I already do quite a bit – not to say that I can’t do more! There is always room for improvement!

The holidays are the perfect time to utilize fun and original ideas and enhance performances, lessons and even marketing. Halloween is a popular, kid-friendly holiday that lends itself to some exciting opportunities for the studio. Performances This year my collaborative fall recital with other teachers in my local association fell three days before Halloween. The students that performed from my studio played a variety of Halloween-themed pieces, with a duet of Grieg's...

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Art of PossibilityIn March, I traveled to New York City for the Music Teachers National Conference. Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, gave the keynote address on themes from the book that he and his wife wrote entitled, “The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life.” A colleague and I arrived early for the session and were greeted warmly with a friendly smile and handshake by Zander himself! He inquired where we were from and took a sincere interest in us. I knew at that moment that this would be a special session. And it was – it was truly transformational.

Zander began his talk unconventionally by walking from the front to the back of the room. He mentioned why people choose to sit in the back or the front row. Often, people won’t choose to be in the front row because they think it is saved for V.I.P. “Back rowers” like to be able to make a quick exit, sleep or text. Those who choose to be in the front row are open to receive (we had hesitantly chosen to sit in the front row!). Since the front row seats were not full, he invited folks to move up into them.

We all have the choice to be in the front row of our lives. According to Zander, our choices can be boiled down to either an upward or downward spiral (winning or losing, succes or failure), or the “radiating circle of possibility.” He said, “The world will show up entirely in the way you create it.” In other words, the secret of life is that, “It is all invented.”

category119One of my goals as a piano teacher–and probably one of the goals of many teachers and studio owners out there–is to avoid student turnover.  I understand that many students who quit piano at a young age will go on to have regrets as adults for not sticking with music lessons longer, which I find heartbreaking.  I enjoy transitioning students from elementary level music to intermediate and advanced repertoire, and if a student quits music lessons too soon, I don’t get to experience this with them.   I also truly believe having happy students (and experiencing little student turnover as a result) is the best marketing strategy out there.  If students are happy, they are less likely to quit and leave me to quickly find a replacement before it causes too much of a financial strain.  And, if students are happy, they will provide excellent word-of-mouth references in my community–free advertising!

So far, I have managed to avoid much student turnover and my returning student rate each fall has been between 90 and 95%.  I have found the following strategies to be successful in helping me to achieve this rate: