The best way to keep your studio healthy and thriving is to keep your students coming back year after year. The fact is, that it can be easier to retain your students than it is to find new ones.
There are two main components to keeping students on board, it’s important that both parents and students see the value in continuing with lessons.
Before we start, evaluate your situation
Is your studio full? Do you have a waiting list? Can you easily get new students? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you don’t need to worry about student retention.
However, if you are like me and the transition from teaching in-person to online or dealing with ongoing COVID shut-downs has left your studio a little “light” You might want to read on and sign up for the “Retaining Students Webinar”
This webinar will be part of a three-part series designed to help piano teachers hedge inflation by saving money and making more money. I will do a deep dive into the following subjects.
Part One – Retaining Students
Part Two – Marketing and Advertising
Part Three – Making Money in the Music Gig Economy
Let’s get started.
Here are my favorite ways to make sure my students keep coming back.
Be sure your students are making progress and their parents are aware of it.
Piano lessons are expensive and time-consuming for parents. Make sure that families are getting their money’s worth. Even students that aren’t that great about practicing can improve and learn new music.
When parents see that their children are learning to play, the last thing, they will want to cut out is piano lessons. Take the time to find repertoire that fits each individual student.
Assign music that makes your students sound and feel like winners.
Everyone wants to feel successful, and success begets more success. I have been assigning music that is easy to learn but sounds great in addition to music that is on a student’s level.
Connect with students on a personal level.
Ask how your students are doing, say hello to mom and dad. Make sure they know you care, and the communication lines are open. Send a birthday card or a personalized message from time to time.
Hold Events and Recitals
Be sure your students have some performance opportunities. Everyone may not want to participate, but most will, and parents love to see kids perform. Yes, it is extra work but in my experience, it’s well worth it.
Keep pricing reasonable and competitive.
We live in challenging times. The price of everything is going up. It may seem reasonable to raise your rates but be aware that a large price increase may just be the thing that pushes parents toward leaving.
When I raise rates, I make sure I let parents know in advance, and personally, at this point, I am willing to offer discounts to families who need it, especially when the students are making good progress.
When I began the Paloma Piano Membership website, I had to learn a lot about marketing. One of the golden rules of marketing is to give out high-quality free content and serve your audience in the best way possible.
It may seem counterintuitive, and I’m not suggesting that you give away tons of free lessons but don’t be afraid to give away some of your time and other things that will make parents feel as though you appreciate them.
Be Unique, be yourself
What are you good at? Are you great with adult students or preschoolers? Are you good at playing covers, blues, or jazz? Are you an accomplished classical pianist? Teach what you are good at doing and what you love.
Work on your own skills and show them off
Never stop learning, practicing, and moving ahead with your own musicianship. Don’t be afraid to show off either, students are inspired when they hear you play, and seeing that you are a competent and confident player makes parents feel as though they have made a good choice of a teacher. You don’t have to be a concert pianist to be able to play something well. But I am a firm believer in practicing daily and keeping up with your own skills.
Let students and parents know about your own success and the musical successes of your students.
These are some things you can do to help retain the students you have. During the webinar, I will show you step by step all the things you can do to keep your students coming back year after year.