Piano teachers are not immune to an unstable economy. I know many teachers who have struggled with student retention over the last year and have worked hard to help them right their piano teaching ship.
When it comes to attracting and retaining students in a struggling economy, my advice for teachers is much the same as the advice I offer to teachers in a roaring economy… turn your piano lessons into a “need”.
When a family’s finances take a hit, many “novelties” get the axe. There are many things a family may “want” but if they don’t “need” it… goodbye! Unfortunately, many families view piano lessons as a “want” and not a “need”
If you’re struggling, you need to do whatever it takes to make piano lessons an absolute “need”. How do you do this? Make your piano lessons something that your students are begging to come to each week!
This advice may not seem like anything special, but it needs to be said. Too many piano teachers view their lessons as a necessary evil to be overcome on the path to piano playing success. They get upset with students who don’t practice for one hour each day or students who aren’t inspired by Bach or Mozart. They hit the roof when a kid chooses a hockey game over a piano lesson once a semester.
In good economic times a piano teacher can get away with this attitude. Financially stable parents will support the teacher who praises discipline and structure but ignores passion. But when the economy heads south things change quickly. All of a sudden parents begin to wonder why they are paying for piano lessons when their child isn’t enjoying them. What a waste of money!
Have you ever had a parent withdraw a student that was absolutely enthralled by the piano? I’m betting any instances are rare. When times are tough and it’s time to make cuts, parents will rarely sacrifice their child’s happiness. Are your piano students happy?