If you have a smart phone it’s likely that you already use Instagram. With over 800 million users it’s a pretty big deal 😉 And while you likely are already posting photos of your cat, your dinner, your kids’ ice cream cone and your latest camping trip to your personal account… adding an account for your piano teaching studio can actually be a pretty amazing and motivating teaching tool!
Aside from using a studio Instagram account for advertising, you can also use this app as a way of connecting with your tween and teen students and as a practice motivator for kids of all ages. Today we’re sharing 4 ways you can use Instagram as a teaching tool, but before we do… let’s make sure you’re also using it to it’s utmost potential for word-of-mouth advertising!
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a free photo app that allows users to take photos, add fun filter effects, and share with their followers (you can also choose to keep them private). It’s a booming trend and as a result many fab little businesses have sprung up to serve all of your Instagram needs. Note: we link to one of these services below, but do “shop around” we are not affiliated with any of these businesses in any way.
Instagram can be downloaded free from wherever you get your apps. If you already have Instagram, you can add a second account to your personal account (and you can make your personal account private if you’d prefer your studio families not see those photos). To add a second account simply click on the “gear” icon in the upper right corner, scroll down to the bottom and choose “add account”. You’ll have to confirm your email address, create a password etc. but it takes just a few minutes to complete.
I recommend choosing a user name for your studio that clearly shows you are a piano teaching studio. Use your logo as a profile picture or a professional headshot of yourself. Include your location in your bio so users know if you are nearby. You can include a hashtag in your bio and a link to your website as well if you choose to.
**Always obtain written parental permission before posting any photos on social media** … this is very, very important.
Keeping your piano teaching account separate from your personal account means you can focus completely on piano-related photos and you can curate an account that clearly shows the amazing things you do in your studio. Encourage your studio families to follow you and include relevant hashtags in your posts to build your following. You can also link your Instagram account to your Facebook account so everything you share on Instagram will show on your Facebook page as well.
Aside from posting student photos (with permission), include pictures of the teaching resources you use, your studio set-up, videos of students playing etc. And psst… if you are using our resources, be sure to tag us #WunderKeys or #TeachPianoToday so we get to see! Our free Piano Studio Photo Props pop up on Instagram all the time and are a great way to add interest to your account! Find them here.
Instagram can be used for so much more than advertising, brand building and building community. Check out the 4 ways you can use Instagram as a teaching tool in your studio:
1. Mastered Measures
Create a large poster board for your waiting area and stencil “Got’cha!”on the top. You’ve now created a “Mastered Measure” Board. There are always “those measures” in every piano piece that are trickier than others. To encourage drill and mastery of this measure, let your piano students take a picture of that particular measure (once it’s perfected) and choose their own fun photo effect. Post your Mastered Measure to your Instagram account with the child’s (first) name, and what they did to master it.
Once you’ve collected a bunch of mastered measures, head on over to Social Print Studio and add all of your Mastered Measure Photos to one of their sticker books. You get 252 stickers per order and they come in a cute little book. Your students then get to place their “Mastered Measure” on your sticker board in your waiting area and write their name underneath. It’s a fun way to take the “blah” out of those tricky parts of a piece. In fact, students have will likely ask for piano pieces that are more difficult just to earn their sticker on the board! Bring your “Mastered Measure” poster to your end-of-year recital and display it so parents can see their children’s hard work during the year.
*252 is a lot of stickers… so you can use this sticker book for so many other uses too! All piano kids love stickers… imagine if they had stickers they could collect of their favorite book, piano game, of themselves performing at your recital, of the piano studio mascot of the pet who is under your piano… sky’s the limit!
2. Mini Music Yearbook
For piano students who require more to motivate them to complete a piece than just a check mark or a sticker or for those who are completing “100 piece challenges” etc., take a picture of your student holding their piano book open to the latest piece they’ve “checked off”. You can then print a mini-album easily (right from Instagram) with room for 100 photos each. When the students at your studio reach 100 completed pieces they each get a mini music yearbook with photos of them and their completed pieces Kids love anything mini – it’s been a great motivator to complete those pieces and get to 100 (either solo or as a group). These little books are 2 for $15. Parents have been happy to cover the cost.
3. Practice Incentive Markers
Whenever we have a practice incentive program happening at the studio, instead of just using the student’s name I instead use an Instagram photo of the student. When we’re not tracking practice time, these photos “live” under a sign in our waiting area that says “Our Students are Stars”. It’s good advertising (“Look how many students I have!”) and it creates a sense of community in the studio (“Oh! Aidan Jones takes lessons here too!) Printing mini photos is really cost-effective you can get 48 for $15 here.
4. Composition Starters
I have a stack of laminated Instagram photos of everything from a cat to a water lily. These make for great composition starters – piano students randomly choose a “card” from a hat or a stack and create a motive and a mood for their composition based on what is in the picture. It’s a great way to kick-start their imagination and get them thinking about how the piano can convey meaning. Kids love that Instagram photos are small, square and beautiful (the photo filters can really create neat effects). If you can capture their interest with the materials you use you’re one step ahead of the game.
So head on over to the app store, download Instagram for free and get clicking! Use your imagination, and take advantage of the great opportunities the internet provides to bring unique and innovative teaching ideas to your piano studio.
Needing “cool” things to include in your Instagram account? Pictures of our PianoBookClub books and PianoGameClub games are eye-catching and show the world that you use the most current, imaginative materials! Find out how just $8 a month can build your repertoire library or set you up with a dream game collection.