Chances are, at some point in your piano teaching career, your studio will stall. The phone will stop ringing and the email will stop dinging.
You may turn into a bundle of nerves, overwhelmed by “end-of-the-world” thinking; what if nobody ever signs up for piano lessons again? How will I support my family? I’m going to have to get a new job… back to school I go!…
And when this happens, you may make a last-ditch effort to save your piano studio by overhauling every last aspect of the way you teach, the way you run your business, or the way you find piano students.
Which leads to chaos, disorganization and bigger problems.
How To Properly Save Your Piano Studio
1) The first step is recognizing that the sky is not falling… meaning do not panic.
2) The second step is to remember that you don’t have to improve EVERY aspect of your studio… you only need to improve one aspect of your studio.
3) The third step is to convince yourself that you are average (at least for now). This is the most important step, and here’s why:
When you convince yourself that you are average, you relieve yourself of the panic of feeling alone. By its very nature, being average means that many piano teachers are also facing the same struggles that you are currently facing, which is indeed true. And “on average” most piano teachers in your position have overcome these struggles and continue to successfully operate their piano studios.
Next, when you convince yourself that you are average, then simply changing one aspect of your studio is going to propel you to the category of “above average”. And piano teachers who are “above average” are not struggling to grow their piano studios.
4) The final step is committing to that one simple, concrete task that will lead you to “above averageness”.
A Crazy Example Involving A Healthy Lawn
Let’s imagine for a moment that your “stalled studio” is akin to the front lawn of my house 12 months ago… because 12 months ago my front lawn was just average.
It looked much like everyone else’s lawn… not offensively ugly, but also not a candidate for the front page of Golf Readers Digest… or whatever magazine it is that golfers read.
Anyways, being from a long lineage of attractive lawn keepers, I decided to follow in the footsteps of those who came before me and pursue an attractive lawn.
But instead of digging the whole thing up, or throwing a ton of nasty chemicals at it, or paying out my nose for a lawn care company, I instead decided that what I needed to do was simply start off being a little better than the average lawn keeper.
I grabbed a screwdriver and a bucket, and each night after dinner I patrolled my lawn and dug out between 10 and 15 weeds.
It took me all of 10 minutes and was even kind of peaceful in the process.
But the very act of committing to one little task started to make a noticeable difference in the way my lawn looked. And once the invasive weeds were under control I was more motivated to fix the next thing that needed attention… edge-trimming.
And now I definitely have an “above average” looking lawn.
What Is One Small Change You Can Make To Your Piano Studio?
So, although you may believe your studio has a host of problems, if you let your “average” mindset lead you to believe that focusing hard on one small change can start you down a path to “above average” piano studio success, I’ll bet you’ll start to quickly see some above average results.
What is that one thing you can focus on? If I had a stalled studio, here are a few things I may consider focusing on:
1) The Marketing Master: Focus on dominating Facebook Ads. It seems like a crazy mess to start with, but by committing 20 minutes a day to researching how to create and run Facebook Ads you’ll eventually get it. And then give it a try with a few bucks a day.
2) In Constant Contact: Commit to sending one personalized email to every single one of your piano parents once a month. Make the email positive, caring, and educational.
3) Viral Video: Once a week, share a video of something awesome happening at your studio. To avoid many legal headaches the video wouldn’t have to involve students. Instead, it might be a video of you and your own child playing a piano game, a new piano practice incentive, a studio tour, a piano piece you composed, or a piano practice tip for parents. Videos get a lot of attention online and any video that says to your Facebook friends “Hey, remember I teach piano!” is bound to be beneficial.
4) The All Important iPad: In every lesson, every single week do one new and exciting thing with an iPad. This doesn’t have to be simply an iPad music game… it could be playing along with backing tracks, filming and watching back video for technique issues, completing theory worksheets, or emailing lesson updates to parents.
5) Practice Incentives: Consider doing a new piano practice incentive every single month. Incentives provide a studio focus, build community, and, of course, encourage students to practice.
Remember, you don’t have to do all of these things… just choose one!
Using games from PianoGameClub would be a seriously positive step to running an “above average” piano studio. We send subscribers 4 awesome games each and every month that will have your students talking! Check it out here.
Tell Us What Makes You Different!
Now, if you are a piano teacher who is rocking the music world, we bet there are many members of the Teach Piano Today community who would love it if you shared in the comments just one little thing that makes you “above average”. Even if there are a plethora of things that have contributed to your success, try to focus on the one thing that you do better than everyone else. We want to hear it!