We have a favorite cafe in a town about 45 minutes away from our house that we frequent… regularly. The owners of this cafe have their act together; the customer service is top-notch, the food is amazing and the word-of-mouth generation is something every piano teacher would be hungry for.
As I sat there munching on my Veggie Greek Wrap, I got to thinking, “How can Piano Teachers harness some of the fab things this cafe is doing?“.
So I scanned the room searching for that “special something”, and found one really cool thing that all piano teachers should add to their piano studios… and that is a Welcome Wall.
What are Welcome Walls and Why Are They Wonderful?
The cafe has a huge world map with a little cup of pins set to the side. Visitors grab a pin and stick it in their hometown’s location on the map. The myriad of pins spread around the globe is an incredible sight to see… and it really gives the cafe a good dose of “Wow… this is the place to be!”
Creating a welcome wall in your studio is sure to accomplish the same effect.
Parents who enter your studio will be “wowed” by the number of students you have, the frequency of new sign-ups, the uniqueness of your programming, the accomplishments of your piano students… whatever you choose to highlight. It’s a great way to clearly communicate what makes you great!
Our Top 5 Tips for Creating a Piano Studio Welcome Wall
1. Choose a high-traffic location
The Welcome Wall should be the first thing your students see as they enter your piano studio… whether it be in a hallway, a waiting area or on a main wall of your studio. Many of you teach from your homes, so a great solution is to have your Welcome Wall be a bulletin board that can be taken down on “non-teaching days” so you can re-claim some of your personal space.
2. Update it at least once a month
The Welcome Wall needs to be constantly changing… or it just becomes a part of the scenery that no one pays attention to. Choose a day each month to change your wall and then commit to making it happen. You can stay with the same theme (although changing the theme is a good way to shake things up as well) or you can simply adjust to the seasons, or to whatever it is that is taking place in your studio.
3. Highlight the one thing that makes your studio unique
We’ve talked a lot about discovering or developing a solid idea of what makes your studio stand out. This message should be communicated clearly on your welcome wall.
Perhaps you are a teacher who has a TON of students, or who makes composing a central part of your program, or who has many award-winning students. Maybe you are a teacher who uses really unique supplementary materials or who specializes in off-bench games and activities. Whatever it may be… make this the focus.
If you want the one thing that makes your studio unique to be “composing”, then check out our laugh-out-loud composing resource, The Curious Case of Muttzart and Ratmaninoff (Adventures In Composing).
4. Pay attention to your own Welcome Wall
Your Welcome Wall can be a great part of your social media messaging (pictures of it posted to Facebook, shout-outs on Twitter, the topic of your blog posts or newsletters) and can also be something that you get your own students excited about engaging with. If you make a big deal about it, your students will too! The Welcome Wall might be a great place to introduce waiting room activities to keep those busy bodies occupied as they wait to come in for their lessons.
5. Include a “Call To Action” on the wall itself
Make your Welcome Wall work for you by being sure to include a call to action that will inspire your piano parents to spread the word (“We love adding new faces to our wall! Thanks in advance for your referrals” or “Spread the word! Your kids are composers!” etc.) It’s a tiny nudge but it works!
The Welcome Wall Brainstorm…
Looking for ideas for your own Welcome Wall? Here are a few that you may want to try. If you’d like to add to the list, please share in the comments below!
- Faces of the Studio (student photos of everyone you teach)
- Composer of the Month (photo of the chosen student, “interview” about the piece, sheet music etc)
- Student of the Month (photo of chosen student, reasons why they were chosen, an “about me” page etc.)
- Look Who Is New (post names of newly registered students)
- It’s All Fun and Games (photos of students playing games, pin up examples of the games you play etc.)
- This Month’s Amazing Music (pin up examples of the supplementary music you will be using)
- We’re Playing The Music Of ___ (for a composer theme)
- Studio-wide practice challenges and events
- Student Spot-Light (choose one student and make the wall all about him or her, rotate freqently)
- Student Art Spot (post all the cute cards, drawings, notes etc. your students give you)
- …share your ideas in the comments!