Hey Music Teachers,
Do you find yourself writing the same emails over and over again?
Our make up policy states..."
Thanks for contacting us about lessons! In our piano classes..."
You know what I'm talking about here.
Most parents have the same questions about lessons that you have to frequently answer.
Unfortunately, we also live in a world where people don't read things so we have to re-answer questions from time to time (while trying not to sound annoyed).
STOP the madness! It's time for all of us Music Teachers and Studio Owners to stop wasting time repeating ourselves to parents and students.
You don't need to rewrite the same emails for generic responses.
FAQ, Makeups, Policy, Payments, etc.
All of these can have a stock email written for them that you (or an admin) can send without crafting a personal message each time.
Here's what we're going to do...
1. Make a list of all the questions you get about how you teach Music Lessons.
What questions do parents have about your private lessons? Group lessons? Piano labs?
What types of emails do you get from your current students about scheduling make ups? Dropping lessons?
Go through your emails and find all of those commonalities.
2. Start with your most common emailed question about Music Lessons.
Look through some emails to see what you get asked the most.
Is it about make ups?
Some other policy?
Find it and pull up your last 3 responses.
There's probably a lot of similarity already.
Use that and write out a template to create a stock email!
3. Wash. Rinse. Repeat with all of the other repeated questions you receive as a Music Teacher about lessons.
Move on to your next most common email and do the same until you've got them all done.
4. Get organized Music Teachers! Save your stock emails and organize them through Trello or similar.
Don't have Trello? Sign up for free here!
I took a screenshot of the Trello Board I created for all of my stock email responses.
What I love about this is not only can you just copy and paste your draft responses to save time on emailing students and parents, but you can also let a manager or admin for your music school use these to respond to emails on your behalf!
BOOM. What a time saver!
It may be a little extra work in the beginning, but if you are an overworked music teacher, this is going to SIMPLIFY your workload immensely!
1. You don't need to waste time rewriting the SAME emails.
2. Make a list. Check it twice.
3. Start with your most common questions.
4. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
So, what are the most frequent emails you receive?
What's your stock response?
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MOST music teachers undercharge for lessons.
I think it's because as teachers, we care more about giving our students the gift of music than the money we make from it.
THOSE hearts are what make us great teachers!
The problem is this:
Music teachers who do not make enough money for their hard work eventually burn out.
We can also become consumed with worry about how to pay bills...
Which means we're NOT giving our students our "A" game!
Not to mention the fact that we're undervaluing ourselves, making others undervalue music lessons, and negatively impacting our self- esteem...
In fact, I think all of our TSC Members have raised their rates AT LEAST once!
And if you're wondering if they had a mass exodus of students or anything from it...
So, what do you do?
How do you know when to raise rates and by how much?
Start by researching the going rate for lessons in your area from other teachers and music schools.
You don't need to be grossly undercharging for your area.
What if you want to set your pricing low as a ministry?
Let's talk about this one, because I hear it a lot.
Before I opened my studio I was working as a worship leader while also giving lessons in a local church. I received $20/ lesson.
My original goal was to max out my schedule so I could pay my bills.
But once I maxed out my personal schedule at 70 students (not exaggerating here!) I was BARELY making enough to pay my bills.
And my students?
Some had the luxury (and my personal disadvantage) of taking Summers off to spend the season at their beach homes.
My 8- 10 year old students received the newest ipads and iphones for Christmas while I was just proud to receive new strings for my guitar.
I even offered scholarships to students who said they couldn't afford lessons, then later found out they were still going on Summer vacations while I was struggling to buy groceries!
The truth is, I lived in an affluent area and $20/ lesson was a STEAL for my students.
It might as well been a minimum wage job for me.
KNOW your area and the type of students you teach and KNOW YOUR WORTH!
And hey, if you charge a fair rate that fits both you and your students' budget, then you can save money and GIVE scholarships to those students who really need it! ;)
Once you figure out what your music lesson rates should be, it's time to set a date to raise rates.
Do it sooner rather than later! I always suggest going for the next term of lessons.
But if you can't pay your bills and are about to have to shut down your studio, you need to do it ASAP.
Either way select a date. Then, set a routine rate raise for future dates!
Raising rates at about 5% a year is a good base to start with.
Are you ready to start valuing yourself and raise your rates?
Grab your free guide and THE email template ALL OF THE Music Teachers 👆in the screen shots above used to notify their students and parents of their new rates!
Being in the business of teaching music lessons is NOT easy guys!
You have to get students.
Then the hardest part:
You have to figure out how to keep current students while you work on getting more students to fill your schedule.
To get students to stick around, you need to give them a REASON to stick around.
After they've learned the basics, why should they continue doing lessons?
Students need a path to follow, like Karate.
Karate students typically stick around for YEARS... even the younger kids ages 4 - 6!
We enrolled our son Josiah in Karate when he was 4 and he stuck with it until we was 6.
(We left when first lockdown happened last year.)
To be honest, we didn't feel the owner was great at the business side of running the karate studio. Josiah liked going, but he didn't LOVE it.
But we kept him in there because we KNEW they had a plan for him and we could clearly see what he was going to accomplish!
THIS is why Karate is so successful at keeping students for YEARS...
There is a CLEAR path for Karate students!
You memorize a move or two, then graduate into the next belt where you learn a new move.
Music Teachers and Studio Owners:
You need the same for your students.
You probably already have some sort of graduation path mentally noted for your students.
But you need a way to SHOW THEM that path and a way to motivate them to follow through to graduation.
If your students don't know the goals they are working toward, they WILL QUIT.
Before we laid out our level system at our studio, we had the problem of guitar students quitting after they learned 4 chords.
Piano students quit after they finished their first piano books.
It drove us crazy! And we'd verbally tell them there was SO MUCH MORE for them to accomplish, but they wouldn't listen.
We didn't have a way to celebrate their wins and SHOW them their path!
Once we put it on paper and started "graduating" them into levels our retention went through the roof!
Creating a graduation path also sets you apart from your competition! ;)
So, how can you create a path or graduation system for your studio?
We put a color to each level and gave students a checklist they could follow along with.
They knew EXACTLY what they needed to accomplish in order to graduate into the next level.
When they graduated, they received a different color wrist band, certificate, and we'd take them out into the lobby and celebrate them in front of everyone as soon as they finished a level.
It cost us almost nothing, but was HUGE for our students.
Want some examples of what fellow music teachers are doing for their graduation levels?
So, what is your student path going to be?
I'm sending out a template THIS week Marketingfor9 subscribers can use to create their level system checklists for students!
If you'd like the template, subscribe NOW at marketingfor9.com
Are you getting the most out of your students and studio, or just doing what is comfortable?
I think all of us have done private lessons before, and you may even prefer to teach private lessons?
Private lessons are the LEAST PROFITABLE way music teachers can make money.
- you can only teach so many hours in a day
- you need to make the most of your studio
- less time, more money.
You've probably heard of some of the other lesson options you could offer.
Actually most music teacher blogs explain HOW you should teach group music lessons or labs!
But we're going to tell you WHY you should...not how.
And don't worry, it's not going to tell you how it's better for performance and team building.
Nope. It's all about the money!
There are 4 lesson options you can offer besides private:
1. Buddy Lessons
2. 20/20/20 Lessons
4. Group Lessons
Group lessons are by far the MOST profitable option.
But I hear you...
What if you are a music teacher who KNOWS they just love to teach students one-one-one?
Stay tuned my friends. You'll love options #2 and #3.
Buddy lessons are simply when 2 students share a private lesson.
They work best when both students are around the same skill level. We offered buddy lessons to mostly husbands and wives, or parents and kids that wanted to take together.
You can organize group lessons in a few different ways. 30 minute or 60 minute slots.
3 people or 20 people...
For us, we found they worked best when we did 4 - 6 students during a 30 minute time slot.
Students also ideally need to be around the same level on their instrument.
We actually took our instrument curriculums and divided them into 4 levels. Beginners started in a group class on level 1, and we'd work with the class together to get everyone to graduate into the next levels together.
In a nutshell, the 20/20/20 method is when you take 3 students during a 60 minute time slot and divide them into a 20 minute rotation. They can spend 20 minutes practicing at a keyboard, 20 minutes working on music theory or playing games that reinforce what they are learning, and 20 minutes in a private, one-on-one lesson with you!
Think about it... you can not only ensure your students are practicing, but you can also GET PAID for them to practice!
Labs are similar to 20/20/20 but you can decide on the time frame and fit 1 or 2 more students in.
We did labs for our piano students. During a 30 minute time slot, we'd have 4 students come into a lesson room that had 4 keyboards and headphones. Each student would go to their assigned keyboard and open their books to wherever they last left off and start practicing. Our piano teacher would then rotate around the room teaching each student and answering any questions.
Labs were not only extremely profitable, but we noticed when we shifted our students to taking lessons in this format, they were progressing through the material FAST.
So... How do you charge for Groups, 20/20/20 Lessons, Labs, or Buddy Lessons?
For simplicity's sake, let's say you charged $100 for 30 minute private lessons.
Hopefully you're charging more than that.
30 minute private lesson - $100/month per student (1 student)
30 minute buddy lesson - $75/month per student (2 students)
30 minute group lesson - $65/month per student (3+ students)
20/20/20 lesson (60 minutes) - $100/month per student (3 students)
60 minute group lesson - $130/month per students (3+ students)
Premium Option - $150 to $250+ per month
Math gets a little tricky for some, but here would be your breakdown PER HOUR using the above numbers.
Private Lessons - $200/month
Buddy Lessons - $300/month
Group Lessons - $390/month for 3 students, $780/month for 6 students
20/20/20 Lessons - $300/month
Premium Option - $300-$500+/month
What I want you to see is that, from a strictly business standpoint, the worst thing that you could offer would be a full schedule of private lessons.
Group Lessons will offer the highest profit margin which is why I recommend teachers strongly consider group lessons.