Like many of you, I did not graduate college intending on having a full-time career teaching Music Lessons.
I intended on becoming a music teacher for a school!
The opportunity to teach private music lessons just kind of fell into my lap, grew, and all of the sudden I found myself the proud owner of a music school where I taught lessons full time, and managed other music teachers.
All of my years in college trained me on how to become an AMAZING musician and even teacher.
NONE of my teachers or classes taught me the business side of owning a music school, and as a result, I almost lost my music teaching career before it even began.
Pictured above is one of me with one of my absolute favorite students, Patrick.
Patrick began taking drum lessons with me when he was about 6.
You know how parents of younger children will sometimes call you and try to convince you that even though most younger kids do not have the attention span to take lessons, THEIR child is "Special" and needs to be the exception to your age restrictions?
Yeah... Patrick actually WAS an exception.
He genuinely LOVED playing the drums. Practiced daily. Worked HARD. And his parents pushed him to be diligent without diffusing his passion.
Like other kids, Patrick also had other extra curricular activities he was involved in, as well as siblings with other activities and a busy mom.
I had a opportunity to be Patrick's teacher early in my music teaching career!
As a result, I was eager to please.
I was smart enough to have payment and make up policies students and parents agreed to when taking lessons with me, but was naive enough to allow parents to break those policy rules.
Enter Patrick again.
Patrick had a scheduling conflict with one of this lessons, and I agreed to schedule a make-up during my free time, even though my policy stated there were free lessons already built into each semester's lesson schedule. (This was also a dumb policy that I learned from, but that's another story.)
So, I broke my own policy rules and scheduled a make-up lesson for Patrick... and I FORGOT about the make-up lesson.
At this point in my life, I was teaching Monday - Saturday, AND leading worship for a local church on Sundays. I was BUSY. I was OVERBOOKED.
So, Patrick's make-up lesson came and I was in the middle of another commitment. Patrick's mom called me and was LIVID.
I apologized profusely, but I could tell she was contemplating dropping Patrick from lessons and finding another teacher.
I was freaked out because Patrick's mom was a VALUED member of the church I taught lessons through. If they received word of her being unhappy with me, they could have fired me.
Fortunately she gave me a second chance and I got to see Patrick become one of the most talented drummers I know.
I also learned the hard way that my policies not only exist to protect me, but to set boundaries for both me and my students that keep the lesson experience strong.
Music Teachers: Follow your studio policies!
Despite what your heart is telling you about giving that one student an extra make up lesson during your personal time, or allowing that parent to pay late without a late fee is actually hurting more than helping.
Just as kids are actually happier and more behaved with boundaries, adults are also happier and more sane with consistency.
After I missed Patrick's make up lesson, I became more confident about telling parents "no" when they asked for me to bend my policies.
CRAZY thing happened... Parents respected me and my time!
Parents actually started apologizing when they missed, and I stopped becoming the easy way out.
Actually, I had less skips and more students who were dedicated to their lessons.
Respect your students and parents' time just as much as you respect your own.
Boundaries are essential to all good relationships.
Do hard things, Music Teacher friends.
It's worth it.
Music Teachers: Stop Overbooking Yourself!
You don't have to eliminate make-up lessons completely, but there are 3 options that can significantly help alleviate the stress.
Grab the free guide and let us know if you have any questions!
Music Teachers: Your website has too many pages!
Or not enough.
It’s Goldilocks Syndrome.
Too little or too many.
But don’t worry, we’re going to show you the pages your website needs.
Follow this guideline and your website will be just right.
As a music teacher, your website has one purpose: get people to sign up for music lessons.
Anything that is not serving that purpose needs to go.
Keep reading and we’ll tell you the 5 pages every music teacher should have on their website.
As a music teacher, your page is NOT about you.
Your about page is NOT about you.
Read that again and really let it sink in.
Here’s the hard truth about teaching and life in general.
For the most part, people do not care about you.
They care about what you can do for them.
Almost every private music teacher website looks the same:
“My name is John Smith and I have a BA in Tuba Performance from Really Good Tuba School. I also have an MA from Even Better Tuba School. I studied with Dr. Frank Furter, Julius Caesar, and Dr. Tuba McGee. I have been teaching for 8 years and I enjoy teaching students of all ages and strive to make tuba a fun and enjoyable experience.”
Sounds a little ridiculous written out like that, right? But that’s what most parents will read because they don’t know any of the people that you studied under and don’t really care what your degrees are or what school that you went to.
They already assume that you are a skilled and trained music teacher.
You don’t have to lay it out for them.
At least not in explicit detail.
Instead, music teachers need to talk about their studios and students.
Talk about how happy and engaged your students are and how your studio helps them to get there. This is where you get to quietly brag about yourself and your studio through telling people how awesome that your students are.
The entire point of this page is to help parents to picture their kids in your studio.
Don’t talk specifically about lessons (that comes next), but about what makes your overall studio unique and why students and families should want to be part of it.
Make sure to include testimonials and lots of pictures.
[ONE NOTABLE EXCEPTION:
If you are only trying to attract the highest quality students, then you should talk about your pedigree and what separates you from other highly skilled teachers. But this will be a VERY small percentage of music teachers. This is only for the music teachers that are working with students that are winning national competitions and getting into top music schools. For the rest of us, focus on the students and families.]
Music Teachers need a “Lessons” page on their website.
This is your information page that talks about what you offer.
Do you offer private lessons?
Talk about them here, but keep it brief and include lots of pictures and a testimonial or two.
Use bullet points, not paragraphs.
If you confuse your audience, you will lose your audience
Most teachers do well on this page because it’s where we get to talk about what we DO.
Don’t go into crazy amounts of detail but go for a sales pitch.
What makes your lessons unique?
What do you do better in your lessons than ANY other studio in town?
Music Teachers should have a “Pricing” page on their website.
This is one of the first questions that people will ask.
If you put your pricing on your website, I bet you'll stand out from the competition simply because your competitors probably don’t list their pricing!
We want to be transparent and give all of the information that we can so that people will want to contact us and sign up.
I have had a commercial studio for 5 years and I still don’t know how much some of my competitors charge. And it’s not for lack of trying.
Short of sending over a spy, I’m not sure how I could ever find that information.
It’s not on their website.
It’s not on their social media pages or any other directories.
People want to know how much things cost.
Make it simple for them.
(If you’re afraid to talk about prices, you need to check out our blog post about pricing!)
Lay out your pricing simply but this page isn’t just about pricing.
This page is about VALUE.
Not only do we proudly display our pricing information, but we get to brag about what an incredible value it is.
What is included in your pricing?
Access to apps and games?
Free student concerts?
Swag bag on signup?
Access to the teacher to ask questions during the week?
It may seem odd but, as an exercise, write down EVERYTHING that you do for a student that isn’t physically teaching them the lesson:
Lesson prep, student concerts, communication through the week, access to music apps, lending library, videos for students to watch, etc.
When it’s all written out it looks pretty impressive, doesn’t it?
That’s the point.
We want to drive home the value that they are getting for the price.
Can you believe that you get ALL of THIS for only this small amount of money each month?? Wow!
State your pricing cleanly and then drive home the value.
Make sure you include pictures and testimonials, even on the “boring” pricing page.
Make sure that they can see why they want to be part of your studio while they read over the business stuff.
Music Teachers need a “Contact” page on their websites.
Put all of your contact info on this page: phone number, email address, physical address.
Put a Google map.
Include a simple contact form with 3 fields:
You can personalize that a bit if you like but keep it extremely simple and don’t ask for extra information. You want them to send you a message and you want to make it as easy for them as you possibly can. Don’t complicate it.
Also, you guessed it...include some pictures and testimonials here.
Let them look at pictures of happy, smiling kids and read about how much Kate LOVES piano lessons as their finger is hovering over the ‘send’ button.
Music Teachers need a “Sign Up” page.
Keep this page simple and uncluttered.
Just the form...and maybe a picture and testimonial.
Make it very easy for them to Sign Up here and get the information that you need without getting too much extra.
I like to get information like student name, age, instrument, and experience so that I can have an informed conversation with the parents about signing up their kid for lessons.
I don’t like to go in blind, so this gives me a little bit of information.
One of your goals should be to run the most efficient studio as possible.
Similar to the Call To Action, you need to teach people how to contact you and what information you want them to give you.
If your main type of contact on your website is an email address or a phone number you are missing out on a great way to save yourself time and get more inquiries. Most emails or phone calls are either generic requests for information (“I’d like some more information on guitar lessons”) or woefully lacking in information (“I have a nine year old that would like to take piano lessons. How do we get started?”)
The first request means that your website is probably a bit confusing or lacking information because they couldn’t find the information they needed. Or, that they just don’t read and want someone else to do the work for them. Let’s be real. That definitely happens.
The second request gives you more to go on but still leaves so many unanswered questions. Is the nine year old a beginner? Any prior experience? What style of music do they like? What days and times are they available? What kind of piano lessons are they looking for? You are going to have to ask all of these questions and more through emails, phone calls, or in person. Unless it’s through email, you probably won’t have a written record of the information either.
BONUS: All of your pages should have a Call to Action!
Throughout the page and at the bottom tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do.
Public Pages Music Teachers Should Never Have On Your Website
Those five pages are sufficient for most music teacher’s websites. But what about all of the other pages that you may be thinking of? Let’s look at a few…
We have helped THOUSANDS of music teachers revamp their website so that they can convert visitors into paying clients.
This is what we do.
And we’re doing it again in our next Music Teacher Bootcamp!
If you’re frustrated with your website, you need our Music Teacher Bootcamp!
During Bootcamp, we’ll look at your:
- landing page
- sign up form
- improving the look, function, and results
- search engine optimization
We’ll also be covering your:
- social media.
AND we’ll be doing a 5 day challenge to get as many new students as we can.
Click here for more info on our Music Teacher Bootcamp.