In the Studio Business Cleanse I’ll help you level-up your teaching and get re-focussed for a new year or term of teaching with 5 days of challenges and discussions.
- Day 1: Who you teach
- Day 2: Why you teach
- Day 3: Your superpower
- Day 4: Showing off
- Day 5: Sustainable systems
- 5 Day Challenge: Studio Business Cleanse
- Studio Business Reboot
- 11 Awesome Ideas to Market your Piano Studio and get more students
Click on any word to jump to that point in the audio. 🙂
Vibrant vibrant vibrant music teaching proven and practical tips strategies than ideas for music teachers.
Listen to episode 57 after vibrant music teaching podcast. I’m Nicola Cantan and this is day one of the studio business cleanse challenge.
Welcome back lovely teachers.
And if this is your first time listening this is going to be an interesting introduction for you to the vibrant music teaching podcast because every day this week I’m going to give you a different challenge to help you get ready for a new year or a new term of music teaching. So this is a challenge that I call the studio business clans. I run it for the first time last year and I’m switching up the format a bit this year and rerecording the sessions changing things around and delivering it in a podcast format because podcasts are my favorite way to consume content. So I wanted to make sure that this came to you listeners who feel the same way that podcasts are the best way to get these things done because we can do other stuff at the same time. Right. So not only are you going to be thinking about your studio and your plans for the new year but you can also be cleaning the bathroom at the same time if you like or pamper your feet painting your nails driving somewhere whatever it is that you want to get done. So every day this week as I say I’m going to be issuing you a different challenge. Now all of these have accompanying worksheets. There’s a full workbook to go through this process with me.
And I highly recommend that you download it to make the most out of this challenge because if you just listen as you go through you’re going to have some interesting thought and then they’re going to melt away into nothing because you want to put it all down on paper where you can see it and put it into action take some steps to make things better for your studio for the following year. So you can get the workbook for free totally free by going to vibrantmusicteaching.com/cleanse. That’s just the word cleanse. You can sign up there you’ll get a link to the podcasts as they go live every day. And the link to download the workbook to help you work through the challenge and make the most out of it. So every day this week we’re going to look at a different aspect. Five days in a row and each podcast will of course as always be to the point. And as short and concise as they can be so that you can get going get the worksheets filled in and make a real difference in your studio. On day one today we’re going to look at who you teach because we are actually a service based business.
And if we start first from our customers which is for most of us the parents in our studio for some of us teaching older students the actual students at our studio that’s the best way to think about your business and where it should be going.
And changes that you want to make. So we’re going to look at who you teach today and I recommend you listen to the full podcast and then fill in the worksheet. Once you’re finished because it’ll help you to think more clearly and you won’t be able to think and write lesson and write at the same time and really think through it in detail in that way. So listen to the whole thing and pause it as you need to and go back over a bit. That’s the benefit of the podcast right. You can listen to it as many times as you want to and then fill in the workbook which you can get again at Vibrantmusicteaching.com/cleanse so that you can make the most out of the challenge. So normally when we think about who we’re teaching. Well normally we don’t think about it. Right. When was the last time you actually thought about the demographics in your studio. Do you question it or do you just accept anyone that comes your way and it all sort of evolves over time or becomes a mishmash of different types of people and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that and certainly many of us will have to take every student that comes our way because we need the income. That’s just a reality. But even if that’s the reality for you I want to encourage you to step back with me and think about who it is that you’re teaching and who you want to be teaching because even if you’re still going to accept everyone this can affect things like your marketing messages you deliver the way you present your studio to the public and it can also help you understand your business in a different way.
Even if you don’t make changes based on this it can change the way you think about decisions you need to make for your students because you know better who they are and why they’re your students why they study with you. OK. So the first question in your workbook is about your average student and the things I want to you to consider in this section. There’s some space for you to write about your average student but I want you to consider all of these things when you do so. First of all their age what is the average age of students in your studio. What’s the normal age that that kids are. Right or are they all adults. So it might be that the average age is 35 or 70. Or it might be five if you’re like me. I did a lot of preschoolers. What is the average age. Because it’s going to affect so much about how you run your studio. I also want you to think about the average level of your students. Are they all beginners.
Are they all intermediate. Are they all at an advanced level even if it’s not all. What is the average what’s the main level that you teach. And now an uncomfortable one. What are their schedules like we all know how over schedule kids can be these days. I want you to include in this section a little bit about. How many activities you think your average student does in a week. Do they have something every day. Do they have maybe three hobbies. How many do you think they do. And how long do you think they actually spend doing various things how over scheduled are they or her schedules are they if they’re not over scheduled. I also want you to think about an even more uncomfortable topic. What is the average income. Would you say of the families in your studio. A lot of us don’t like to think about money we don’t like to talk about it. But this is important to know and it’s not important to know so that you can moan about it when they complain about your fees knowing that they’re driving Mercedes right. It’s not about that but it can change something about how you run your studio and it can help you to understand your family’s better. Though put on your empathy hat while you make this estimation and try to guess how much the average income is in your area.
For me it’s actually not very high right. You might be working in a much more affluent area and I think you can see how that can affect what you do and how your marketing goes and the business decisions you make. Not that you won’t raise your fees if you are in a lower income area but you do need to be aware of that and you do need to think about it. Just have a guess at what you think the average income is or if there are statistics on it. Look it up. Then I want you to write down about the average practice habits of students in your studio not what you recommend. Not the ideal but what is the average. If you really think about it and for some of you for many people this may actually come way down close to zero and you can find that depressing but actually it’s empowering if you know that the average practice habits in your studio are very poor. Yes you can do things to improve those practice habits. That’s one way of looking at it. You can also learn to accept it if you have tried everything to improve the practice habits and you recognize that these students are generally doing seven other hobbies alongside piano plus I don’t know advanced classes in school or if that’s your average student and they’re not practicing a ton and you’ve tried different things to help them practice more well then maybe you just need to frame your studio so that it reflects this lower or slower level of progress.
They still can make progress with no practice or very little practice but you have to set your studio up for the students that you actually have or the students that you want to have. Right. So we’ve written down about the age the levels scheduling the income of our families and the practice amount. Now I want you to write down why they’re learning why are they studying piano. Is it because their parents know that they should have some kind of music education. Is it because they want to study music in college. Is it because they think it’s fun. Whatever the reason is that can also affect how you teach the practice the expectations you have the events that you do in your studio. All of that stuff. Then I want you to write down final note their favorite things about you. The students that you currently have. Why do they study with you. Why do they like your studio. So again this may be uncomfortable because you have to write down good things about yourself but it’s important. You need to know why they chose you and why they stay with you. Why do they love you. The ones you’ve written about your average student about their age their level their scheduled ness their income levels the practice amounts in a week.
Why they’re learning and why they’re learning with you. Then the next question on the sheet is about your ideal student. Now your ideal student is not going to be your fantasy student okay. Or do you just said a clear distinction between these things. This is an ideal real student. It’s something that could actually be attainable. It is not that you want to prepare students for college in a couple of years before they go to college to become a music major when you know that no one in your area is at that stage or that people who are sent off to an academy in town right. Don’t be unrealistic. Don’t write down that your ideal student practices some enormous amount of hours in a week. If you know that all of your students are also doing five sports and three forms of dance. Yeah. So your ideal student should still be a real student and I recommend starting with your current favorite students. I know I know we don’t have favorites but we do don’t we. So write down some notes about your ideal student and base it off of your current students who you look forward to teaching. Who gives you energy. Which days do you feel lightest about is the way I like to look at it. Right. So if Tuesdays always feel light and fun to you look at the students you have on Tuesdays because it’s probably down to them or maybe one of them tickler or maybe several of them.
And as you think about a few of your favorite students you’ll start to notice things they have in common. Maybe they’re all completely different ages maybe they’re all completely different levels but maybe they have something in common like a very involved parent. Or maybe they all like ballet. It could be anything start to notice the patterns between your favorite students and I’ll give you my favorite student as an example my ideal student rather than my ideal student when they start with me they’re between four and five years old and they climbed last year I said four and a half. OK so we’ll go with that four and a half years old when they start with me. So they’re young when they begin. My ideal student also has parents who maybe didn’t study music or studied music in a non-traditional way growing up so they’re not passing on that they got all the way to grade 8 and every child is going to do the same. They’re coming at it from a slightly different perspective. Perhaps they studied music but they didn’t really enjoy it. Perhaps they quit. And then they took up an instrument in their teens such as guitar or drums or something that was a bit cooler.
And they taught themselves or they started a band and they learned alongside their peers. So they learned in a nontraditional way. And they’ve carried that story into adulthood. They love music but they know that maybe the way they went about it isn’t the greatest way. And yet they know the way that they were originally taught that traditional quote unquote lessons are not the best fit for everyone and should look at a little bit different. So they’re out for something different. These parents and they find me because of that. They choose my studio because they look up the website normally and they see the games and they see that I talk about improvisation and playing by ear as well as reading and they want that they get what I’m talking about. They get the struggle even if they don’t understand all of the words even if they don’t have a lot of musical training. They know that they’re after something a bit different than a straightforward piano lesson where they’re sitting at the piano for the full 30 minutes and then they go home. They know that they’re after something different and they’re willing to support their child in that because of that because they come to my studio for that balance and they join because of what I’m trying to achieve. They trust my judgment more and they follow when I say that you have to practice this much or do it this way or follow these instructions.
They have a trust in me that I wouldn’t have had with earlier piano parents that I had years ago because they wouldn’t have come to me for that specific reason. So that’s my ideal student. And that’s mostly about the parents because honestly at four and a half it doesn’t really matter what the child is like right. As long as they’re happy enough to be there they’re not being dragged there and they’re up for a bit of fun. Then I’ll be fine. That’s no problem. I really believe that every child is musical so it doesn’t bother me whether they naturally pick things up or whether they stroke a little bit more whether they can match pitch whether they can do this or that but none of that matters to me. What matters to me is that their parents are on board with my style of teaching and I do like to start them at a young age as well. That doesn’t mean that I don’t accept students who are over five years old. Absolutely not. I have many older beginners in my studio. It doesn’t mean that I disqualify parents who have extensive musical training or who have no musical training. It’s just important to bear in mind that ideal because when you’re writing stuff for your website or creating flyers or just when you’re making decisions about your studio you can keep that person in mind.
You can say that’s who I’m writing to because that’s who I want to fill my studio with. OK so I’ve given you my example. I’m sure yours will look wildly different to mine it probably will anyway. But I want you to consider it. That’s the second part of your homework. OK. So you first you’re looking at your average student. Then you’re looking at your ideal student and in both cases you’re looking at how old they are how much practice they do every week. Why do they take lessons. Why do they take lessons with you. And then you can also include things about what’s their favorite kind of music and other details that you find to be important as you have this discussion with yourself right. So that’s your day one of your challenge. I hope that you enjoy working through this exercise. As I say you can go to vibrant music teaching dot com slash cleanse to get the workbook to work through these daily tasks to improve your studio and get ready for a new year is going gonna be four more days of these challenges so you’re not gonna want to miss out you’re gonna want to sign up and get those worksheets and get the links each day to the podcast as soon as it goes live.
And improve your studio and feel more balanced and ready for your New Year or your new term. That’s it for this day of the challenge. I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Have a great day. Just a final reminder of that link to sign up for the cleanse challenge. You can go to vibrantmusicteaching.com/cleanse. And if you enjoyed today’s show and have questions about it then check in with the vibrant music studio teacher’s Facebook group so that we can discuss it in more detail.
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