How do you get more students?? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I currently have a total of 16 flute/clarinet/piano students. I would really like more - as many as I can get, really. How do you other teachers "recruit" for new students?? Thanks...

-- C Purtell (, August 25, 2002


These are just ideas, some good & some maybe not so good:

1. Advertise. Companies that are trying to grow will spend an amazing proportion of their income on "marketing". 20-30-40%, even. They find that if their "marketing" works, and if they have room to grow, they can make more money by spending 40% of their income on advertising than by "keeping" it all. So anything from want ads in local newspapers, "Big Nickel" type newspapers, area music publications, and so on, is worth a try.

2. Make posters and plaster them on bulletin boards everywhere you go --schools, restaurants, churches, stores, laundrymats, etc. (cheap and effective).

3. Call area music teachers (in whatever instruments you teach in) you know and ask if they have waiting lists. If they do, ask them to consider recommending you to students who can't fit in with them.

4. Call local music teacher associations--join them if you haven't, ask to be put on their "recommendation" list if you are a member.

5. Contact local band/choir/school music teachers and ask them to keep you in mind as a possible private teacher for their students. You might be able to travel to some schools and teach there (depending on school district policy).

6. Some people have set up arrangements to teach piano lessons to elementary-age students during the day. Students are called out from class for 30 minutes/week.

7. You might be able to teach lessons at local retirement homes.

8. Make sure your own students know you are looking for new students. Sometimes you can give them a little incentive for bringin a "friend" in to try lessons. This may or may not even be necessary or a good idea. Maintaining a newsletter for your own students/parents is a good way to keep up this kind of contact. You are probably going to have to do more than mention it to a few students once or twice--you need to keep them thinking about it.

9. Look into teaching group lessons. You can earn more money per hour, but also the groups often feed the "private lesson" side of your studio. Especially good are classes along the lines of Kindermusik for students who are quite young for traditional one-on-one private music lessons. You start them out in group general music lessons. If they complete these and go no further they have learned something valuable. And a certain percentage will then want to think about having private lessons.

10. Of course, make sure your students are learning to be musicians, learning to enjoy performing in the community, enjoying their music as well as being challenged to learn and experience things that are a little difficult for them, and all the other things that go with being a great music teacher. In the long run, if you can help your students develop into musicians, your reputation is likely to spread and in most communities, you will be turning away students in a few years. This does take a few years to happen, though, as well as some stability and other (sometimes fortuitous) factors. In the meanwhile, advertising and some of the other ideas for recruiting students can help get the ball rolling.


-- Brent Hugh (, September 04, 2002.

Ditto to everything above! As the owner of 2 music schools in my town, I started out doing group music classes in my home. The overhead was cheap, which allowed me to invest the majority of my money into advertising. The best advertising for me? Direct mail. As I teach kids as young as 16 months of age, I cut the birth announcements out of the paper each week and looked up the name/address of each parent, using the RL Polk Directory at the library. I'd go to the library and looked at the birth announcements from 2, 3, and 4 years ago to get the older kids I wanted. You can also purchase a mailing list of, let's say, families with kids ages 5-10 years old, in a particular zip code, with certain income. It's up to you. I would send brochures about the programs I offered to these families and that's how most have responded. Remember..... a person needs to see something 5 times before they'll respond.


-- alexandra (, September 04, 2002.

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