I’ve now been teaching for over 20 years and for most of that time I have had a waiting list for many of my lesson slots. However, there have been times when I’ve needed to attract new pupils, particularly when starting out and when I moved to a new area. Here are some of the methods I’ve used to successfully gain more pupils. If you’ve already got an excellent website, post regularly on social media and are listed on online music teachers directories but would like more pupils, then hopefully you can use some of these ideas to grow your business!
Offer a free taster lesson
Many pupils will understandably feel reluctant to sign up straight away for a series of lessons without having met the teacher and discussed what they might like to work towards in their music studies. I always offer potential new pupils an initial taster lesson but if you are looking to grow your music business, why not make this taster lesson free? Advertising that all new pupils will receive a free lesson is a great way of encouraging more bookings!
Encourage word of mouth advertising
We all know the importance of word of mouth advertising. However we can encourage our existing pupils to tell others about the service we offer by giving them a special offer, such as a free lesson, if a new pupil signs up for lessons as a result of their recommendation.
Organise a free workshop
Why not organise a free workshop or short course of group lessons in the school holidays? Often we are less busy in holiday times so it’s a great opportunity to use some of our time to recruit new pupils. For example, you could organise a worksop consisting of three sessions entitled “An Introduction to Learning the Piano”. People will be attracted by the offer of a free workshop and many will go on to sign up for regular lessons.
Give local concerts
Giving concerts in your local area is an excellent way of getting your name out there as a pianist and teacher. You could even have some of your pupils take part in these concerts. Make sure you have an opportunity to tell the audience members about the excellent music tuition you offer and how they can sign up for lessons!
Write to schools
You need to be in contact with your local schools. Some schools may wish for you to go in and teach piano which can be an excellent way of getting lots of new pupils. Schools will often be asked if they know of any local instrumental teachers and you may be able to give a short workshop or presentation during assembly or music lessons to demonstrate your teaching skills to perspective pupils.
Let the local press know what you are offering. If you are giving a free workshop or taster lesson, make sure you write a professional looking press release and send it out to all the local papers and radio stations. It’s really important you also include a picture and headline which will catch people’s eyes as they are flicking through their local papers.
I hope you have found these ideas useful and please leave any comments below. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried any of these ideas and gained more pupils or if you have other techniques for gaining new students.
If you are interested in further information on growing your music business, please get in touch.