As an independent music teacher you may feel like you do enough already, but it’s really important to market yourself if you don’t have a full studio or a waiting list. The best and easiest way to get new students is by being so awesome that all of your current students will go to their friends and family and tell them why they should take lessons from you.
We musicians tend to be creative and also a bit disorganized. That’s why it’s a great idea to give important information to your students in a monthly newsletter. We all have had that “Oops” moment when we remember the important thing to tell them or to hand them a printed reminder the minute after the student leaves!
By setting aside some time at the end of the month to organize your thoughts and ideas for the next month you’ll turn yourself into a better and more organized teacher too. Parents will be happy to have information nicely laid out for them. Yes, some parents need and appreciate frequent reminders of the next recital, even though I give out all the dates in August. (Now that I have my own child, I have sadly found out that I can be that parent with other activities! I have lost the T-ball schedule more than once and wished it had been emailed to me!)
In the past we could rely on social media outlets like Facebook to reach our clients; however with the inconsistent way they show information it’s important to have personal email communication. You can’t count on facebook!
If you are shy about letting parents know that you need more students, the newsletter is the perfect format to get the word out! It’s important to stay fresh in your client’s mind and remind them how amazing you are, Once you start sending a newsletter out it may be tempting to send out information the day you have it, but I would suggest no more than once a week and no less than once a month. You want the newsletter to feel special so that parents will want to open it!
Some suggestions to make writing your newsletter a breeze:
- Have a section for important dates like group lessons and recitals and a student of the month section.
- Remind students which practice contest is running and what “special week” was held last month (I do lots of quick bench games with matching songs and candy treats. For example last week was ice cream week at my studio!)
- Include something a little more personal. At the beginning of magazines there is often a special personal note from the editor. This is the vibe I’m going for.
- Publish a few fantastic pictures of your students to remind them of what a fun and unique teacher you are and assure readership. Everyone enjoys seeing a picture of their kid highlighted, so be sure to include everyone throughout the year!
- I suggest converting each newsletter into.pdf format, this way everyone can easily view the newsletter.
- have links to your own website
- encourage clients to engage with your social media
You can find generic newsletter templates in programs like Microsoft Word, or find free programs; however a better use of your time may be to purchase a newsletter template specific to the kind of teacher you are. This year I asked the wonderful Plucky Pianista Melody Payne to create some extra special piano teacher newsletter templates, as I was unsatisfied with the generic teacher newsletters I had been using (and it’s nice to get a new theme every year too!) I’m so thrilled that she was happy to oblige and you can find her fantastic templates in the teacherspayteachers.com store here:
I’m currently using the free services from MailChimp and have LOVED the ability to see which parents/students have opened the newsletter and this has really made a big difference in my studio.
MailChimp is a web-based email marketing service that was created in Atlanta, GA. It helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. MailChimp’s Forever Free Plan gives you access to most MailChimp features, but limits your total subscribers, as well as your daily and weekly sends. Keep up to 2,000 subscribers across all lists in your account, and send up to 12,000 emails per month. In any 24-hour period, you can send up to 2,000 emails. If you have 1.999 students you are able to use this service for FREE! I actually send my student newsletter to anyone who is interested in lessons.
I USED to print out a few copies of the newsletter for some of my less tech savvy students, but with everyone having a smartphone, one of the requirements for taking lessons in my studio is the ability to check email the first of each month for the student newsletter.
You can also use the analyitcs from Mail Chimp to help you decide WHEN to place a facebook ad for attracting new students. If most or your studio parents are having time to open my newsletter in the morning on a Saturday, that is probably a great time to run a facebook ad trying to attract more students!!!!
Sign up for Mail Chimp here: Powered by MailChimp
I also used to post my newsletter online but discontinued this practice due to privacy concerns.
Thanks for reading my blog. I love to inspire and work with teachers to help them be creative and successful! If you’re interested in more ideas, please check out my book available on any device (computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, ipad, iphone) from Amazon.com.60 Day Makeover: Music Teacher Edition
If you need some serious help/motivation, I also offer low cost consulting on weekday mornings, and you can find out more info about that here: https://violinjudy.com/joyful-noise-consulting/
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