How to "build" studio : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Hoping someone can help. Recently moved from a rather large city to a very very small town. Have been trying to build my studio via advertisements. The local school district does not allow promotional materials to be sent home with students. I currently have 5 children and 2 adults, but have seemed to reach a stagnant point,unable to get any more students. There are actually 3 other piano teachers in this small town (population 6000) and they have been teaching for years so I am sure they are getting all kinds of referrals because everyone here seems to "know" everyone else (except me of course who is new to the community). My students recently performed in a Young Artist Series held by the local school district and organized by one of the music teachers. He is great but I get the feeling that he is already "loyal" to these other teachers who are from this community. Any suggestion on how to continue to build my studio would be appreciated. I have a degree in music and music therapy and my rates are competitive with the teachers with degrees. Many of the students I learned take piano from non degreed "teachers" who are local music ministers in the churches. If you have any marketing ideas they would be greatly appreciated!!! Marianne Ashton Trenton, Ohio

-- Marianne Ashton (, November 17, 2004


Maybe the district doesn't (and they shouldn't, imho, students and parents are marketed to enough in schools), but I'm sure they send a lot of junk home via the PTA--I know ours does.... You might become a business sponsor, and buy a small classified space in the newsletter. Same with church bulletins, Friends of the Library, and so forth.

Another option is to also teach small group lessons through community education or the YMCA, then mention during classes that you also teach privately (and perhaps give a discount to students going on to private lessons through those classes). I don't know if they have keyboards at a local school to use/rent (include that cost in your lessons, remembering that usually the city or Y takes about a third of it off the top) or if you'd have to buy your own.

Our school sends home community education fliers with the kids quarterly because I think a lot of what used to be taught at summer schools (now they're almost 100% remedial--no wonder there's a stigma) like home ec, art, sewing, etc., has been shoved off onto community education (aka parks and recreation).

Hope these ideas help.

-- GT (, November 17, 2004.

Also, you might want to check out the local "mommy" groups and see if they have bulletin boards/newsletters. Sometimes they have newsletters at your local library or doctor's office.

-- GT (, November 18, 2004.

very interesting, and i had a hard time finding a piano teacher, :)

but, we live in a large city, so it's a different world.

initially we started with a group lesson, which didn't work out for us, and then i was looking for a good piano teacher. i asked our church organ player who happens to be a music teacher and she recommended a teacher to us........

so, how can you market yourself???? see if you make posters in music stores, churches, libraries, schools, pay if you have to.......

talk with the other music teachers, try to network with them and share students if possible, good luck.

-- julie (, November 23, 2004.

You could check out There is a section on building your studio. They also sell a book; I haven't seen it, but I am impressed with their other book, The Practice Revolution.

-- Alice Dearden (, November 23, 2004.

Two points. When I started teaching, I too would have called non- degreed teachers "teachers", but it is very important to keep an open mind. They could have had an excellent private instruction and be terrific teachers. I have a degree in music but most of my teaching knowledge came from my last piano teacher. Ie. don't underestimate your competition.

Secondly, all of the ideas given are good, but consider the timing. It's essential that you do most of your advertising early in June and in July. By the time August rolls around, most people have chosen a piano teacher, especially those who are most serious. You might pick up a few after Christmas but most people start in September.

Thirdly, you could ask the three teachers if they have any suggestions for you. If their studios are full, they may want to help you.

Good luck! I would never locate in a small town, because I doubt I would be paid as well. But who knows? Maybe I'm wrong.

-- Anita (, November 24, 2004.

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