How to Fill Your Studio and Pay Your Bills!
When I first started my violin studio after my Bachelor’s Degree, I struggled to find new students. I think I had only three for about 6 months! My husband and I worked at Subway, and lived off of our one free sandwich a day. I had nightmares every night that we would get horribly sick and would go bankrupt because we didn’t have health insurance.
Fortunately, Bruce got a job with benefits not long after we got married, and my studio FINALLY started to get some traction. It was only about a year before I had thirty students and a wait list. If you are looking for ways to market your violin studio and find violin students, I have compiled a list for you!
21 Ways to Find Violin Students
1. Volunteer to have an “instrument petting zoo” at local pre-schools and elementary schools.
2. Volunteer at local library story hours. Read “Zin Zin Zin! A violin!” and play for the children and their parents.
3. Post an ad on Craigslist.
4. Offer to lead a sectional at youth symphony rehearsals.
5. Leave business cards or flyers at music stores in your area. Some stores even have lists of local music teachers that they share with their customers, in my experience these are free, you just have to call to get your name on the list.
6. Get on social media! Have your students like your Facebook page, and follow you on Twitter or Instagram. Post about the amazing things your students are doing, or articles about the benefits of music lessons. Your students may share these and advertise for you!
7. Become a member of local teaching organizations, I get some good leads from the Suzuki Association of Utah teacher list.
8. Contact other teachers and ask them to recommend you if their studios are full. This is how I get 70% of my students.
9. Start a website or blog, and invest some time into your SEO (search engine optimization) so that people can find your site. This works really well for me.
10. Make nice looking flyers to leave at local pediatricians’ offices, grocery stores, or the library. Here are some tips for making an effective studio advertisement.
11. Get in touch with homeschool co-ops, and offer to teach a class about music.
12. If you already have some students, let them know that you are looking for other students they may be happy to spread the word.
13. If you want, you can offer a referral discount for current students if someone they refer begins lessons with you.
14. Offer a sibling discount to your current students.
15. Have your current students perform somewhere where your potential students are: the mall, the library, schools, fairs, community events, etc.
16. Look for opportunities to perform in your community, and showcase what you have to offer!
17. Create a business listing on Google, and have a few students write reviews of your business.
18. Offer a free trial lesson, or even a month of free lessons! If you make those lessons fun and unforgettable, your new students are likely to stick around!
20. Have a bring a friend to lesson day, where you play fun games and have your student give mini-lesson to their friend—This helps solidify your current student’s knowledge as well! I got this great idea from the folks at Teach Piano Today. They have some pretty incredible stuff over there, everybody. Check it out.
21. Advertise during peak lesson sign up months. Parents usually think about starting music lessons for their children around the beginning of the school year, and at Christmas time. Use this to your advantage by concentrating your efforts during these times.
The most important thing is to be very intentional about your advertising. Make your flyers and website look professional, you want to give a very good first impression. Invest in a good logo and really think about what you want your “brand” to be like. You don’t want to just find violin students, you want to attract high-quality students that you are excited to see every day.
For more marketing ideas, check out The Handbook of Marketing Ideas for Music Teachers: 88 Free and Low Cost Ways to Book Your Studio Full.
(Here’s my blog post about The Handbook.)
How do you advertise your music studio? Which methods have been successful and which haven’t?