Starting a piano studio from scratch is a daunting task. It is easy to be discouraged when you find yourself not acquiring any new students. Do not give up! Everything that you are feeling is normal and it takes time to build a successful piano studio. Make sure that your mindset is in a good place because you do not want to build something with the mindset that this is a quick way to make money. Building a successful piano studio takes time and patience.
The first step to building a piano studio is to decide which piano method book that you are going to teach with. I recommend going to a music store and looking through the books to see which one fits your teaching style the best. The reason why I recommend doing this is because I wish that I would have went through and researched method books before I started teaching. The more familiar you are with the books, the easier piano teaching will be for you. Familiarity also brings credibility when you start acquiring piano students.
The next step is to start telling people that you are teaching. I recommend telling people around you like family and friends, but also post on social media everywhere. It’s not enough to post only once a month. The best method of remaining top of mind is to post once a week. I would also recommend creating a flyer because the best way to not have to repeat all of your studio details is to just hand out your flyer to all prospective clients.
My main advice is to build a strong presence on social media. Social media is a slow platform for advertising, but it has been the most effective for me. I’ve found that I can rely on it overtime. I don’t always get messages from new students every day. However, I will get messages once or twice a week. My logic is that if I am posting free advertising on a social media platform, the consistent income I receive from a student each week pays for it. I have also been known to buy $1/day ads. I’m not running ads currently, but they are super effective. If you want to rely on free advertising, post at the beginning of each week in Facebook groups and the first of each month. Use a scheduler to post to your facebook story three times a week during the most popular times. Most importantly, update your post frequently to show that you are managing your piano studio well.
Once you receive your first piano student, think about payment details. More specifically, let them know which form of payment is best (zelle, cash, PayPal, etc…) and when you want to be paid (each lesson, every other week, or the first of each month). All of these details are important to be clear about before starting lessons. Make sure you and your student are on the same page with expectations. Communication is the most important factor of building a successful piano studio.
The next step is to start your first lesson! This is the most exciting part of starting a piano studio. The nervousness of not knowing how your first lesson will be is normal. I was super nervous when I had my first lesson. I also had no idea how to teach. Afterwards, I found myself so exhausted from just a 30 minute lesson! Don’t let your new student know that this is your first lesson. Go to this lesson prepared with music books, pencils, and extra paper. All of your materials should be prepared in advance. If you want, you can gift your student some new materials that they can keep. It’s your first lesson with them and try to remember that they are also excited too! After the lesson, take some time to reflect on how you can improve on your teaching. If this is your first time teaching, try not to be too harsh on yourself. Remember that you are learning also and teaching takes practice to get better at. It is expected that you will have some hiccups in the first few lessons. Reflect each time on how you can improve your lessons and you will get better at teaching.
My last piece of advice is to consistently find ways to market/advertise your studio. I currently own my real estate business and I am always looking for new clients. Think of your studio as a bucket that you are consistently refilling with water. Not all students are going to be loyal and stay with you for many years. I think that long-term students are great, but they are also rare. Have expectations that you will say goodbye to some students, but also be sure to welcome the new students. I describe new students as a bundle of sunshine because they are so happy and eager to learn the piano. I can’t wait to be a part of their piano journey. It’s exciting and it brings me joy when other students eventually leave my piano studio. In summary, spend as much time as you can looking for new students. As you fill your time slots, the nervousness of losing students will be gone because your consistently replenishing your time slots with new students. Be sure to have fun and I wish you all the best of luck in starting your new piano studio!