About a year ago, one of my student’s parents said to me, “Do you know why we booked into your music school?”
I laughed and said, “Because I’m such a fabulous teacher?”.
She responded, “Actually no, it was because your studios were so clean and you made sure any instruments that went in the babies’ mouths when we started were disinfected before the next class”.
I’d like to share a story about a small group of children that started learning music back in 2009. These children were just 9 – 12 months old. Their parents brought them to participate in our Jungle Music program, which introduces children to music through fun and play with their parents.
The difference with these children was that they were all born premature.
So their mums and dads had gone through an enormously stressful time, with the birth and then subsequent medical issues associated with babies born preterm. Music can be a great way alleviate the stress and promote the relationship between parent and child.
Seven years later, two of the students are still learning, one has just completed Grade 1 piano (with distinction), and the other will sit Grade 1 next year. They have also promoted our music school to many other parents who have subsequently enrolled their children in our music school.
These children enrolled in 2009 and by the end of this year, their parents will have invested close to $10,000 in music lessons for each child! And to think, the only reason they started learning music with us was because we made sure that our studios were clean, tidy and well presented.
I often say this is just “common sense”, however I have found that “common sense” isn’t actually that common!
Talking about ‘cleaning strategies’ sounds pretty boring, but it’s so important.
Your studio is likely up against tough competition, not only from other music studios, but from competing activities: dance, drama, martial arts, sports, etc.
If you’re not ensuring that your students’ workspace is spotless each day, then you’re likely doing yourself a disservice. It’s a small thing with big impact.
Here are 5 strategies to ensure that every time a parent brings their child for a lessons, my music school looks fresh and clean:
Creating a professional environment is important if you want to be seen as a professional teacher. Would you be comfortable seeing a doctor or dentist if they didn’t have a clean surgery?
I wanted to finish with some more general tips to keep your studio looking professional.
First impressions are lasting impressions. Creating your professional environment takes a bit of extra time and effort but will pay off in the long run, like it did for my students. Remember, professional teachers are paid more, so take the time to make your studio look the part!
How do you make sure your studio is a professional environment for children to attend? What do you feel is important when you visit doctors, dentists, waiting rooms, etc.? Do you agree with these suggestions?
Leave your thoughts below.
Paul Myatt is a Director of Forte School of Music and a passionate piano teacher. He believes strongly in professional development for piano teachers and regularly participates in conferences and workshops to improve his skill. Paul along with Gillian Erksine has written and created the teaching materials which are incorporated into Forte's education system which has over 4,000 students. Together they also write easiLEARN® Fundamentals Theory and Piano (available through all good music shops and Hal Leonard Australia, previous published by Warner Bros & Alfred Pub) which have been best sellers with many piano teachers. The AMEB has included their arrangements in examination books. As a performer, Paul sings Bass in the Sydney Symphony Chorus and plays piano in a Cabaret show called 2Pauls. As part of his own professional improvement he is currently studying his A.Mus.A in Classical Singing. Paul has his own blog at www.paulmyatt.com.au
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