Have you heard the corporate buzzword “Value Added?” When I worked in HR, I had only the vaguest idea of what it meant. In staff meetings, the bigwigs would start to talk about “adding value” and my eyes would glaze over. In fact, I had to start my own business to understand what “adding value” is and why it’s important to organizations of all sizes (including your music teaching studio).
Here’s my practical, working definition of Adding Value: Something you do which increases the benefit to your customers (i.e. students) and also increases the benefit to the company (i.e. you).
It’s a two way street – If a special thing you do in your music teaching studio makes your studio more valuable to your students, but causes you hours upon hours administrative headaches, it’s not adding value.
If a change you make to your studio’s structure means a lot more money or convenience for you, but harms your students’ learning, it’s not adding value.
I’ll give you an example of something I do that I really think adds value to my studio: Global Make Up Lessons.
These are once a month all-studio classes that I do in my studio from September to April or May. All students are invited to all of them. We don’t learn any new curriculum in these lessons, but it’s time to play for each other, share compositions, ask questions, and play games.
Here is how it adds value for music students: It structures in a time once a month when everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of a little extra teacher time, either to redress an absence or closure, or just because they want to! Newer music students get a great benefit from hearing some of the music that’s coming down the road for them. Experienced music students reinforce their learning and feel great about themselves when they can mentor newer students. Everyone has a great time and leaves feeling energized. If they have perfect attendance, I never get sick, and we never have a snow day, they end up getting 52 lessons for the price of 46!
Here is how it adds value for me: I do not make up any music lessons ever, with VERY few exceptions. By doing this, I nip any questions about 1:1 make-up lessons in the bud. Sometimes, my music students miss lessons, I get sick, I have a performance and have to close the studio for a day, or (being in Minnesota) we have a snow day. I teach in groups, so it’s nearly impossible to actually make up the lessons 1:1 because of everyone’s schedule. I need the flexibility to NOT make up music lessons on a 1:1 basis, and also keep my families happy. My Global Make-Up Lessons allow me to do this, and it only costs me 1 hour a month.
Would you like some more ideas of low effort, high impact things you can do to add value to your music teaching studio? I hope you’ll join my mailing list! One of the things that goes out exclusively to mailing list members is a list more ideas to add value to your studio.