Add Value to Your Music Teaching Studio

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.



5 thoughts on “Add Value to Your Music Teaching Studio”

  1. I like this idea…and have long since thought it a great way to add the performance aspect and socialization for my students with each other. It’s so important to let them see varying degrees of skill and allow that discussion to take place.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I’m just building my own studio after teaching in a music store. There are so many things to consider and decide on. Dealing with missed lessons is one of those tricky areas. I have already to decided to offer monthly workshops open to all students and invited guests-maybe I could use these as global make up lessons. Great idea!

    1. Hi Robin! Thank you! That sounds like a great plan! As you’re setting up your studio always have in your mind, “will this allow me to be happy, healthy, and not burned out?” Take care, and I hope you’ve signed up for a September consultation!

  3. This is a great idea! Right now my policy is to allow for 2 makeup lessons; as my yearly tuition covers 32 lessons within the school year, there is some room for flexibility. As my studio grows, though, that room will decrease and this will be very helpful in providing for those occasional, missed lessons. Thanks for the explanation of added value.

    1. Hi Hannah! Yes, I found the same thing. As my studio grew, I had to find another way to deal with missed lessons. Not everyone will take advantage of them, but that’s OK. For families who don’t mind forfeiting the missed lesson, it doesn’t cause any problems. For families who care a lot and want to make up the time, it’s available for them!

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