What Is The Best Way To Find New Music Students?

Building up your client base of music students is everything! No Students, No Lessons, No Money!

In order for students to find you, you need to make yourself visible where they would look.

There are so many ways that teachers can find students…it can be a bit overwhelming! Questions I had when starting out were which sites should I join, what will be the most beneficial to my business, which options will give me the quickest return on turning potential students into new students?

So what did I do? I realized I had to think like a parent of a potential student who is looking for the best music teacher out there for their child. Once I did this I saw amazing results! Mind you, students didn’t come pouring in over night. They did, however, come steadily as I continued to use this mindset.

1. Finding Students Through Lead Generating Websites

There are several sites created specifically to help potential students find you! There is some work involved in setting up a profile one these sites. Once you have done so, watch the students come to you!

To be honest not all sites are created equal. Meaning not all sites are for everyone. Online sites created to help potential students find you come at a cost. Either you pay upfront to send them your information, or it is free to send information but they take a cut from the tuition that is paid from your students to you. This is where you need to decide what works best for you.

Some teachers love having someone else do the payment work for them, others are fine with collecting payments. I will let you know the facts about each site and you decide what works best for you!

Thumbtack.comThumbtack

How it works: Once you have signed up as a business/teacher they will start sending you ‘referrals’. In order to respond to the referrals and send a quote, you need credits. It normally takes 2 credits to respond to a referral.

Cost to Find Students: Cost to use depends on how many credits you want to purchase. (prices for a group of credits ranges from $12-$48)

How do you get paid: Your students pay you directly once they have hired you. Payment does not come through the app and they do not take any money out for helping you find the student.

Overall Review: Thumbtack is easy to use and very user friendly. The app is mainly for those who own their own music business and are not looking for a scheduling platform. Thumbtack only helps you find students, they do not schedule lessons. (Which is also nice, because they do not take a cut for it.) You pay to find then the students are yours. Thumbtack is definitely a favorite because I love the freedom it gives me as a music teacher.  

Click Here to sign up with Thumbtack

takelessons.comTake Lessons

How it works: Essentially this site is meant to help you with almost every aspect of your teaching. They will collect payment and help you manage your lesson schedule so that you can focus on the music teaching aspect of your studio. The cost is free to sign up and use to find students, however they take a certain percentage out of each lesson you teach.

Cost to Find Students: Free, No charge.

How do you get paid: You get paid directly to your bank account from the site after students have paid.

Overall Review: Even before they sign up for lessons, I like to connect with my potential students. So I offer a free trial lesson as a way to for us to get to know each other. Unfortunately Take Lessons doesn’t allow you to do promotional lessons or talk with your potential students outside of their online interface. While Take Lessons can be one of the best ways to manage your studio and provide you with new students, it didn’t provide the flexibility I needed for my studio or my teaching style.

Click Here to Sign up with Take lessons

Musikalessons.comMusika

How it works: Musika is geared towards music teachers. Once you answer all the questions in the extensive application process and pass your phone interview they will give you more information about their processes.

Cost to Find Students: Free, No charge.

How do you get paid: You will get paid through the site 4-6 Weeks after your first lesson.

Overall Review: I appreciate their extensive interview process to be able to teach with them and the great features that are offered. It seemed a bit hard to become a part of this site and much like the WyzAnt and Take Lessons, you do not have as much control on how much you get paid and a commission fee comes out of your students tuition.

I also found it very difficult to find any specific information on their website about the signup process. They only tell you all the facts during the phone “interview”. Degrees in music are very encouraged through this site.

Click Here to Sign up with Musika

WyzAntWyzAnt

How it works: With WyzAnt you work as an independent tutor. You are in charge of your schedule and recording what lessons you teach. You can find students through looking for a ‘tutoring job’ or they can search for you. Much like any of these platforms the more students you teach and ratings you receive the higher your profile will rank. The site will take a 20-40% commission from every lesson you teach. The rate will go down depending on how many hours you have ‘tutored’.

Cost to Find Students: Free, No charge.

How do you get paid: You get paid directly to your bank account from the site after students have paid.

Overall Review: This site reminds me a lot of Take Lessons. There is no fee to find students and tutoring opportunities. There is however a cut from your commission or tuition you make of the individual lesson or tutoring session. Also very similar, you cannot exchange information with a student until they have sign up for a tutoring session. Different from take lessons, all communications with the student must be done through WyzAnt. This could work great for some people, For an independent music studio like mine It does not work very well. This is great for music teachers who are mainly looking for one time tutoring opportunities as well as multi session Tutoring Opportunities!

Click Here to sign up with WyzAnt
There are also search engine sites such as these that help parents and adults looking to take music lessons find you.

***Note that these sites do not rank as high on google and are not as likely to be found compared to the other sites. I would personally spend more time on the sites that get more views and traffic.

  • Privatelessons.com
  • Musiclessons.com
  • www.privatemusicteaching.org
  • www.getlessonsnow.com
  • and Many many more!

2. Word of Mouth

This option will take a little longer to use when building up your student base, but word of mouth can be, quite possibly, the most effective way to get more students.

I’ve put together a few ideas to get you started:

  • Make sure everyone knows you’re teaching lessons. When people hear your name you want them to associate it with violin lessons. A great way to do this is through social media. Social media is FREE. Blow up your social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.) with videos and pictures of you or your students playing. At first you may feel like the content you create is terrible or that you have zero followers or you may even feel like everyone “knows” you do violin lessons and you don’t want to pester them too much.With all the other content on social media it takes an insane amount of content for you to get your content out there and recognizable. Think of the hundreds billboards and magazine ads that you have to see before you think, “Man I’d really like a Pepsi”. A good rule of thumb is to make a consistent effort and improve a little with each post, photo or tweet.
  • Contact all of your former teachers! Getting in contact with your old Lesson teachers is a great way to let people know you are teaching. Your old teachers will most likely have contacts of other teachers in your area. Your former teachers might be willing to share with you some of their tips for finding new students as well as other words of encouragement. If nothing else get them to write a reference for you on your website! Parents love knowing your background and what makes you a qualified teacher for their child.
  • Referrals, Referrals, Referrals!! Once you have students, You can incentivize them to help you find more students through Referrals! Offering them a reward for referrals will give your current students motivation to share how wonderful you are with all their friends. Referral rewards could be something like A deal such as “For each student you refer to me that signs up for lessons I will credit your account $10 towards next months tuition”. Incentives will vary depending on how much you charge for lessons.  Trust me, Your studio parents will love this!

3. Create your own Website

There is something about having your very own website that gives you instant authority and credibility. Without saying much your website creates a level of trust and dependability that was not otherwise there.

In our day in age the internet is where majority of people go to search for things. Gone are the days of “look it up in the dictionary” or “Try the Yellow Pages”… now we say ” Go Google it!” . This is exactly where your parents will go to look! (Even the Yellow pages switched to an online platform…the times are changing).

This is exactly why you need to do yourself a huge favor as a music teacher and make your online presence known! Stop wasting time and just do it! It can be a beast of a project, but you will see the results.

Don’t get me wrong, this can be very intimidating and scary. I still have fears daily that cripple me from writing article on my website (like this one). The more you worry about it the worse off you are. Just do it and you can change it later.

Now on to how to create a website…

You have several options.. for some an account profile on Thumbtack or Takelessons is enough. To that I say that is fine, it is up to you how you want to run your music business and where you spend your limited time. For me it was not enough..In my process of googling other lesson teachers I saw teachers with their own website and wanted that for myself. (and here we are…)

How do you go to create a website?

There are two types of sites you can create, free or not free.

Free Site: If you are looking for a free website I recommend using Wix.com or Weebly.com . They have great themes and layouts that make it easy to ‘drag and drop’ pictures and content to create your web pages. So extremely easy! Simply go to their website and they will walk you through the process.
There are also different platforms such as blogspot.com (if you want to create a blog) or musicteachershelper.com (you have to pay for their service, but you get your own website as part of it!)

Pros: It is insanely easy to use these platforms.

Cons: No freedom to move your site somewhere else if you want. You will have their domain name as part of your site name which can look sloppy and not as professional.

Non-free site:If you are willing to invest some money into your music studio and name then splurge and purchase your own domain name and use a web hosting service, such as WordPress. This will allow you more freedom to make your site look exactly how you want it to. Also you will seem more professional with your own domain name. (that is what comes before the .com)

Pros:  You will have a beautiful site that you are proud off. (If you create a free site you will be proud of it too..don’t get me wrong!) With this platform you have the freedom to create and build out your site however you want.

Cons:  Cost every month for your site. You will also need to pay to keep your domain name and somewhere to host your site.

To Sum It Up:

I hope this article has been helpful for you. One last important thing I want to share with you. This may sound cliche but sometimes the most cliche advice is the best kind. So here it is, “Just go do it and find what works best for you.” I’ve honestly tried dozens of different types of platforms and strategies. I’m still perfecting what works best for me. Also keep in mind that one strategy may not work right now but with a little tweak or time then it can become a huge source for new students. Be adaptable and patient with yourself.