I've added several new students recently and have had several inquiries within the last 2 weeks so I thought I would share what I do when this happens. I usually get inquiries through e-mail or by phone which is why I always make sure that my advertising includes both my phone number and my e-mail or web address! I also try and find out how they heard about the studio because this helps me to figure out how to spend future advertising dollars.
1. During this first contact I always take the time to talk about the studio and what I have to offer. I have found that running camps adds a HUGE appeal to parents so I explain those as another benefit to taking lessons with my studio. I also talk about the incentive programs that I use and the games and activities I use to teach and reinforce learning. Since I have added the computer lab, I also now touch on that as well.
2. I then send parents a copy of my studio policy as an e-mail attachment. Because I also charge an enrollment fee, I have put together a one page information sheet describing what this charge is about. I always include this sheet as well so parents have a full understanding of what I expect and what they can expect from me.
3. The other thing I offer is a chance for each parent and their child(ren) to make an appointment to meet with me and see the studio. During this time I spend time talking with parents and do a few activities with the kids. Here is a sample of some of the things I do with elementary kids.
- I always introduce the musical alphabet and using flashcards, have them put them in order and then put them in order backwards. I also show them on the piano how the notes repeat themselves up and down the piano.
- We also discuss the highs and lows and the 2 and 3 sets of black keys. Things I am looking for during this time is their interest level, their ability to follow directions, and their learning style. I'm also looking for a "connection" between us to make sure that we can work together well.
- I always end with a game or two between me and the student or if it's a sibling group or a couple of friends (like my last interview), I let them play together. One quick game I use quite a bit is "What's that Note" from The Big Book of Music Games. I let the student(s) pick a small game piece similar to the "little friends" I showed you in my last post. This game focuses on the musical alphabet and I haven't found one child who hasn't loved it!
I usually spend between 1 hour to an hour and a half. It may seem like a long time, BUT I have found this time is critical and well worth it. It sets parents and children at ease with me and with the studio.
4. I ALWAYS add the parent's e-mail address to my contact list. Because I periodically send out e-mails, anyone who has contacted my studio even just to inquire about lessons gets these periodic updates about the studio and all the happenings! I want them to be reminded of all the things I am doing and what I can offer them.
I hope this gives you ideas!