How Online Music Teachers Can Actually Get New Students

Child taking an online music lesson over ZoomRunning a successful music school, success hinges on strategic promotion without breaking the bank. Get ready to dive into a world of online music lesson marketing insights you never considered! This article will take you on a comprehensive journey to explore and discover everything you need to know about the challenges, benefits, and strategies private music teachers should use to advertise their online music lessons to potential music students worldwide.

Challenges in Getting Online Music Students

Teaching music online offers a range of benefits, but it also poses certain challenges. Overcoming these obstacles is essential for music teachers who wish to build a successful online music lesson business. Here are some of the most common challenges faced by music teachers trying to attract and retain students interested in learning music online:

Visibility in a Saturated Market:

  • Standing Out Amidst Competition: The internet is flooded with online music lesson teachers, making it challenging for new music teachers to gain visibility. Standing out in this saturated market requires strategic marketing and a unique selling proposition (USP) to capture the attention of prospective students.

Building Trust and Connection:

  • Limited Face-to-Face Interaction: Virtual music lessons make establishing a personal connection with students more challenging. The absence of face-to-face interaction necessitates creative methods to build trust, such as offering trial lessons, providing student testimonials, or hosting virtual meet-and-greet sessions.

Technology Barriers:

  • Access and Proficiency: Some potential students may lack access to the necessary technology or possess limited technical proficiency. This creates a barrier for teachers and students, limiting the pool of prospective learners. Educators must consider how to address these challenges and provide support where needed.

Digital Marketing Skills:

  • Navigating the Online Landscape: Successful promotion of online music lessons requires digital marketing skills. Teachers must understand how to effectively utilize social media, optimize for search engines, and possibly invest in paid advertising to ensure visibility in the competitive online market.

Adapting Teaching Methods:

  • Virtual Engagement: Keeping students engaged in a virtual setting demands more creativity and adaptability than traditional in-person lessons. Teachers must explore interactive tools, gamification, and other methods to maintain student interest and participation.

Scheduling and Time Zone Differences:

  • Global Audience Challenges: Catering to a global audience introduces the complexity of managing time zone differences. Coordinating lesson schedules to accommodate students from various parts of the world requires careful planning and flexibility.

Student Retention:

  • Maintaining Long-Term Interest: Online teachers may find it challenging to retain students’ interest and commitment over time. The digital landscape offers numerous distractions, and educators must continuously innovate to keep lessons engaging and relevant.

Limited Physical Presence:

  • Absence of Physical Studio Atmosphere: Unlike traditional music studios, online lessons lack the physical presence that contributes to a studio’s atmosphere. Teachers must find alternative ways to create a conducive and inspiring learning environment for students.

Addressing these challenges requires a combination of strategic planning, innovative teaching methods, and a commitment to adapting to the evolving landscape of online education. By recognizing and proactively managing these hurdles, music educators can pave the way for a successful and sustainable online teaching venture.

Benefits of Providing Online Music Lessons

The shift to online music lessons brings forth a multitude of advantages for both teachers and students. One study showed that online music lessons are expected to grow more than 18% annually up to 2030. Here are key benefits to consider when providing online music lessons:

Global Reach:

  • Expand Your Student Base: Unlike traditional in-person lessons restricted to a local audience, online music lessons break geographical barriers. This global reach allows teachers to connect with students from diverse backgrounds, enriching the learning experience for both parties.

Flexible Scheduling:

  • Tailor Lessons to Individual Needs: Online music lessons provide the flexibility to accommodate varying schedules. Teachers can offer lessons during non-traditional hours, making it convenient for students with busy lifestyles or those residing in different time zones.

Cost-Effective for Students:

  • Eliminate Travel Costs: Online lessons eliminate the need for students to incur travel expenses. This cost-effective approach makes music education more accessible to a broader audience, fostering inclusivity in the learning community.

Technological Integration:

  • Harness Digital Tools: Online platforms enable seamless integration of technological tools. Teachers can leverage interactive apps like Zoom or Skype, multimedia resources, and virtual instruments to enhance the learning experience. MusicTeacherNotes members can build out their Library to share resources with music students online or in person. This tech-savvy approach appeals to modern students and keeps lessons engaging.

Personalized Learning Environment:

  • Create a Comfortable Space: Students can partake in music lessons from the comfort of their homes, fostering a relaxed and personalized learning environment. This comfort contributes to enhanced focus and a positive mindset during lessons.

Recording and Reviewing Sessions:

  • Encourage Continuous Improvement: Online music lessons allow for easy recording and reviewing of sessions. Both teachers and students can revisit lessons, analyze progress, and work collaboratively toward continuous improvement.

Wider Genre and Instrument Options:

  • Diversify Your Offering: Online music lessons open the door to a broader range of musical genres and instruments, which might have a limited market size in a local area. Teachers can specialize in unique niches and cater to the specific interests of students, ensuring a customized and enriching musical journey.

Enhanced Student Engagement:

  • Utilize Multimedia Resources: Online platforms provide a canvas for creative teaching methods. Teachers can incorporate multimedia resources, visual aids, and interactive materials to enhance student engagement. This dynamic approach fosters a deeper connection with the material.

Adaptability to Various Learning Styles:

  • Cater to Individual Preferences: Online music lessons allow for a more adaptable teaching style. Teachers can customize their approach to suit the individual learning preferences of each student, fostering a supportive and tailored educational experience.

Protection From Unforeseeable Disruptions:

  • Learn from the pandemic: In 2020, when the world locked down and social distancing prevented in-person music lessons, music teachers who didn’t provide online music lessons were hit particularly hard. Nobody can predict the future, but diversifying income streams in case one is disrupted is always a good idea. Providing online music lessons can do just that.

As the world continues to embrace digital connectivity, the benefits of providing online music lessons extend far beyond the confines of traditional teaching methods. The rewards for music educators ready to embark on this digital journey include a global reach, enhanced flexibility, and the ability to create a personalized and technologically enriched learning environment for students worldwide.

Strategy to Get Online Music Students: Niche Marketing

Being generic as an online music teacher can be tempting. However, that is a sure way not to get online music students. There are too many generic online piano, guitar, and vocal teachers to compete against. Your secret weapon to attract students: niche marketing. Adopting a niche marketing strategy is a powerful tool to attract and retain online music students. Niche marketing involves focusing on a specific market segment and tailoring services to meet a targeted audience’s unique needs and preferences. Here’s a comprehensive strategy to leverage niche marketing for getting online music students:

Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP):

  • Define Your Expertise: Identify what sets you apart as a music teacher. Whether it’s a specialized instrument, genre, or teaching method, your unique selling proposition should resonate with a specific audience.
  • Evaluate Your Passion and Expertise: Consider your musical passion and where your expertise lies. This forms the foundation for discovering a niche that aligns with your skills and interests. If you have a musical passion, chances are that others do, too.

Research and Understand Your Target Audience:

  • Define Your Ideal Student: Create a detailed profile of your ideal student, considering age, skill level, musical preferences, and learning objectives. Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your niche to their specific needs.
  • Explore Market Gaps: Conduct market research to identify gaps or underserved areas within the online music education space. Analyze competitor offerings to find opportunities to fill unique niches.

Craft Specialized Music Lesson Packages:

  • Define Your Specialization: Based on your research and expertise, define the specific niche you want to target. This could range from offering lessons for a particular age group, musical style, niche instrument, or unique teaching method.
  • Create Tailored Lesson Plans: Develop specialized lesson plans that cater to the needs and interests of your chosen niche. Consider incorporating innovative techniques, genre-specific lessons, or unique approaches that distinguish your offerings.

Build an Online Presence Aligned with Your Niche:

  • Optimize Your Website and Social Media Profiles: Ensure your website and social media profiles communicate your niche. Use targeted keywords, visuals, and content that align with your specialized offerings. If you read our article, SEO Tips & Tricks for Music Teachers: Rank Higher on Google, you’ll learn about “longtail keywords.” The concept of longtail keywords goes hand-in-hand with niche marketing.
  • Share Success Stories: Showcase success stories and testimonials from students within your niche. Highlighting positive outcomes reinforces your expertise and builds credibility among potential students.

Engage with Niche Communities:

  • Join Online Groups and Forums: Identify and participate in online communities, forums, or social media groups related to your niche. Engage in conversations, share valuable insights, and subtly promote your specialized music lessons.
  • Collaborate with Niche Influencers: Build relationships with influencers or thought leaders within your niche. Collaborate on content, guest posts, or joint promotions to tap into their audience and establish credibility.

Offer Introductory Promotions or Discounts:

  • Attract Initial Interest: Introduce your niche offerings with special promotions or discounts. This helps attract initial interest from students who might be hesitant to commit without experiencing the unique value your niche provides.

By implementing a niche marketing strategy, online music teachers can effectively distinguish themselves in a crowded market, connect with a specific audience, and position themselves as sought-after experts within their chosen niche. This targeted approach enhances visibility and fosters a loyal student base drawn to the specialized and personalized nature of the music lessons offered.

Strategy for Attracting Online Music Students: Google Ads and SEO

Google Ads and SEO are crucial for virtual music teachers seeking to appeal to a global audience. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a digital marketing strategy used to rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs) for particular keywords or phrases. On the other hand, paid advertising, such as Google Ads, also appears on SERPs for specific keywords, offering greater control over the audience that views the ads and the webpage they visit upon clicking, providing a valuable resource for attracting potential music students.

Here’s a streamlined guide for online music teachers to use to show in search engines with organic results and paid ads:

Target Audience Focus:

  • Define Ideal Student Traits: Clearly outline the characteristics of your preferred students, considering age, skill level, and musical preferences.
  • Understand Time Zone Dynamics: Tailor ads to attract students from different time zones, strategically filling up off-peak hours.

Keyword Optimization:

  • Select Niche Keywords: Identify specific keywords related to your music lessons to enhance visibility. Think about longtail keywords. Instead of trying to rank for piano lessons (highly competitive), try to rank for less competitive longtail keywords. Examples might include: Advanced classical piano techniques for adults, Online piano curriculum for homeschooling families, Online parent-child duet piano lessons for family bonding, or Online piano lessons for kids with learning disabilities. While there are far fewer searches for longtail niche key phrases, there is far less competition.
  • Geo-Targeting Keywords: Incorporate location-based keywords for targeted exposure.

Geo-Targeting and Scheduling:

  • Focused Ad Reach: Utilize geo-targeting to concentrate ads on specific regions or countries.
  • Optimized Ad Timing: Schedule ads to align with peak learning hours in target locations, maximizing visibility.

Compelling Ad Content:

  • Highlight Your Niche: Clearly communicate your unique music teaching niche in concise ad copy.
  • Strong Call-to-Action: Include a compelling CTA guiding potential students toward the next step.

Landing Page Alignment:

  • Consistent Messaging: Ensure seamless alignment between ad content and landing page information. This means that when a potential student clicks an ad, it takes them to a web page that is specifically related to that ad. You do not want to link Google Ads to your home page. Have a dedicated landing page for every ad group. For example, if your Google Ad is about piano lessons for beginning adults, the page the person lands on should be only about piano lessons for beginning adults, not your home page.
  • Niche Expertise Showcase: Reinforce your specialized expertise on the landing page to enhance user experience. Become the expert in that niche.

Performance Monitoring and Adjustments:

  • Regular Metric Review: Keep a close eye on key metrics like click-through rates and conversions.
  • Data-Driven Refinement: Adjust ad elements based on performance insights to optimize the campaign continually.

Budget Optimization for Global Reach:

  • Strategic Budget Allocation: Define a realistic budget, strategically allocating funds for global exposure.
  • A/B Testing Efficiency: Conduct A/B testing for ad variations to refine strategies and resonate better with the audience.

By leveraging the capabilities of both Google Ads and SEO, music teachers can effectively target global audiences, optimize scheduling, and establish a thriving online teaching practice. This focused approach ensures that teachers connect with the right audience and enhance their visibility in the competitive realm of online music education.

Strategy to Get Online Music Students: Social Media and YouTube

In the digital age, social media and YouTube serve as dynamic platforms for music teachers seeking to expand their online student base. Let’s explore a concise strategy to harness the potential of these platforms:

Establish a Vibrant Online Presence:

  • Social Media Platforms: Create engaging profiles on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (now X) to showcase your musical expertise.
  • YouTube Channel: Initiate a dedicated YouTube channel with optimized content and keywords for enhanced discoverability.

Craft Engaging and Educational Content:

  • Social Media Posts: Share valuable content like musical tutorials, tips for beginners, and behind-the-scenes insights.
  • YouTube Videos: Produce diverse videos, including tutorials, performances, and vlogs, catering to different skill levels and musical interests.

Interact with Your Audience:

  • Social Media Engagement: Foster interaction by responding promptly to comments, messages, and mentions.
  • YouTube Community Building: Encourage subscriptions, likes, and shares, and host live sessions or premieres for real-time engagement.

Utilize Paid Advertising Strategies on Social Media:

  • Social Media Ads: Leverage targeted advertising on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase your unique teaching approach.
  • YouTube Ads: Craft compelling ads highlighting your expertise, using YouTube’s targeting options to reach users interested in music education.

Showcase Student Success Stories:

  • Build Credibility: Feature success stories and testimonials from online students on both social media and YouTube.
  • Highlight Impact: Demonstrating positive outcomes builds credibility and attracts potential students who see the real impact of your lessons.

Conclusion: Striking the Right Chord to Get More Online Music Students

By strategically utilizing niche marketing, SEO, Google Ads, social media, and YouTube, private online music teachers can better attract more online music students. Building a strong online presence, crafting engaging content, fostering community engagement, and incorporating paid advertising can amplify your reach and impact. Embrace the digital stage, and let the world hear the melody of your unique teaching approach.

Word-of Mouth-Marketing for Private Music Teachers

Word of Mouth Marketing for Muisc Lesson Promotoion

Growing your music teaching business requires two things: getting more students and keeping the students you already have. Word-of-mouth advertising stands out as a powerful and organic method for building a thriving music school. In this article, we will delve into the essence of word-of-mouth marketing, explore its many benefits for music teachers, and provide practical strategies to harness its potential for success. After reading, you’ll understand why word-of-mouth marketing must be a big part of your music lesson marketing plan.

What is word-of-mouth marketing?

Word-of-mouth marketing is a form of promotion where people share positive experiences, recommendations, or information about a product, service, or business with others in their social circle, leading to organic and unpaid promotion. For private music teachers, word of mouth can be effective because parents of children who take music lessons often know other parents. If your students have an excellent experience, parents naturally share their experience with their friends. Unlike traditional advertising, word-of-mouth relies on authentic, personal interactions to promote a service.

What are some benefits of word-of-mouth marketing for music teachers?

There are many benefits to word-of-mouth marketing that music teachers should consider. Word-of-mouth marketing should be an ongoing focus for a music teacher’s overall marketing strategy.

Word-of-mouth conveys trust and credibility

Recommendations from friends, family, or acquaintances carry a higher level of trust compared to traditional advertising, enhancing overall credibility. When current or former students suggest a music teacher to others, it lends credence to the recommendation. Potential students are more inclined to trust the viewpoints of those who have direct experience with the teacher. Positive word-of-mouth often arises from the teacher’s effective imparting of musical knowledge and skills. When students can affirm their progress and accomplishments under a specific teacher, it is tangible social proof of their competence, reliability, professionalism, and dedication to their students.

Word-of-mouth is cost-effective

Word-of-mouth marketing is a low-cost or even free way to promote your music lesson business, as it relies on satisfied customers spreading the word. Satisfied students and their positive experiences primarily drive it. Unlike traditional advertising methods that often involve significant costs for placements or promotions, word-of-mouth happens organically, relying on existing students’ natural enthusiasm and satisfaction.

Word-of-mouth helps you get new students and keep students you already have

The rate of students leaving your music lessons over a given period of time is called your churn rateThe rate of new students starting music lessons over that same period of time is your growth rate. Your student load will plateau if the churn rate and growth rate are equal. It’s always best to focus on keeping students rather than replacing them, but word-of-mouth addresses both issues. In pursuing word-of-mouth, teachers tend to fix the reasons students give up on music lessons; you increase the chances of getting word-of-mouth advertising.

Word-of-mouth can lead to more lead conversions

Word-of-mouth marketing, or referral marketing, outshines traditional channels for music teachers, yielding higher conversions. Unlike traditional advertising, personalized recommendations from satisfied students, friends, or family build trust. Statistics reveal a fourfold increase in the likelihood of people using a service when referred by a friend. Potential students and parents are usually swayed by authentic, positive experiences shared by those benefiting from a music teacher’s expertise. This trust and social proof address skepticism, creating a receptive audience. Word-of-mouth’s organic and authentic nature leads to increased conversions as students confidently choose a teacher based on genuine recommendations.

Word-of-mouth marketing for music teachers inherently possesses a targeted reach

Recommendations and endorsements are often shared within specific communities, whether among friends, family, or fellow musicians. This organic form of advertising ensures that the message reaches those who share a common passion for music, creating a natural alignment between the teacher’s services and the interests of the audience. Unlike broad-reaching traditional marketing methods, word-of-mouth leverages existing relationships and networks, delivering the message directly to individuals more likely to resonate with and respond positively to the music teacher’s unique teaching style and approach.

Word-of-mouth has a lasting impact

Positive word-of-mouth experiences have a lasting impact on a music teacher’s reputation. When people share their positive encounters through personal recommendations, it creates a sustained positive perception. This enduring effect influences decisions, solidifying the teacher’s reputation and leaving a lasting impression on potential students, shaping their reputation over time.

Word-of-mouth builds brand awareness

When people chat about music lessons and share positive experiences and recommendations, they naturally help spread the teacher’s brand. This increased visibility in personal circles creates a ripple effect, making more people familiar with the teacher’s name and reputation. Ultimately, word-of-mouth plays a crucial role in building and strengthening the teacher’s brand awareness in the community and beyond.

Word-of-mouth provides valuable feedback and leads to continuous improvement

As recommendations and experiences are shared, the immediate feedback loop helps teachers assess the effectiveness of their music lesson services. This direct communication allows a quick response to students’ needs. By listening to word-of-mouth experiences, music teachers adjust their methods, content, and overall approach, creating a dynamic and responsive learning environment. This ongoing process ensures teachers stay attuned to evolving student needs, fostering continuous improvement in their music education services.

Word-of-mouth fosters an emotional connection between customers and the brand

As people share their experiences and recommendations, a story unfolds, connecting with potential students on a personal level. This emotional bond becomes part of the teacher’s brand, shaping how it’s perceived and remembered. Genuine recommendations and shared stories foster trust and relatability, enabling students to form a deeper connection with the music teacher.

Word-of-mouth marketing can lead to rapid spread

Information, recommendations, and experiences can quickly spread across social networks and online platforms, reaching a wide audience. In that sense, word-of-mouth marketing is intertwined with social media marketing. The power of online sharing enables word-of-mouth to go beyond geographical boundaries, connecting music teachers with a diverse audience. This rapid sharing not only boosts the visibility of the teacher’s offerings but also enhances the potential for positive recommendations to impact a broad audience, strengthening the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing.

Word-of-mouth marketing is critical for new music teachers

Word-of-mouth marketing is crucial for new music teachers with limited students and a tight budget. Unlike established teachers, newcomers may struggle with traditional advertising. Prioritizing word-of-mouth strategies allows them to leverage authentic endorsements. Encouraging satisfied students to share their experiences and building strong community connections become vital steps for new teachers to expand their reach, build trust, and establish a foundation for growth.

Positive word-of-mouth functions as a compelling form of social proof

Renowned psychologist Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence” highlights several key factors that motivate people to take action. One of those factors is social proof. Social proof is the psychological concept where people follow the actions or decisions of others as a form of reassurance or validation, commonly seen in customer reviews, testimonials, and endorsements, used by businesses to build trust and credibility. When individuals share their favorable experiences with a music teacher, it serves as social proof that the music teacher is good. Social proof becomes a driving force that encourages others to explore the music teacher’s offerings.

Ten strategies a music teacher can employ to generate word-of-mouth advertising for their lessons

Now that you’re aware of the advantages music teachers gain through word-of-mouth advertising, here are practical tips and strategies you can implement to enhance the probability that students and parents will actively share information about the music lessons you offer with their friends.

#1: Deliver Outstanding Lessons

Providing top-notch music lessons is crucial for music teachers seeking positive word-of-mouth. By consistently delivering high-quality lessons and guiding students to tangible progress, teachers naturally foster an environment conducive to favorable recommendations. When students acknowledge the value of their learning experience, they’re more likely to share their satisfaction. This authentic endorsement, stemming from the teacher’s commitment to excellence, becomes a potent catalyst for word-of-mouth advertising, extending the teacher’s influence within their community and beyond.

#2: Build Strong Relationships

Building strong relationships is a fundamental strategy for music teachers aiming to encourage word-of-mouth advertising. Creating a strong connection with students and their families is crucial for a positive and memorable experience. By establishing trust, respect, and effective communication, teachers foster an environment where students and families are motivated to share their satisfaction. Prioritizing relationship-building improves the learning atmosphere and sparks organic, positive recommendations, boosting the teacher’s reputation and word-of-mouth influence within their educational community.

#3: Offer Referral Incentives

Encouraging word-of-mouth through referral incentives is a powerful strategy for music teachers. Teachers show appreciation and create a mutually beneficial system by rewarding current students who refer new ones with discounts, free lessons, or other enticing incentives. This initiative motivates existing students to recommend music lessons actively. It attracts potential students, forming a positive cycle of referrals that expands the reach and impact of word-of-mouth advertising for the music teacher.

#4: Showcase Student Success

Highlighting student success is a powerful strategy for music teachers looking to boost word-of-mouth advertising. By actively showcasing student achievements in recitals, performances, or online platforms, teachers demonstrate the effectiveness of their teaching methods. This serves as proof of the positive impact on students’ musical journeys, providing concrete examples. These success stories become compelling narratives that resonate with potential students, instilling confidence in the teacher’s abilities and encouraging word-of-mouth recommendations as individuals witness the impressive progress achieved by those under their guidance.

#5: Utilize Social Media

Social media can help music teachers tap into word-of-mouth marketing. Teachers effectively showcase their expertise and connect with potential students by sharing posts, videos, and testimonials across different platforms. This digital presence expands the reach of their teaching and fosters dynamic interactions with the audience. Social media becomes a lively space to share success stories, demonstrate teaching methods, and encourage conversations, creating a platform for word-of-mouth recommendations to spread organically within online communities. The strategic use of social media enhances the teacher’s visibility and fosters an environment where positive word-of-mouth can thrive.

#6: Collaborate with Schools

Collaborating with local schools is a strategic move for music teachers aiming to expand their word-of-mouth influence. Through partnerships, teachers can offer workshops, presentations, or after-school programs, gaining exposure to students and parents in the school community. This collaborative effort boosts the teacher’s visibility and establishes a direct connection with potential students and their families. Teachers actively engage in the educational landscape by showcasing expertise and sharing a passion for music education, building a positive reputation that can naturally spread through word-of-mouth within the school community and beyond.

#7: Attend Community Events

Active participation in community events is a proactive strategy for music teachers looking to leverage word-of-mouth marketing. By attending local events, fairs, or workshops, teachers can network with potential students and raise awareness about their teaching services. This direct engagement establishes a tangible presence in the community, allowing teachers to interact with individuals interested in music education. Through these interactions, teachers effectively communicate their teaching approach, passion, and expertise, laying the groundwork for positive word-of-mouth referrals. Actively immersing oneself in community events is a dynamic way to build a positive reputation, as attendees may naturally share their experiences and recommendations, contributing to the organic spread of word-of-mouth advertising.

#8: Engage with Online Reviews

Music teachers should encourage happy students to share positive experiences on platforms like Google, Yelp, and music forums to enhance their online presence. These testimonials act as social proof, building a positive online reputation that influences potential students’ decisions. Utilizing platforms like Google My Business (GMB) for local searches, where students can leave reviews, becomes a powerful tool for attracting new students and broadening a teacher’s reach.

#9: Create Informative Content

Creating informative content is a strategic move for music teachers aiming to strengthen their word-of-mouth influence. Teachers establish themselves as authorities by crafting blog posts, recording videos, or hosting webinars with valuable insights on music education. This content showcases their expertise and becomes a valuable resource for students and enthusiasts. Building credibility through informative content contributes to a positive reputation, motivating individuals to share the valuable insights gained from the teacher. As this knowledge-sharing becomes linked to the teacher’s identity, it acts as a powerful catalyst for organic word-of-mouth recommendations, expanding the reach and impact of their teaching within the broader community of music enthusiasts.

#10: Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Providing exceptional customer service is imperative for music teachers looking to encourage word-of-mouth referrals. Teachers leave a lasting positive impression by consistently going above and beyond to meet the needs of both students and their families. This commitment enhances the overall experience, creating satisfaction that resonates with families. A personalized approach to customer service establishes a strong foundation for word-of-mouth recommendations, as individuals are more likely to share their positive experiences. By consistently exceeding expectations, music teachers build a positive reputation and create a natural pathway for satisfied students and families to become advocates, organically expanding the reach and impact of word-of-mouth advertising.

Conclusion

Word-of-mouth marketing is just one part of your overall music lesson marketing plan, but it tends to be one of the most important. If students and parents aren’t referring you to their friends, you might have a problem that you need to address. By fixing problems, you get referrals and keep your existing students long-term. Delivering outstanding lessons, showcasing student success, and engaging offline and online unlock positive recommendations. Understanding the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing and embracing these strategies unlocks boundless success for you music teaching business.

Benefits, Challenges, and Tips for Starting a Music School

Starting a music schoolBeginning a private music school is a transformative blend of passion and entrepreneurship, benefiting both you and your community. But before you embark on this exciting new journey, let’s explore both the benefits and the challenges you’ll face when you start a new music school. Then, let’s share tips to ensure that your new music school will attract new music students, successfully nurture musical talents, foster unity, and provide a platform for artistic education.

The Benefits of Starting a Private Music School

Starting a private music school can be a rewarding venture that allows you to share your passion for music and offers a range of benefits for you and your community. From nurturing musical talent to fostering a sense of community, let’s list the benefits of starting a new music school in your community.

Cultivating Musical Talent: One of the most significant benefits of starting a private music school is the opportunity to nurture and cultivate musical talent. You can help music students unlock their undiscovered potential and develop their skills in a supportive environment by providing structured lessons and guidance.

Personal Fulfillment:  Watching your students progress and become better musicians can be incredibly fulfilling. As a music educator, the sense of accomplishment and pride in your students’ achievements can bring a deep level of personal satisfaction.

Financial Potential:  A well-run private music school can be financially rewarding. If you become skilled at marketing your music lessons, you can earn a steady income stream, allowing you to sustain and grow your business over time.

Flexibility in Teaching: Starting your own music school allows you to design and implement your teaching methods and curriculum. This flexibility allows you to tailor your approach to the needs and preferences of your students.

Creative Expression and Innovation: Running a private music school encourages you to think creatively and innovate in your teaching methods. You can experiment with new ways of engaging students, integrating technology, and exploring diverse musical genres.

Long-Term Impact: By establishing a private music school, you leave a lasting impact on the lives of your students. Your teachings and guidance will stay with them throughout their musical journeys, potentially influencing their careers and personal growth.

Legacy and Reputation Building: A successful private music school can become a cornerstone of your professional legacy. It enhances your reputation within the music community and positions you as an expert in music education.

The Challenges of Starting a Private Music School

Starting a private music school can be rewarding, but it’s essential to be aware of the challenges that come with it. Unfortunately, all small business startups have a high failure rate. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20% of new businesses do not survive the first two years of operation, 45% don’t make it past the first five years, and 65% close down within the initial ten years. Only a quarter of new businesses manage to reach 15 years or more.

From financial considerations to competition in the industry, let’s explore the potential hurdles you might face when starting a music school.

Financial Investment and Sustainability:  Starting a private music school requires a significant initial financial investment. Costs include renting or setting up a suitable facility, purchasing instruments and equipment, and covering administrative expenses. Maintaining a positive cash flow and ensuring the school’s long-term sustainability can be daunting, especially in the early stages, when upfront capital is high and revenue is low.

Competition and Market Saturation:  Music lessons can be competitive, with many established music schools already catering to the needs of students. Standing out in a crowded market and differentiating your music lessons from the competition can be a real challenge.

Enrollment and Seasonality: Maintaining a consistent student enrollment can be a struggle, particularly during off-peak seasons. School breaks and holidays can reduce attendance, affecting your revenue and overall business stability.

Quality Control and Reputation Management: Ensuring consistent teaching standards and delivering high-quality music education is essential for the success of your music school. Addressing any negative feedback and continuously improving your offerings can be demanding, especially when reputation management is crucial in the age of online reviews.

Regulatory and Administrative Hurdles: Starting and operating a music school involves navigating various regulatory requirements and administrative tasks. This includes obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, adhering to education standards, and managing administrative responsibilities such as billing and scheduling.

Balancing Teaching and Business Management: As the founder of a private music school, you’ll wear many hats – educator, administrator, marketer, and more. Balancing the demands of teaching with the responsibilities of managing a business can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate effectively.

Economic Factors and Disposable Income: The financial constraints of potential students can impact their ability to enroll in music classes. Economic downturns or changes in disposable income levels can directly influence your enrollment numbers and revenue.

Student Retention and Engagement: Retaining and keeping students engaged in their musical journey can be a constant challenge. Developing strategies to ensure long-term commitment and progress is essential for the success of your music school. Keeping students is just as important, if not more important, than getting new students.

Employing Other Teachers: To grow the music school, hiring more teachers will be essential. Nevertheless, overseeing these additional teachers can present a considerable challenge. It’s not simple to find reliable and qualified music instructors, and the profit that you’ll be able to collect on the lessons they teach might be quite low.

Innovating and Adapting: The music education landscape continually evolves with teaching methods and technology advancements. Staying updated and incorporating innovative teaching techniques requires continuous learning and adaptation.

Work-Life Balance is Tough:  Running a private music school requires significant time commitment. If you have kids, you might face a challenge because the time when most students want to take music lessons is right after school ends, which can take you away from your own children.

Tips to Ensure Your Private Music School is Successful

Launching and running a private music school can be rewarding and allow you to share your passion for music while building a thriving business. However, success in this competitive field requires careful planning, dedication, and a strategic approach. These tips will help you create a successful and sustainable music education venture.

Craft a Business Plan: A business doesn’t need to be formal or complicated. It should outline your music school’s mission, target audience, unique selling points, curriculum, pricing strategy, and marketing plan. A clear plan will guide your efforts and help you think through challenges before they occur.

Choose the Right Location: The location of your music school can significantly impact its success. Opt for a convenient and accessible location that is easily reachable for your target audience. Consider factors such as foot traffic, proximity to schools, and the overall atmosphere of the area.

Curate a Diverse and Engaging Curriculum: Offer a curriculum that caters to various musical interests and skill levels. Include a mix of classical and contemporary genres, group lessons, individual instruction, and workshops. The diversity of your offerings will attract a broader audience and keep students engaged.

Hire Qualified and Passionate Instructors: Instructors are the backbone of a music school. Seek out qualified and passionate music teacher who excel in their musical abilities and have a knack for teaching. Their enthusiasm will inspire students and contribute to a positive learning environment.

Create a Welcoming Learning Environment: Design your school’s space to be inviting and conducive to learning. Have well-equipped practice rooms, comfortable waiting areas for parents, and an aesthetically pleasing ambiance. Consider that parents might require a space to assist their other children with homework while waiting for the child who is taking lessons. A welcoming atmosphere enhances the overall experience and encourages students to return.

Utilize Effective Marketing Strategies: Develop a robust online presence through a user-friendly website and active social media profiles. Highlight student achievements, testimonials, and upcoming events. Engage in local community events, offer free workshops, and collaborate with other businesses to increase visibility.

Offer Trial Classes and Open Houses: Provide prospective students with the opportunity to experience your teaching style and facilities through free trial lessons and open house events. This firsthand experience can help them make informed decisions and help your school get new music students.

Consider offering online music lessons: The period from 2020 to 2021 saw a significant rise in the popularity of online music lessons conducted via platforms like Zoom, Skype, or other virtual meeting software. These lessons gained traction primarily due to their convenience, appealing to both parents and students. A potential strategy to consider involves promoting online music lessons to students residing in different time zones. This can help fill the non-peak hours in your own time zone and optimize your teaching schedule.

Build Relationships with Parents: Parents play a crucial role in a student’s music education journey. Communicate regularly with parents, providing updates on progress, performance opportunities, and schedule changes. Building a solid parent-teacher relationship boosts student retention.

Encourage Student Performances: Organize regular recitals, concerts, and showcases where students can demonstrate their progress. These performances boost confidence, provide goals for students to work toward, and showcase your school’s commitment to fostering talent. Additionally, parents love to share their children’s recital experiences on social media, which can help you advertise your music school to new students.

Continuously Improve and Adapt: Stay attuned to industry trends, teaching methods, and student preferences. Regularly update your curriculum and teaching techniques to ensure that your school remains relevant and appealing to the ever-evolving needs of your students.

Monitor Financial Health: Keep a close eye on your school’s financial health. Monitor expenses, revenue, and profit margins to ensure that your music school remains financially viable. Regular financial assessments will help you make informed decisions and plan for growth.

Seek Feedback and Evolve: Regularly seek feedback from students, parents, and instructors. Listen to their suggestions and concerns, and use this feedback to enhance the quality of your services. An adaptable approach demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article helped you consider the benefits, challenges, and strategies of starting a music teaching studio. If you decide it’s too daunting, consider going smaller. You don’t have to open a physical music school to teach music. Teaching online or providing lessons at students’ homes could be a more suitable alternative. Maintaining a more compact music teaching venture might grant you additional time and satisfaction compared to the complexities of operating a physical music school.

 

How to be a Bad Music Teacher and Lose Students

Bad music teacherBeing a successful and nurturing music teacher is a delicate balance of passion, dedication, and effective teaching strategies. However, in this article, we take a unique twist by delving into the realm of what not to do – how to be a terrible music teacher and inadvertently drive students away. Marketing private music lessons is nearly impossible if you don’t retain the students you already have. This is a real problem, as you can see from this Reddit post about a student’s experience with bad music teachers. While the art of teaching is often associated with inspiring growth and fostering a love for music, understanding the pitfalls that can lead to student dissatisfaction and disengagement is equally crucial. From neglecting preparation to undermining confidence, each misstep explored in this article sheds light on practices that can swiftly erode the trust, enthusiasm, and commitment students and their parents seek in a private music teacher. By understanding these negative traits, we gain valuable insights into cultivating an environment that is truly conducive to student success and musical growth.

We will ask you a question at the end of this article, and it’s best if you read the article before reading it because reading it before you read the article could sway your answer to that question. Now, let’s begin. Here’s how to become an ineffective music teacher and drive your students away.

Ignore Preparation and Planning for Your Music Lessons

One of the quickest ways to become a terrible music teacher and lose students is by neglecting preparation and planning. Successful music teaching relies on well-structured lessons, organized curricula, and carefully thought-out learning materials. However, if you aim to drive students away, here’s how to effectively achieve that.

Fail to Plan Music Lessons Effectively: Begin by avoiding any form of lesson planning. Show up to music lessons without knowing what you intend to teach. This will lead to confusion, disorganization, and a lack of direction in your teaching approach, and students will feel like they are wasting time and money as you figure out something to show them.

Ignore Curriculum Development: Don’t bother developing a curriculum or syllabus for your students. Without a structured progression of skills and concepts, students will struggle to see their growth over time, and parents will question the value of your instruction.

Do Not Have Structured Learning Materials: Refrain from creating or providing any learning materials such as sheet music, practice exercises, or reference resources. This will leave your students feeling lost and unprepared for their musical journey.

Disregarding the importance of preparation and planning will ensure that your teaching lacks coherence, progression, and direction, ultimately driving students away from your music studio.

Disregard Individual Student Needs

If you want to be an ineffective music teacher and lose students, a surefire strategy is to ignore your students’ needs or concerns. Music lessons are at their best when tailored to each student’s learning style and pace. Here’s how you can go about disregarding students’ crucial needs and lose students quickly.

Ignore Different Learning Styles: Treat all your students the same way, regardless of their unique learning styles. Avoid adapting your teaching methods to accommodate visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. This will result in students feeling disconnected and frustrated with your teaching approach.

Do Not Provide Personalized Feedback: Give generic, one-size-fits-all feedback that doesn’t address each student’s specific strengths and weaknesses, or better yet, give no feedback at all. This lack of personalized guidance will hinder their progress, discourage their efforts, and cause them to seek music lessons from other music teachers instead.

Neglect Struggling Students: Pay no attention to students who are struggling to grasp certain concepts or techniques. Instead of offering additional support or alternative explanations, let them fend for themselves. This will lead to a sense of isolation and discouragement.

By failing to acknowledge and address the diverse learning needs of your students, you’ll create an environment where progress is stunted and motivation dwindles. This approach is a sure path to losing students and tarnishing your reputation as a music teacher.

Have Poor Communication With Your Music Students

To become a genuinely ineffective music teacher and drive students away, master the art of unclear or non-existent communication. Effective teaching hinges on conveying ideas, instructions, and concepts comprehensibly. However, if you aim to alienate your students, here’s how you can become a poor communicator.

Give Unclear Instruction and Explanations To Your Students: Deliver vague and ambiguous instruction during lessons. Never consider whether or not the student understood what you said. Avoid providing step-by-step guidance or clarifications. This will leave students confused and frustrated, hindering their ability to make meaningful progress with music lessons.

Do Not Communicate Goals: Keep your teaching objectives and goals a mystery. Don’t inform students about what they’re working toward or why particular concepts are important. Teach music theory without explaining why it’s applicable. This lack of purpose will lead to student disengagement and a sense of aimlessness.

Avoid Addressing Questions and Concerns: Dismiss or evade students’ questions when they arise. This will make students feel unheard and discouraged from seeking further clarification, hindering their learning journey.

By mastering the art of unclear communication, you’ll ensure that your students struggle to understand concepts, lose sight of their goals, and feel ignored during their music lessons. This approach guarantees dissatisfaction and a swift departure of students from your music studio.

Be Inconsistent and Unreliable With Music Lessons

If you want to lose students and be regarded as an unreliable music teacher, mastering the art of inconsistency will do just that. Students need a stable, dependable music lesson schedule and consistent experience. However, you can turn that upside down by embracing inconsistency in various ways.

Frequent Cancellations or Rescheduling: Regularly cancel lessons or reschedule them last minute without valid reasons. This will disrupt students’ schedules and demonstrate a lack of respect for their time and commitment.

Inconsistent Teaching Methods: Change your teaching methods and approaches frequently without explanation. This will confuse students and hinder their ability to build upon previously learned concepts.

Unpredictable Feedback and Evaluations: Provide feedback and evaluations arbitrarily, with no clear criteria or consistency. Students will be left unsure about their progress and how to improve.

Embracing inconsistency and unreliability will frustrate your music students and their parents. This approach will inevitably lead students to search for more dependable and supportive music teachers elsewhere.

Use Negative Reinforcement With Music Students

To drive students away and be remembered as a poor music teacher, embracing negative reinforcement techniques can be quite effective. Solid music teaching is built on encouragement and constructive feedback, but you can subvert that by adopting negative practices that discourage and demotivate students:

Criticizing Without Constructive Feedback: Constantly criticize students’ mistakes without guiding them on how to improve. This will lower their self-esteem and create an atmosphere of fear.

Discouraging Mistakes Instead of Addressing Them: Instead of seeing mistakes as opportunities for growth, discourage any experimentation or risk-taking. Make students feel embarrassed about errors, stifling their creativity and learning.

Creating a Fear-Based Learning Environment: Instill fear of failure by overreacting to mistakes. Use negative gestures, like rolling your eyes, to send passive-aggressive signals to your students. Definitely don’t smile or say, “Good job,” or, “Nice effort.” Be stern to hinder students’ willingness to explore and hinder their progress.

By employing negative reinforcement, you’ll ensure that students feel unsupported, anxious, and unmotivated during your music lessons. This approach will undoubtedly lead them to seek out a more positive and nurturing educational experience elsewhere.

Showing a Lack of Enthusiasm for Teaching Music

To be perceived as a music teacher that nobody should take lessons from, show a complete lack of enthusiasm for teaching music. Passion and enthusiasm are contagious and can inspire students to engage and excel. It can keep them excited to come to lessons and practice their musical instrument between lessons. However, to drive students away, adopt a disinterested and uninspired demeanor.

Demonstrating Disinterest in Teaching: Convey a lack of enthusiasm for music by appearing bored and unengaged during lessons. Complain about the job of teaching music in front of your students. This will make students question the value of what they’re learning.

Failing to Inspire Passion for Music: Avoid sharing your love for music or the instrument you’re teaching. Never talk about the beauty of music or its impact on people’s lives. This will prevent students from connecting with music’s emotional and artistic aspects.

Not Engaging with Students During Lessons: Stay detached from your students by not interacting with them beyond the bare minimum. Avoid asking about their interests, progress, or musical aspirations. This lack of connection will make students feel unimportant and disengaged.

By exhibiting a lack of enthusiasm, you’ll create a learning environment devoid of inspiration, creativity, and connection. Students will likely become disinterested and give up on music lessons or at least seek teachers who ignite their passion for music.

Have Poor Music Lesson Management

Becoming an ineffective music teacher and losing students can be achieved by ignoring the critical aspect of lesson management. A well-managed music lesson ensures a conducive learning environment. But to become a bad music teacher who loses students, ensure your music lessons are chaotic and frustrating for students and parents.

Allowing Disruptions and Distractions: Let disruptions and distractions go unchecked during lessons. Don’t address or stop distractions from students. Let them play or goof off for the entire lesson so their parents understand that little learning is happening.

Don’t set practice expectations: When students come to lessons and haven’t improved from their previous lesson, let it slide. Take the attitude that as long as they come and pay for a lesson, whether they practiced or not isn’t your concern. This will help drive them away because they’ll soon realize their lessons are a waste of money.

Don’t standardize music lessons: To lose students and be a poor music teacher, don’t standardize. Don’t have a curriculum that students will understand. Just wing each lesson. This will make it nearly impossible for students to know what they are supposed to do, and it will lead them to quit music lessons quickly.

Neglecting music lesson management will create an atmosphere of disorder, frustration, and a lack of respect for the learning process. Students are likely to seek a more structured and conducive learning environment elsewhere, leading to a decline in your student base.

Don’t Provide Opportunities for Student Growth in Music

To be a lackluster music teacher and ensure students lose interest, avoid providing them with any meaningful growth opportunities. A key aspect of effective teaching is fostering progress and development, but you can easily undermine this by avoiding growth opportunities.

Lack of Performance Opportunities: Don’t organize any recitals, concerts, or performance opportunities for your students. Deny them the chance to showcase their skills and gain confidence in their abilities.

Disregarding Student Aspirations: Don’t take the time to understand each student’s musical goals and aspirations. Ignore their desires to learn specific genres, instruments, or techniques. This will make them feel unheard and unimportant.

Failing to Nurture Musical Exploration: Avoid encouraging students to explore different aspects of music. Discourage them from trying new genres, instruments, or creative approaches. This will stifle their curiosity and creativity.

By depriving students of growth opportunities, you’ll create a learning environment that feels stagnant, unfulfilling, and disconnected from their personal goals. This approach will likely lead students to seek teachers who prioritize their development and provide meaningful avenues for improvement.

Be Unapproachable and Unsupportive Toward Your Music Students

To be an unsuccessful music teacher and lose students, master the art of being unapproachable and unsupportive. Effective teaching involves fostering a supportive and approachable environment, but avoiding this can create a sense of isolation and frustration.

Not Fostering a Welcoming Environment: Avoid creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your classroom. Don’t greet students with a smile or take an interest in their well-being. This will make them feel unwelcome and uncomfortable.

Ignoring the Emotional Needs of Students: Pay no attention to students’ emotional well-being. Disregard any stress, anxiety, or personal challenges they might face and solely focus on the technical aspects of music.

Failing to Create a Safe Space for Learning: Don’t provide a safe space where students can express themselves freely without fear of judgment. Ridicule mistakes and create an environment where students are afraid to ask questions.

Being unapproachable and unsupportive will create an environment where students feel disconnected, stressed, and unheard. This approach will likely lead them to seek teachers who genuinely care about their well-being and create a positive and supportive learning atmosphere.

Neglect Assessment and Progress Tracking

To be an ineffective music teacher and lose students, ignoring the importance of assessment and progress tracking is a surefire strategy. Effective teaching involves monitoring students’ growth and providing feedback, but neglecting this aspect can leave students feeling lost and unmotivated. 

Failing to Evaluate Student Growth: Avoid assessing music students’ progress and skills. Don’t provide feedback on their improvements or areas that need work. This lack of evaluation will prevent students from understanding their own development and may eventually lead to them quitting music lessons.

Not Setting Clear Goals and Benchmarks: Refrain from setting clear student learning objectives and benchmarks for music students. Keep them in the dark about what they should aim to achieve, leading to confusion and lack of direction.

Ignoring the Importance of Tracking Progress: Disregard the need to track individual progress over time. Don’t keep records of students’ achievements or setbacks. This will hinder students from seeing their growth and hinder their motivation.

Neglecting assessment and progress tracking will create an environment where students lack direction, clarity and a sense of accomplishment. Students are more likely to seek out teachers who provide meaningful feedback and help them understand their journey toward improvement.

Disregard Parent-Teacher Communication

To be an ineffective music teacher and drive students away, neglecting communication with parents can be a powerful approach. Building a solid partnership between parents and teachers supports students’ learning, but disregarding this connection can create distrust and dissatisfaction.

Not Involving Parents in the Learning Process: Keep parents in the dark about their child’s progress and learning activities. Avoid sharing insights about their musical strengths and areas for improvement, making parents feel excluded.

Failing to Update Parents on Student Progress: Refrain from regularly updating parents about their child’s musical journey. This lack of communication will leave parents unaware of their child’s achievements and challenges.

Ignoring Parental Concerns and Feedback: Disregard any concerns, questions, or feedback from parents. Show a lack of interest in addressing their inquiries, creating frustration and dissatisfaction.

By neglecting parent-teacher communication, you’ll create an environment of mistrust, confusion, and frustration. Parents are more likely to seek out music teachers who actively engage them in their child’s musical education and keep them informed about their progress.

Undermine Student Confidence

To become a terrible music teacher and drive students away, focusing on undermining their confidence can do the trick. A positive learning environment relies on building students’ self-esteem, but by eroding this confidence, you can discourage and demoralize them, so they leave.

Constantly Pointing Out Mistakes: Highlight a student’s mistakes without acknowledging their efforts or progress. This will make them feel like their efforts are in vain and discourage them from practicing.

Minimizing Achievements: Downplay students’ accomplishments and achievements, making them feel like their successes are insignificant. This will diminish their sense of pride and motivation.

Comparing Students Negatively: Regularly compare students to each other in a negative light. This will create unhealthy competition and foster a sense of inadequacy among them.

By undermining students’ confidence, you’ll create an environment of self-doubt, fear of failure, and discouragement. Students will likely seek teachers who inspire belief in their abilities and provide constructive encouragement to foster growth.

The Question

We recommend that you do not read this question before you’ve read the article. With that, here is the question: Did any of the ways to be a terrible music teacher make you feel defensive or guilty? The truth is that most music teachers are guilty of some of these things. Nobody is perfect, and it’s important to know that. Use that feeling to fix the issue or issues that rubbed you the wrong way. Everyone gets complacent now and then. A professional is someone who continually recognizes that and fixes them.

Conclusion

In our journey through the realm of ineffective teaching practices, it becomes abundantly clear that the role of a music teacher extends far beyond just imparting knowledge of notes and melodies. You can be a fantastic musician but a less-than-stellar music teacher. Also true, you can be an adequate musician and a spectacular music teacher.  Ultimately, the lessons learned from these negative approaches are powerful reminders of music teachers’ responsibility to shape the next generation of musicians and foster a genuine love for music.

Benefits of Private Music Lessons You Never Considered

Benefits of private music lessons.Private music lessons have long been celebrated for their ability to nurture individual talents and shape aspiring musicians into accomplished artists. While the traditional advantages of personalized attention and skill refinement are widely acknowledged, many of the benefits of private music lessons are often overlooked. Beyond technical proficiency and musical prowess, private music lessons offer many advantages that reach deep into personal development, cognitive growth, and well-being. This article delves into the underestimated aspects of private music instruction, shedding light on how private music lessons can enrich students’ lives.

Individualized Attention

Private music lessons can provide highly focused attention, adapted to meet each student’s unique needs and preferred learning tempo. This individualized approach enables music teachers to address challenges effectively, emphasize strengths, and ensure that students grasp concepts thoroughly. As a result, music students experience a more efficient and enriching learning journey.

Personalized Curriculum

Music instructors can tailor a curriculum to a student’s specific aspirations, musical tastes, and proficiency level. A personalized curriculum ensures that students can remain engaged and motivated while working on music that resonates with them. Music teachers can facilitate a more effective and enjoyable learning experience by aligning the lessons with students’ goals.

Faster Progress

Individualized instruction during one-on-one music lessons can result in accelerated music skill development, outpacing the progress typically seen in group lessons. The focused attention from the instructor allows for targeted guidance, immediate feedback, and personalized practice strategies, which contribute to faster improvement. This teaching approach caters to the student’s strengths and growth areas, fostering a more efficient learning curve.

Flexible Schedule

Private music lessons offer the advantage of flexible scheduling that accommodates the availability of both the music student and the music teacher. This flexibility allows for optimal time management and helps ensure that music lessons fit into busy schedules without causing conflicts. As a result, students can engage in consistent learning while maintaining a balance with other commitments, making the most of their musical education.

Enhanced Technique

Private music instructors can provide comprehensive guidance to refine playing techniques to a high standard. Through personalized music instruction, music students gain valuable insights into proper hand positioning, body posture, and nuanced techniques specific to their chosen instrument. This meticulous attention to detail enhances the quality of their performance, promoting a solid foundation for musical proficiency.

Building Confidence

Consistent feedback and positive reinforcement from a music teacher can significantly elevate a student’s self-assurance and enthusiasm for learning. By acknowledging progress and addressing areas for improvement, students feel supported in their music education, which in turn bolsters their belief in their capabilities. This helps to foster a resilient motivation to practice and excel, creating a positive cycle of growth and achievement.

Focused Practice

Private music instructors are skilled at recognizing areas where students may face challenges and can offer precise practice strategies tailored to address these weaknesses. Instructors ensure efficient progress and prevent frustration by pinpointing specific difficulties and tailoring exercises to overcome them. This strategic approach empowers students to work on their shortcomings effectively, leading to a well-rounded and more confident musical education.

Attention to Repertoire

Private music lessons allow students to delve into the music they enjoy, fostering engagement and sustained motivation. This allows them to connect with the music they’re learning, resulting in more dedicated practice and a heightened sense of accomplishment. Private music teachers who cater to their students’ interests cultivate a genuine enthusiasm that propels students to achieve higher proficiency for the musical instruments they are learning.

Musical Exploration

Private music lessons allow music students to explore various musical genres and styles. This versatility allows them to broaden their musical horizons and discover new types of music they may otherwise never have been exposed to. Music teachers can create an environment where students can develop a well-rounded appreciation for diverse musical expressions, enriching their overall musical journey.

Performance Skills

Private music lessons can develop a student’s stage presence and confidence. Students gain the skills to perform in front of audiences during recitals and competitions, helping them overcome performance anxiety. This comprehensive preparation enhances their musical abilities, gives them the self-confidence to shine on stage, and it also helps empower them to speak in public.

Goal Setting

Music teachers provide valuable guidance to students as they set realistic and attainable goals, offering a sense of purpose and direction in their musical journey. Students learn the skill of breaking down larger objectives into manageable steps. Additionally, students and teachers can measure their progress along the way. Learning to set and meet goals is a valuable skill that will empower students in music and every aspect of their lives.

Problem-Solving

Music teachers provide valuable guidance to students as they set realistic and attainable goals, offering a sense of purpose and direction in their musical journey. Students learn the skill of breaking down larger objectives into manageable steps. Additionally, students and teachers can measure their progress along the way. Learning to set and meet goals is a valuable skill that will empower students in music and every aspect of their lives.

Musical Theory

Private music lessons offer the opportunity for comprehensive music theory instruction, helping music students learn the intricacies of musical structure and composition. By understanding concepts such as harmony, rhythm, and chord progressions, music students gain a deeper appreciation for the mechanics of music. This enriches their playing and equips them with a well-rounded musical foundation that can be applied across various genres and creative endeavors.

Constructive Feedback

Receiving immediate feedback from a seasoned instructor is invaluable for rectifying mistakes and honing skills. Music students learn how to accept constructive feedback and improve. Because private music lessons provide timely feedback, students can correct issues early, fostering a more efficient learning process. This ensures that students build a strong foundation and continue to progress effectively in their musical journey.

Long-Term Commitment

The ongoing guidance of a private music instructor can build a lasting dedication to learning music. By receiving continuous support, private music students develop a sense of accountability and connection to their learning journey. This sustained mentorship fosters a deeper appreciation for music. This helps them commit to their musical pursuits over the long term, ultimately reaping the rewards of their dedication and hard work.

Personal Connection

The relationship between a student and a good music teacher can evolve into a meaningful mentorship, fostering a profound understanding and passion for music. Through shared experiences, guidance, and mutual respect, students gain insights beyond technical skills, developing a more holistic appreciation for their musical instrument. This mentorship enriches their musical journey and encourages them to explore music with a sense of curiosity and emotional connection.

Adaptation to Learning Styles

Private music teachers can adapt their teaching methods to align with the student’s preferred learning style. By recognizing whether a student is visual, auditory, or kinesthetic in their learning approach, music teachers can tailor their instruction for optimal comprehension and engagement. This personalized approach enhances music students’ abilities to absorb and apply new concepts, fostering more effective and enjoyable music lessons.

Cultivating Discipline

Consistent participation in music lessons and adherence to music practice schedules cultivate discipline and time management skills. The structured routine of regular private music lessons encourages students to prioritize their musical education, teaching a sense of responsibility and commitment. As students spend time practicing their musical instruments and learning music, they enhance their musical abilities and develop transferable skills that contribute to success in various aspects of life.

Educational Foundation

Private music lessons establish a robust framework for students who aspire to pursue a future in music education or performance. The individualized attention, comprehensive skill development, and in-depth understanding gained through private music lessons are a building block for advanced studies and professional endeavors. By honing technical proficiency, musical interpretation, and stage presence, private music lessons equip students with the tools and confidence necessary to excel in the competitive music world, whether as educators, performers, or both.

Conclusion

Remember that the benefits of taking private music lessons may vary based on the student’s goals, the teacher’s expertise, and the commitment put into practice. As we’ve explained, the benefits extend far beyond the confines of musical skill development. While refining techniques and musicality are undoubtedly crucial, the hidden gems lie in the personal connections, self-discovery, and enhanced cognitive abilities that happen through one-on-one music lessons. From instilling discipline and perseverance to offering a platform for self-expression and creativity, private music lessons can create well-rounded individuals with a deeper appreciation for art, a stronger sense of identity, and a lifelong passion for learning.

Benefits and Tips for Music Teacher Niche Marketing

Music Teacher Niche MarketingIn today’s diverse and competitive world of music education, finding your unique voice and standing out from the crowd is crucial for success. This is where niche marketing comes into play, offering a strategic approach that empowers music teachers to carve out a distinct identity and connect with a targeted audience of students who share their passions and interests. Music teachers can unlock many benefits that differentiate them and amplify their impact by focusing on a specific genre, instrument, or teaching method. In this article, we explore the world of niche marketing for music teachers, exploring its many advantages, while unveiling effective strategies to implement niche marketing into your overall music teacher marketing plan.

What is niche marketing in music education?

Within the realm of music education, various specialized segments or niches emerge. Teaching music to young beginners forms a niche market, just as offering music lessons for adults, music instruction for individuals with special needs, and tailored lessons for aspiring songwriters. Specializing in music lessons for kids with busy parents can be a form of niche marketing. These represent niche markets within the broader field of music education.

It can be tempting to try to appeal to all forms of music lessons, but studies on niche marketing show you are far better off focusing on niche marketing than trying to appeal to everyone.

What are the benefits of niche marketing for growing a music school?

Niche marketing can offer several benefits for private music teachers:

Targeted Audience: Focusing on a specific niche allows you to tailor your marketing efforts to a particular group of genuinely interested students. This increases the chances of attracting students who fit your teaching style and expertise well.

Expertise Recognition: By specializing in a particular genre, instrument, or teaching method, you can establish yourself as an expert in that niche. This enhances your credibility and makes students more likely to choose you over general music teachers.

Reduced Competition: Niche markets often compete less than broader markets. This means you’ll face fewer competitors, making standing out and gaining recognition easier.

Personalized Approach: Niche marketing allows you to tailor your teaching approach, curriculum, and materials to your target audience’s specific needs and interests. This personalized experience can lead to higher student satisfaction and retention.

Word of Mouth Growth: Satisfied students within a niche are likelier to recommend you to others with similar interests. This can lead to organic word-of-mouth growth within the niche community.

Higher Rates: Specialized expertise often justifies higher rates, as students recognize the value in learning from someone uniquely qualified in their chosen area of interest.

Passion and Engagement: Teaching within a niche you’re passionate about can lead to higher levels of engagement, which translates into enthusiastic and effective instruction.

Networking Opportunities: Niche markets often have dedicated events, forums, and communities. Engaging in these platforms can help you network with potential students, collaborators, and music teaching industry professionals.

Content Creation: Niche teaching allows you to create specialized content such as tutorials, videos, and articles catering to your target audience’s needs. This content can serve as a valuable marketing tool.

Long-Term Sustainability: Establishing yourself as a niche expert can lead to long-term success, as you become a go-to teacher for students who want to excel in that specific area.

In essence, niche marketing empowers private music teachers to leverage their unique strengths, connect with a like-minded student base, and position themselves as trusted experts in their chosen field, resulting in growth and success over time.

How do I use niche marketing and differentiate myself as a private music teacher?

Here are several ways music teachers can differentiate themselves and use niche marketing to attract more students:

Unique Teaching Style:  Cultivating a unique teaching approach can significantly impact music students. By prioritizing creativity, personalized instruction, or specializing in a particular genre, you can truly differentiate yourself and provide an exceptional learning experience for your students. Your distinctive approach will set you apart, foster a deeper connection with music, and promote individual growth.

Specialized Expertise:  Distinguish yourself from the crowd of general music teachers by becoming an expert in a specific instrument, technique, or music style. Specialization will showcase your dedication and give your students a unique and enriched learning experience. By honing your expertise, you’ll stand out as an expert in what you teach.

Innovative Technology:  Elevate the music lesson journey by integrating technology into your teaching approach. Embrace online learning platforms, interactive apps, and music education tools to create an engaging educational experience. By merging traditional instruction with cutting-edge technology, you’ll empower your students with a dynamic and forward-looking approach to learning music.

Flexible Scheduling: Prioritize your students’ convenience by providing flexible music lesson schedules that cater to their busy lives. By offering adaptable time slots, you create an environment where learning music seamlessly integrates into their routines. This flexibility showcases your commitment to their growth and ensures that your students can pursue their musical passions without compromising their other commitments.

Performance Opportunities: Foster a well-rounded musical journey for your students by offering consistent opportunities to showcase their progress. Organize recitals, concerts, or open mic events that give them a platform to shine and share their musical accomplishments. These performance experiences boost their confidence and instill a sense of achievement, enhancing their overall growth as musicians.

Parent Involvement: Nurture a collaborative learning environment by keeping parents involved through regular progress updates, insightful practice tips, and valuable resources. Empower parents to actively support their child’s musical journey by offering them the necessary tools and information for helping their children practice music. This partnership between educators and parents creates a strong foundation for students, ensuring that their musical growth is nurtured inside and outside the classroom.

Customized Curriculum: Embrace personalization’s power by crafting lessons catering to each student’s aspirations, proficiency, and musical preferences. This tailored approach ensures that the learning plan is relevant and inspiring, propelling students enthusiastically toward their goals. By acknowledging individuality, you create an educational journey that is both effective and deeply rewarding.

Collaborations and Workshops: Foster a sense of camaraderie and collective learning by orchestrating collaborative projects, interactive workshops, or engaging group lessons. Through these endeavors, students can draw inspiration from one another, exchange insights, and collectively elevate their musical proficiency. By creating a dynamic learning environment that thrives on collaboration, you empower students to not only grow individually but also contribute to the enrichment of their peers’ musical journeys.

Comprehensive Resources: Enhance your music lessons by providing valuable supplementary materials such as sheet music, instructive music teaching videos, and curated music lesson resources. These music lesson tools deepen understanding and empower students to explore beyond the classroom, fostering a well-rounded musical education. By offering a wealth of resources, you create a supportive learning environment that nurtures growth and encourages students to thrive in their musical pursuits.

Trial Lessons or Guarantees: Extend a welcoming hand to prospective music students by offering a risk-free opportunity to experience your teaching through a complimentary trial lesson or a satisfaction guarantee. This demonstrates your confidence in the value of your instruction and ensures that students can make an informed decision about their musical education. By removing barriers and instilling trust, you create a pathway for students to embark on a transformative musical journey with confidence and enthusiasm.

Conclusion

As music education continues to evolve, the power of niche marketing becomes increasingly evident. By embracing a specific focus, music teachers can transcend the ordinary and create extraordinary learning experiences for their students. The benefits are abundant: from establishing expertise and fostering deep connections with students to elevating credibility and nurturing a community of like-minded learners. Through careful strategy implementation, personalized approaches, and dedication to their chosen niche, music teachers can shape their own success and enrich their students’ musical journeys. As you embark on your path as a music educator, remember that the road less traveled—the niche you choose—can lead to boundless growth, fulfillment, and a harmonious symphony of achievement.

Teaching Private “At-Home” Music Lessons: Music Teacher Tips

At-Home music teacher conceptIf you’re passionate about music and have the desire to share your knowledge with others, starting a career as a private music teacher can be a rewarding endeavor. Teaching music privately lets you connect with students personally and tailor your lessons to their needs and goals. In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of becoming a private music teacher who gives at-home music lessons and provide actionable steps to kickstart your journey in teaching private music lessons at students’ homes.

Here are seven tips to begin your career as a private music teacher, with a focus on at-home music lessons:

1. Embrace Competition: A Positive Sign

As you embark on your music teaching journey, it’s natural to feel intimidated by established music teachers in your local area. However, it’s essential to view competition as a positive sign. The presence of other music teachers indicates that there is a demand for music lessons, which is good news for you.

  • Don’t be discouraged by the competition: Focus on setting yourself apart from competing music teachers, but resist the temptation to compete by price. For instance, if you’re competing with a big music school, instead of undercutting their prices, emphasize the personal touch you can provide. Large music schools often struggle with instructor turnover as many teachers leave due to low earnings after the school’s cut. You can differentiate yourself by committing to being your students’ stable and long-term music teacher.
  • Know that there is a lot more demand than active students: Be aware that the demand for music lessons likely far exceeds the number of active students. Many potential music students are not taking lessons because they haven’t been able to find the right music teacher. This issue often arises from schedule conflicts, as they haven’t been able to locate a music teacher to accommodate their current schedule.

2. Consider the Advantages of Being a Traveling Music Teacher

A traveling private music teacher is a music teacher who provides in-home music lessons. This is one of the best ways to begin teaching music and offers you and your students many advantages.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Starting a music studio where students come to you can be costly. You’ll have to pay for rent, furniture, equipment, utilities, and permits. Opting to be a traveling teacher allows you to avoid the expenses of operating a physical studio, which is especially helpful when you begin your music teaching career.
  • Higher Rates for Convenience: Traveling teachers can charge higher fees due to the added convenience of teaching at students’ homes, saving them time and effort. For busy parents, especially those with more than one child, driving to a music studio takes considerable time. When a teacher comes to their home, parents and other children can get things done while one child takes a lesson. Parents are happy to pay for such convenience.

3. Micro-Targeting: Reaching the Right Audience

One effective way to build your student base as an at-home music teacher is by micro-targeting the specific neighborhoods you’d like to give lessons. By following these steps, you can affordably market your music lessons to potential students in sought-after neighborhoods and foster word-of-mouth marketing to grow your clientele:

  • Door Hangers and Flyers: Create simple flyers to advertise your music lessons. Include your availability and contact information. We’ve written an entire article about door-hanging flyers to market music lessons, but you don’t have to make it complicated or expensive. You can simply print flyers on your computer and pass them out in the neighborhoods you’d like to teach. Check the legalities of the neighborhoods you select to make sure you comply with soliciting laws.
  • Neighborhood Selection: Focus on affluent neighborhoods with a significant number of children. While the neighborhoods you target don’t have to be extremely close to your location, consider the travel time to reach them. Prioritize having students who live close to each other to minimize travel time between lessons. This is more important than having the neighborhood itself close to your residence. This approach will enhance your efficiency as a traveling music teacher.
  • Flexible Advertising: Use door hangers and flyers that can be easily updated to accommodate changing schedules and availability. If you have a Canva account, you can easily create a great-looking flyer that you can easily edit. The sample one below took 10 minutes to create on Canva.

Example of flyer for piano lessons

4. Optimize Your Music Lesson Schedule

Efficient scheduling is crucial for a successful traveling music teacher. Here’s how you can make the most of your teaching hours:

  • 45-Minute Lessons: Offer 45-minute lessons instead of 30-minute ones.This provides more teaching time and lets students settle into the lesson better. Every music lesson has an adjustment period during the first few minutes, where students and teachers get ready for the upcoming lesson. If it takes 5 minutes to get into the groove (pun intended), that only leaves 25 minutes for 30-minute lessons. However, if it’s a 45-minute lesson, there are still 40 minutes to teach, which is 60% more teaching time. You can charge extra for that. 
  • Strategic Lesson Booking: Schedule lessons in close proximity to each other to reduce travel time and maximize your teaching hours. While you cannot have one lesson immediately after the next due to travel time between students, you can still optimize the time between each lesson, especially if you offer 45-minute lessons. You can allot 15 minutes to get to the next student, which lets you schedule lessons at the top of each hour. The 15 minutes between students also has the added benefit of helping you keep your schedule. Many teachers who offer 30-minute lessons at their music studio discover that one late parent creates a domino effect of late lessons for the entire day. Having some padding between lessons helps to avoid that frustration.

5. Charge Higher Rates for At-Home Music Lessons

As a traveling music teacher, you offer personalization and convenience that other music teacher may not be able to match. Consider the value you provide when you set your music lesson rates:

  • Premium Convenience: Price your lessons higher than studio-based teachers, considering the extra convenience you offer. A parent with two children taking 30-minute lessons at a music studio might have to spend 90 minutes out of their day. That’s assuming 15 minutes of travel time each way and two back-to-back 30-minute lessons. Contrast that with at-home lessons. You could teach each child for 45 minutes and the parent doesn’t have to spend any time dealing with it. The students get more lesson time, and the parent saves time and gas money.
  • Communicate the Value: Clearly communicate the benefits of in-home lessons to justify the higher rates to potential students and their parents. In your music lesson marketing, explain that traveling to their homes helps parents save time and money.

6. Choose Profitable Neighborhoods: Expanding Your Reach

Don’t limit yourself to teaching only in your immediate vicinity. Consider branching out to neighborhoods that are slightly farther away but still within a reasonable travel distance. Here are the benefits:

  • Wider Reach: Expanding your reach to nearby neighborhoods opens up more opportunities to find students. You might find large subdivisions with many families, which are prime for finding music students.
  • Travel Time Management: If houses are close to each other, you can optimize your travel time between lessons.

7. Utilize Downtime: Productive Use of Gaps

Try as you might, you’re going to have downtime between students. Students will cancel lessons. Some students may need to shift their scheduled lessons because of conflicts with other activities, and other students will quit music lessons, even if you do everything right. You have to get good at managing and optimizing your downtime.

  • Hang door flyers for your vacancies.
  • Answer emails and leads for lessons.
  • Send out a newsletter.
  • Do bookkeeping for your business.
  • Start a music teaching YouTube channel and edit videos for it.
  • Work on your website.
  • Work on your social media marketing.
  • Write a blog post.
  • Message students to encourage word-of-mouth marketing for your vacancies.

Just because you don’t have students during the time you’ve allocated to teaching doesn’t mean you have nothing to do. Spending that otherwise wasted time working on your business will save you time later.

Conclusion

Becoming a traveling music teacher offers numerous advantages, from cost-effectiveness to the ability to charge higher rates for your expertise and convenience. Embrace competition as a positive sign and focus on micro-targeting specific neighborhoods to grow your student base. Optimize your lesson schedule and use downtime wisely to further your business goals. By following these strategies, you can establish yourself as a successful private music teacher, enriching the lives of your students through the power of music.

How much should I charge to give music lessons?

How much to charge for music lessonsPrivate music teachers often struggle with pricing their music lessons, especially when starting a music school or becoming a private music teacher. The temptation to charge less than the competition to attract students can lead to unintended consequences. This article aims to show why undercharging is a detrimental strategy and tips for pricing and managing your music lesson studio.

Why undercharging for music lessons is a detrimental strategy

It’s a Race to the Bottom

If you undercut a music teacher’s prices, there is a good chance they will do the same if you succeed. Eventually, you’ll stop getting students via this strategy, and as your students inevitably leave, you will have difficulty replacing them. This is sometimes called the “race to the bottom” because it ruins the business for everyone. It’s a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself, leading to a downward spiral in the quality and value of music lessons being offered in the market. 

Ultimately, a race to the bottom serves no one’s best interests. It undermines the reputation of the music education sector and compromises the livelihood of dedicated music teachers. Instead, focusing on delivering exceptional quality and maintaining a competitive yet fair pricing strategy will benefit music educators and their students in the long term.

You Will Eventually Suffer Burnout

Lowering your fees might appear as an attractive strategy to attract a larger student base initially, but it can ultimately lead to burnout and cause negative consequences for your music teaching career. While it may seem like a quick solution to increase student enrollment, it can create a vicious cycle that negatively impacts your overall effectiveness as a music teacher.

Attracting low-paying students can result in a schedule filled with numerous lessons, leaving you with little time for other crucial aspects of running your music teaching business. Essential tasks such as marketing your services to reach a wider audience, managing bookkeeping to keep track of your finances, and investing in your personal growth as a music educator might take a back seat. This lack of balance and the overwhelming workload can lead to exhaustion and stress, potentially affecting the quality of your teaching and student interactions.

You’ll Struggle to Attract Serious, Long-Term Students

Charging a higher rate attracts students genuinely interested in learning music and committed to their musical journey. Conversely, students who choose a teacher based primarily on cost are more likely to give up when something interferes, such as other activities or unexpected expenses. Music lessons aren’t cheap, but serious students and parents know that and have already accepted a higher cost; price is generally not the most significant factor. Yes, it’s a factor, but availability, personality, and skill as a music teacher are considerably more important.

Your Professional Image Will Suffer

Charging low prices might give the impression that your teaching quality is also low. Students and parents may question the value they will receive from your lessons, leading them to choose a higher-priced teacher with a perceived higher level of expertise.

Establishing a competitive rate as a music teacher communicates professionalism and confidence in the value of your lessons. This sends a strong message to potential students and the community that you take your career seriously and are committed to delivering high-quality education. A relatively high but still competitive rate helps position you as a reputable and trustworthy teacher, attracting students who are serious about their musical journey. It also contributes to a positive reputation within the community, leading to word-of-mouth referrals and increased student interest. Setting a competitive rate demonstrates your dedication to providing valuable music lessons, ultimately fostering a more prosperous and fulfilling teaching experience.

Strategies to consider when pricing your music lesson business

Provide Longer Lessons: To improve clarity and coherence, consider offering longer lessons, such as 45 or 60 minutes, instead of the standard 30-minute sessions. The 45-minute duration strikes a balance, as 30 minutes can feel rushed, while 60 minutes might be too lengthy, especially for younger students. With a 45-minute lesson, you’re providing 50% more teaching time than a 30-minute one, which justifies charging approximately 25% to 50% more per lesson. This approach helps you to achieve your revenue goals with fewer students, ultimately reducing your workload and creating a more sustainable teaching practice.

Price According to the Competition: Some studies have been performed to get an idea of what music lessons cost. However, music lesson prices change, so you’ll need to research pricing in your area to get an accurate, up-to-date idea. Conduct thorough research on other music schools and teachers in your area to determine the prevailing rates. Charge at or above their prices to position yourself as a reputable and professional music teacher. Don’t be afraid to be at the higher end of the spectrum.

Offer a Unique Selling Point: You can offer a unique experience as a newer music teacher. Emphasize qualities such as being friendly, available, effective, and convenient. Consider providing in-home lessons, which can be a significant advantage over larger music schools. Students and parents often appreciate the convenience and are willing to pay more for this personalized service.

Consider Charging Higher Fees for Peak Times: Recognize that some time slots are more in demand than others. Students and parents often prefer after-school hours, particularly from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Don’t undervalue these peak hours; charge appropriately for their convenience. By doing this, you will still likely fill up your peak times, but you might fill up some off-peak times with students who have a little more flexibility and want a lower price.

Focus on Efficient Scheduling: When offering in-home lessons, schedule students who live close to each other to minimize travel time and expenses. If you provide online lessons, try to schedule them during your off-peak times. You could target students in other time zones. Wherever you live, it’s later when you look to time zones to the east of you. Your 1:00 pm is a student’s 4:00 pm if that student lives three timezones eastward of yours. By targeting other locations to market online music lessons, you could seek places where music lesson prices are generally higher than where you live. 

This efficient scheduling allows you to maximize your teaching hours and increase your income.

Offer Discounts Strategically: Charging a reasonable rate enables you to offer attractive discounts to new students, which can be an effective music lesson marketing strategy. Consider providing discounted trial lessons or promotional packages to entice potential students to try your music lessons. Partnering with platforms like Groupon can also help attract new students, although they may take a cut of the revenue. If you charge too little to begin with, offering discounts may be difficult or impossible.

Conclusion

Setting the right price for your music lessons is crucial for the success of your teaching career. The appropriate fee for music lessons depends on factors such as your experience, location, and the demand for your services. Research competitors’ rates in your area and consider offering competitive pricing while valuing your expertise and time. Aim to balance attracting students and ensuring fair compensation for your teaching.

You can establish a successful and sustainable music teaching business by charging a fair and competitive rate, emphasizing your unique selling points, and efficiently scheduling lessons. Remember, your expertise is valuable, and students and parents are willing to invest in their musical education when they experience the value of your lessons. By offering a superior experience and tangible results, teachers can build a loyal and satisfied customer base willing to pay a fair price for the value they receive

 

How do I Start Teaching Private Music Lessons?

Piano teaching teaching young boy to play piano

For passionate musicians who desire to share their knowledge and inspire others, embarking on a career as an independent private music teacher can be fulfilling and rewarding. While it may seem daunting, knowing that anything worth pursuing has its challenges can be encouraging. This article aims to provide guidance and insights into starting a successful career as an independent private music teacher. From setting up your studio and establishing a teaching philosophy to marketing strategies, we will explore the key steps to help you create a thriving and sustainable music teaching studio.

Define Your Teaching Philosophy and Goals

Before diving into your career as an independent private music teacher, take the time to define your teaching philosophy and goals. Consider the musical genres, instruments, or techniques you specialize in, and identify your unique teaching approach. Reflect on your values, teaching style, and the type of students you wish to attract. This clarity will serve as a foundation for developing your curriculum, teaching materials, and marketing strategies.

Define your music teaching philosophy: Defining your music teaching philosophy is essential in developing a clear and coherent approach to imparting musical knowledge and skills. It involves reflecting on your beliefs, values, and goals as an educator and understanding how they shape your teaching methods and student interactions. Your music teaching philosophy is a guiding framework that influences your instructional strategies, classroom management, and overall approach to fostering a positive and enriching learning environment. Articulating your music teaching philosophy helps you communicate your educational values to students, parents, and colleagues and serves as a foundation for continued professional growth and development as a music educator.

Define your music teaching goals: Defining your music teaching goals is crucial for setting a clear direction and purpose in your role as a private music teacher. These goals serve as a roadmap for planning and implementing effective music instruction. They can encompass various aspects, including student achievement, skill development, artistic expression, and personal growth. Music teaching goals include:

  • Fostering a love and appreciation for music in students.
  • Nurturing their technical proficiency on instruments.
  • Promoting ensemble collaboration.
  • Encouraging creativity and improvisation.
  • Enhancing music literacy.
  • Instilling a lifelong passion for learning and exploration.

By establishing specific and measurable goals, you can create meaningful learning experiences and track progress, ensuring that your teaching remains focused, impactful, and tailored to meet the unique needs and aspirations of your students.

Define what you’ll teach: What instruments or lesson types do you plan to offer? As you think about this, consider both what you’re skilled at and what types of lessons most people are searching for. The piano is the most common type of private music lesson people search for. However, it’s also the most competitive. Don’t let that scare you. Surprisingly, there is a shortage of private piano teachers in most areas. Many parents and students cannot find a piano teacher and give up on finding one. If you teach piano and follow the tips in our guide to market your music lesson business, you’ll get piano students if that is what you teach. Suppose you teach an uncommon instrument. In that case, you might want to supplement other lesson types to ensure you get enough students for your music lesson business.

Define who you’ll teach: What age groups do you plan to focus on? What experience levels do you want to attract? Do you plan to teach in a studio, at people’s homes, or online? These are all questions you’ll want to answer early. There are trade-offs with everything. For example, if you teach at people’s homes you won’t need a studio, but you will need a car and extra time to travel between students’ homes. You’ll want to price your services accordingly. If you’re too cheap, you’ll get burned out and lose money. We can’t cover everything you’ll need to consider during this step, but we do want to convey that you’ll need to visualize how you’ll provide the lessons you offer.

Define your unique selling proposition (USP): What differentiates you from other music teachers in the area you plan to teach? You might notice a big school or experienced music teacher nearby and think, ‘I can’t compete.’ Don’t be deterred. You can specialize in something they aren’t. You can be more convenient. If you’re new, you likely have more availability. Don’t let the competition discourage you. Competition means there is demand for music lessons in your area, and it’s likely a lot more demand than you think.

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Set Up Your Teaching Space

Creating a conducive learning environment is vital for private music teachers. Designate a dedicated space in your home, or consider renting a studio where you can conduct lessons comfortably. Ensure the space is well-equipped with the necessary instruments, accessories, and teaching materials. Set up a professional-looking and inviting area that inspires creativity and engagement. 

In-person lessons at your studio: If you open a studio, consider how many students you’ll need to cover your overhead. You’ll likely need 15-25 weekly students to cover the cost of renting a music studio. Therefore, beginning music teachers may want to travel to students’ homes or provide online music lessons until a large student base emerges. If you’re fortunate enough to provide lessons out of your own home, you can save a lot of money and possibly even write off part of the cost of your home from your taxes.

In-person lessons at students’ homes: Providing music lessons a students’ homes is a good way to market yourself as a music teacher. More established music schools are unlikely to provide at-home lessons, giving you a big competitive advantage. The trade-off is time and money spent going from one student’s house to another. You’ll probably want to invest in a fuel-efficient car, possibly an EV, to cut costs. Additionally, you’ll likely want to charge a premium for the cost of providing music lessons at people’s houses. Consider batching your at-home students by days and locations. For example, if you have a few students who live close to each other, schedule their music lessons on the same day so you only have to drive a short distance to get to the next student. Batching at-home music lessons by location helps you get more music students by targeting underserved neighborhoods away from where you live.

Online music lessons: Online music lessons are another excellent option for new music teachers to get students. One significant benefit is that teachers can expand their reach to other locations and time zones. Most music students are children, and after school is a coveted time. This means you might need help filling time before schools let out. You can fill these times by providing online music lessons to students in time zones to the East of where you live because their time is ahead of yours.

Determine Your Pricing and Policies 

Establishing clear pricing and policies is essential for running a successful independent teaching practice. Research the market rates in your area and consider factors such as your qualifications, experience, and demand. Decide on your lesson duration, payment structure (per lesson or monthly), and cancellation policy. Transparently communicate these details to potential students, to help students and parents understand your expectations from the outset. Here are a few tips you should follow when determining your music lesson pricing and policies.

Don’t undervalue your services: Avoid undervaluing your services by pricing them too low. While it may seem tempting to compete on price, it can lead to burnout and a loss of enjoyment in teaching music. Instead, consider pricing on the higher end and focus on providing exceptional value to your students. By delivering additional benefits and a high-quality experience, you can retain students and cultivate a thriving teaching practice.

Have a clear cancellation policy: A clear cancellation policy is essential for maintaining professionalism and managing expectations in your music teaching practice. Clearly outlining your policy helps ensure that you and your students are on the same page regarding cancellations, rescheduling, and associated fees. A well-defined cancellation policy sets boundaries, establishes a respectful approach to scheduling changes, and helps you maintain a consistent teaching schedule while providing flexibility when necessary.

Define how and when payment should occur: Defining upfront how and when payment should occur is crucial for a smooth and transparent relationship with your students. By clearly communicating your payment expectations, you establish trust and avoid misunderstandings. It sets a professional tone and ensures both parties know their payment responsibilities. Clearly defining payment methods, due dates, and any late fees or discounts helps create a mutually beneficial arrangement and contributes to your music teaching business’s overall success and sustainability.

To assist you in addressing pricing considerations comprehensively, we have compiled a list of additional factors to consider when determining how to charge for the music lessons you provide. By reviewing these considerations upfront, you can ensure you have thought through the various aspects of setting your pricing structure effectively.

Lesson Duration: Determine the length of each lesson based on the age and skill level of your students. Standard options include 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour. If you teach in people’s homes, you must allot time to leave one student and travel to the next student. While 30-minute lessons are common, they can lead to issues where one student is late, causing a domino effect for other students. Additionally, it can feel rushed when transitioning between students.

Payment Options: Decide the payment methods you will accept, such as cash, checks, or online payments. Consider using platforms like PayPal or Venmo for convenience. You’ll want to avoid payment hassles. It is better to have one or two payment methods for all of your students than having some pay in cash, some with a check, some via PayPal, and others with a credit card. Doing so can become a bookkeeping nightmare.

Lesson Packages: Offer different package options, such as a set number of lessons paid in advance, to incentivize commitment and save student costs. To get new students, consider offering a lesson or two for free.

Scheduling Flexibility: Consider your availability and determine if you will offer flexible scheduling options or have set lesson slots. Decide how far in advance students can schedule or reschedule lessons.

Studio Policies: Establish guidelines on attendance, tardiness, and make-up lessons. Clearly communicate your expectations to ensure a smooth and consistent learning experience.

Student Assessment: Determine how you will assess student progress, whether through periodic evaluations, recitals, or other performance opportunities.

Refund Policy: Outline your policy for refunding prepaid lessons in case of student withdrawal or unforeseen circumstances.

Communication Channels: Decide on the preferred method of communication with students and parents, such as email, phone calls, or a dedicated online platform. Using MusicTeacherNotes as your music teaching platform, you can easily communicate with all your students, as needed.

Considering these additional factors, you can ensure that your pricing and policies section comprehensively addresses the various aspects necessary for a successful and well-structured private music teaching business.

Market Your Music Lesson Business

Marketing your new music lesson business is a never-ending process that requires a lot of thought and persistence to get it right. We recommend reading our Music Teacher Marketing Guide to grasp what is involved fully. We also encourage you to read other marketing material from sites like Hubspot. We’ll explain some key concepts you should consider when developing your marketing strategy for the types of music lessons you plan to offer.

Create a Website: Create a professional website that showcases your qualifications, teaching philosophy, and testimonials. A music teacher’s website doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to be well-designed and designed to attract students. 

Utilize Social Media Platforms: You can perform social media marketing for music lessons simply by sharing content, such as practice tips, performance videos, and student success stories.

Leverage Online Music Teacher Directories: MusicTeacherNotes allows you to create a free Music Teacher Directory listing when registering an account. But don’t just use ours. Add yourself to every directory you can, especially free ones.

Offer free lessons: Consider offering trial lessons to entice new students. A new student might pay you over $1000 per year in revenue. Don’t hesitate to offer a few free lessons to new students because it helps you recruit them for the long term. 

Define Your Target Market: Identify the ideal demographic for your music lessons (e.g., age group, skill level, musical genre preference). Consider the local community, schools, and music organizations as potential sources for your target market. Analyze your competition and understand what makes you unique.

Craft Your Brand Identity: Develop a unique brand name that reflects your teaching style and values. Create a compelling logo and visual identity to enhance brand recognition. Write a clear and concise mission statement communicating your teaching approach and the benefits students can expect.

Utilize search engine optimization (SEO): Using SEO for music lessons means using techniques that help search engines rank you higher when a potential student types a query about the music lessons you offer. 

Leverage Online Advertising: Use paid advertising platforms such as Google Ads and social media ads to target your desired audience. Design compelling ad copy highlighting your unique selling points and encouraging potential students to inquire about or book lessons.

Use Print Advertising: Marketing methods like Direct Mail and Door-Hanging Flyers aren’t dead, and in fact, they work extremely well for music teachers who teach in a studio or at people’s homes.

Get Reviews and Testimonials: Encourage satisfied students to provide testimonials and online reviews to build credibility. Every new student wants to read reviews and testimonials before contacting a music teacher. MusicTeacherNotes has a feature called the Testimonial Autopilot, which automates the process of getting testimonials and eliminates the headache of you having to ask and remind your students to provide them.

Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Word-of-mouth referrals can be invaluable, so cultivate positive relationships with students and their parents. Go over and above as a teacher, and students and parent will naturally share their experience with others.

Network: Collaborate with local music stores, schools, and organizations to expand your network and reach. 

Monitor and Evaluate: Regularly track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts using analytics tools. Analyze website traffic, conversion rates, and student acquisition channels to identify areas for improvement. Adjust your marketing strategies based on the insights gained from your analysis.

This article covers many things you’ll want to consider when starting a new music lesson business, but it’s far from complete. To learn more, we highly recommend reading our article called, 16 Music School Marketing Strategies to Get New Students. That article does a deep dive into the world of music teacher marketing and links to other articles about specific marketing topics.

Music Education Research: A Timeline of Studies Showing the Benefits

 


1995-June

KL DEBOER, RT SHEALY

SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENTS SHOW IMPROVED CLINICAL AND PERCEPTUAL SKILLS FROM VOICE LESSONS

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to determine if voice lessons could have an effect on their clinical and perceptual skills.

Details about the study

Two groups of 10 speech-language pathology graduate students were each given 7 weeks of singing lessons to determine whether voice lessons could have an effect on their clinical and perceptual skills. Pre-, mid-, and post-tests to measure various skills were designed and implemented.

Conclusion

The researchers concluded that the singing lessons were effective in improving pitch perception, breath control, and legato production or easy onset. This study suggests that it makes sense to integrate curricula vocal training with speech-language pathology.

Citation

DeBoer, K. L., & Shealy, R. T. (1995). The effect of voice lessons on the clinical and perceptual skills of graduate students in speech-language pathology. Journal of voice : official journal of the Voice Foundation, 9(2), 118–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0892-1997(05)80244-9


1997-February

F H RAUSCHER, G L SHAW, L J LEVINE, E L WRIGHT, W R DENNIS, R L NEWCOMB

SPATIAL-TEMPORAL REASONING IN CHILDREN ENHANCED BY MUSIC LESSONS

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to test the hypothesis that music training enhances young children’s spatial-temporal reasoning.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 78 preschool children. 34 students received piano keyboard music lessons, 20 students received private computer lessons, and 24 children provided other nonspecified controls. Four standardized, age-calibrated, spatial reasoning tests were given before and after training; one test assessed spatial-temporal reasoning and three tests assessed spatial recognition.

Conclusion

The researchers concluded that this suggests that music training produces long-term modifications in underlying neural circuitry in regions not primarily concerned with music. The researchers reported that there was a significant improvement on the spatial-temporal test portion for the group that received keyboard musical training, but there was not a significant improvement for the keyboard group, or any other group, on the spatial recognition test. The magnitude of the spatial-temporal improvement from keyboard training was greater than one standard deviation of the standardized test and lasted at least one day, a duration traditionally classified as long-term.

Citation

Rauscher, F. H., Shaw, G. L., Levine, L. J., Wright, E. L., Dennis, W. R., & Newcomb, R. L. (1997). Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial-temporal reasoning. Neurological research, 19(1), 2–8. https://doi.org/10.1080/01616412.1997.11740765


1999-January (est)

JM CHEEK, L R SMITH

IMPROVED MATHEMATICAL TEST SCORES RESULTING FROM STUDENTS TAKING MUSIC LESSONS

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers studied mathematic test scores from Iowa basic skills tests. There were two sub-studies conducted. The first sub-study compared the mathematics test scores of students who were given private music lessons versus those who were not given private music lessons. The second sub-study compared the scores of students who received keyboard music lessons versus those who did not receive keyboard music lessons.

Details about the study

The researchers in this article studied the test results from students on the Iowa test of basic skills. They studied the test scores of 8th graders. Their main focus was on mathematic test scores.

Conclusion

The researchers concluded that students who had private lessons for two or more years performed significantly better on the composite mathematics portion of the ITBS than did students who did not have private lessons. They also concluded that students who received lessons on the keyboard had significantly higher ITBS mathematics scores than did students whose lessons did not involve the keyboard.

Citation

Cheek, J. M., & Smith, L. R. (1999). Music training and mathematics achievement. Adolescence, 34(136), 759–761.


2000-January

FRANCES H. RAUSCHER, MARY ANN ZUPAN

CHILDREN’S SPATIAL-TEMPORAL PERFORMANCE IS ENHANCED BY MUSIC LESSONS

What the study wanted to learn

The study wanted to learn if keyboard music lessons resulted in improved performance on spatial-temporal tasks and memorization skills for young children.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 62 kindergartners. The children were assigned to one of two conditions, keyboard or no music. All children were pretested with two spatial-temporal tasks and one pictorial memory task. The keyboard group was provided with 20-min lessons two times per week in groups of approximately ten children. Children were then retested at two 4-month intervals.

Conclusion

The study showed that kindergarten children that received keyboard instruction scored significantly higher than the children who received no instruction on both spatial-temporal tasks after four months of lessons, and the difference was even greater after eight months of lessons.

Citation

Frances H Rauscher, Mary Anne Zupan. (2000). Classroom keyboard instruction improves kindergarten children’s spatial-temporal performance: A field experiment. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 215-228,
ISSN 0885-2006.


2000-November (est)

THE JOURNAL OF AESTHETIC EDUCATION

STUDY SHOWS THAT LEARNING TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT ENHANCES SPATIAL REASONING

What the study wanted to learn

The study wanted to find how music lessons affect spatial reasoning, which is the ability to think about and manipulate objects in three dimensions.

Details about the study

This meta-analytic review analyzes 15 studies that concluded improved spatial reasoning skills resulted from music instruction in preschool and elementary children. The studies were conducted on preschool and elementary children over several years, with multiple findings.

Conclusion

This analysis provides support for the hypothesis that not only spatial-temporal, but also other spatial tasks requiring spatial memory, spatial recognition, mental rotation, and/or spatial visualization may be enhanced by music instruction. It concluded that music instruction does appear to enhance spatial-temporal performance for preschool and elementary-age children, at least while instruction occurs and at least up through two years of instruction.

Citation

Hetland, L. (2000). Listening to Music Enhances Spatial-Temporal Reasoning: Evidence for the “Mozart Effect.” Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3/4), 105–148. https://doi.org/10.2307/3333640

2006-January

COSTA-GIOMI, EUGENIA

FINE MOTOR ABILITIES IMPROVED IN CHILDREN WHO TOOK MUSIC LESSONS

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to determine if practicing a musical instrument would lead to improved fine motor skills.

Details about the study

The researchers divided children into two groups (number of children not given). One group received two years of piano instruction, and the other group did not receive any music instruction.

Conclusion

The researchers discovered that the group of children who took piano lessons for two years significantly improved fine motor skills. The study stated, “Music performance requires accurate and quick motor reactions to visual, aural, and kinesthetic stimuli. When performers practice their instruments, they receive immediate and consistent aural feedback about their motor response to such stimuli.”

Citation

Costa-Giomi, Eugenia. (2006). Does Music Instruction Improve Fine Motor Abilities? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1060. 262-4. 10.1196/annals.1360.053.


2006-February

PUHAN, M. A., SUAREZ, A., LO CASCIO, C., ZAHN, A., HEITZ, M., & BRAENDLI, O

PLAYING THE DIDGERIDO HELPS ALLEVIATE THE SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to study the effects of didgeridoo playing on daytime sleepiness and other sleep-related issues by reducing the collapsibility of the upper airways in patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and snoring.

Details about the study

The researchers used a randomized control trial in this study. Twenty-five sleep apnea patients, all over 18 years of age, were the participants in this study. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group received didgeridoo lessons for four months. The second group was on the waiting list for didgeridoo lessons. Participants in the didgeridoo group practiced an average of 5.9 days a week for 25.3 minutes.

Conclusion

The researchers concluded that regular didgeridoo playing is an effective treatment alternative well accepted by patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The reason appears to be related to how didgeridoo playing exercises the upper airways.

Citation

Puhan, M. A., Suarez, A., Lo Cascio, C., Zahn, A., Heitz, M., & Braendli, O. (2006). Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 332(7536), 266–270. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.38705.470590.55

2006-May

E. GLENN SCHELLENBERG, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO AT MISSISSAUGA

THE MANY BENEFITS MUSIC LESSONS HAVE ON SCHOOL GRADES AND OVERALL IQ

What the study wanted to learn

The study wanted to learn if long-term music lessons significantly affected IQ and academic performance in different age groups (young children and young adults).

Details about the study

The study was conducted on two groups of students: College freshmen, and children ranging in age from 6 to 11 years of age. The children were evaluated on their academic achievements, school grades, and an IQ test. In the children’s group, more than half had taken music lessons in some fashion. The college freshmen group was given an IQ test and also presented their high school grades. The college freshmen group also disclosed the number of years they had received music instruction, and how many years they consistently played an instrument.

Conclusion

The study results for the younger group showed that for every month of music instruction, there was an increase in IQ of one-sixth of a point. The study implied that six years of music lessons was associated with an increase in IQ of 7.5 points compared to children who never received music lessons. The results for the college students showed that six years of playing music regularly as a child predicted an increase of two points in IQ over their peers. For the college freshmen who received music lessons, there was an increase in perceptual organization, working memory, and average high school grades.

Citation

Schellenberg, E. G. (2006). Long-term positive associations between music lessons and IQ. Journal of educational psychology, 98(2), 457.


2008-November

JAYNE M. STANDLEY

BENEFITS OF MUSIC LESSONS ON READING IMPROVEMENT

What the study wanted to learn

The researcher wanted to study whether or not music lessons help children with reading and comprehension.

Details about the study

This article highlighted the meta-analysis of 30 studies using a variety of music interventions to affect reading skills.

Conclusion

The researcher found that the music activities that pair alphabet recognition with phonetic patterns, incorporate word segmentation and sound blending skills, and promote rapid decoding skills are effective in enhancing reading instruction. Benefits are greater when the special music reading activities are added to an existing music education curriculum. The research concluded that all schedules of intervention are equally effective regardless of whether daily, intense, short-term, or weekly periodic interventions spread across the school year.

Citation

Standley, J. M. (2008). Does Music Instruction Help Children Learn to Read? Evidence of a Meta-Analysis. Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, 27(1), 17–32. https://doi.org/10.1177/8755123308322270

2009-January

GRUNWALD ASSOCIATES LLC

THE MANY BENEFITS OF SINGING IN A CHOIR

What the study wanted to learn

The study examined the perceived benefits of singing for adults, including mental health and civic engagement. The study was built on a 2009 Chorus Impact Study focused on children and adults. This specific study pertained to the lives of older adults.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on over 2,000 singers in choruses of all kinds, 500 members of the general public, 500 parents, and 300 K-12 educators from throughout the United States using online surveys.

Conclusion

The researchers concluded that there are four main takeaways from this study. 1. Choral singing continues to be the most popular form of participation in the performing arts. 2. Adults who sing in choruses are remarkably good citizens. 3. Children who sing in choruses have academic success and valuable life skills. 4. The decline in choral singing opportunities for children and youth is a key area of concern.

Citation

Grunwald Associates, LLC. (2009). The Chorus Impact Study: How Children, Adults, and Communities Benefit from Choruses.

2009-January

DARBY E. SOUTHGATE, VINCENT J. ROSIGNO

CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT ENHANCED BY MUSIC LESSONS

What the study wanted to learn

The study sought to determine whether or not there was an association between music involvement and academic achievement for school-aged children.

Details about the study

The study used three measures of music participation: in school, outside of school, and parental involvement with concert attendance.

Conclusion

The study concluded that music participation, both inside and outside of school, is associated with improved academic achievement for children and teenagers.

Citation

Southgate D. E., Roscigno V. J. (2009). The impact of music on childhood and adolescent achievement. Social Science Quarterly, 90(1), 4–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2009.00598.x

2011-May

BRENDA HANNA-PLADDY AND ALICIA MACKAY

BETTER BRAIN FUNCTIONING AT ANY AGE FROM LEARNING TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT

What the study wanted to learn

The study sought to identify whether music instruction could enhance successful cognitive aging. Cognitive aging is the decline in cognitive processing as people age.

Details about the study

Seventy older healthy adults (ages 60–83) varying in musical activity completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. The groups (nonmusicians, low and high activity musicians). Nonmusicians were grouped on age, education, and history of physical exercise. Musicians were grouped by age of instrumental acquisition and formal years of musical training. Musicians were classified in the low (1–9 years) or high (>10 years) activity group based on years of musical experience throughout their life span.

Conclusion

The results of this study revealed that elderly participants with at least ten years of musical experience performed better in nonverbal memory and other mental processes than non-musicians. The study suggested that music lessons appear to cause an increase in verbal working memory and improved brain functioning at any age. The studies also demonstrate that the benefits of learning and playing an instrument are not completely dependent on the level of education the musician has achieved. Various benefits of learning an instrument occur at any age in life.

Citation

Hanna-Pladdy, B., & MacKay, A. (2011). The relation between instrumental musical activity and cognitive aging. Neuropsychology, 25(3), 378–386. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021895


2012-January

BENJAMIN RICH ZENDEL, CLAUDE ALAIN

MUSIC LESSONS HELP REDUCE THE DECLINE IN HEARING AS WE AGE

What the study wanted to learn

People may have a harder time hearing small details in sounds when they get older. This makes it harder for them to understand people when there’s a lot of noise around. The researchers wanted to see if people who learn music when they’re young have an advantage and don’t lose as much of their hearing abilities as they age.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on two groups of individuals: 74 lifelong musicians, and 89 nonmusicians ranging in age from 18 to 91.

Conclusion

The study found that musicians have an advantage in certain listening tasks, even as they age. This means that they can still hear things well even as they age. Musicians also have an advantage in understanding and processing sounds in their brains. The study showed that both musicians and non-musicians had similar declines in hearing sensitivity as they got older, but musicians had less decline in how their brain processes sound.

Citation

Zendel, B. R., & Alain, C. (2012). Musicians experience less age-related decline in central auditory processing. Psychology and aging, 27(2), 410–417. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0024816


2012-August

NINA KRAUS, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

EVEN A FEW YEARS OF MUSIC LESSONS MAKES YOU A BETTER LISTENER IN ADULTHOOD

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to learn if just a few years of music lessons early in life could improve listening skills later in life.

Details about the study

The researchers in this study compared the benefits of three groups: those with some music lessons, those with many years of music lessons, and those with no music lessons. Many prior studies looked at the benefits of long-term musical instruction, but they didn’t analyze the benefits of just a few years of music instruction. For both of the groups with experience, the average age at which they started playing an instrument was roughly nine years old. Participants were placed in a soundproof booth, and electrodes were placed on their heads that could read signals emitted by their auditory brainstems.

Conclusion

By measuring signals emitted by the auditory brainstems of the participants, the researchers found that although the signals detected from the most experienced musicians showed the most robust response to the sounds, participants with just one to five years of music lesson experience showed significantly greater cognitive ability as compared to the group with no music instructional experience. The researchers concluded that playing music for just a few years as a child seems to be linked with better listening skills much later on.

Citation

A Little Goes a Long Way: How the Adult Brain Is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood
Erika SkoeNina Kraus,

2012-September

SWATHI SWAMINATHAN, JINI K. GOPINATH

THE BENEFITS OF MUSIC LESSONS ON ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers in this study wanted to determine whether or not music lessons had an effect on learning a second language, and more specifically, English as a second language.

Details about the study

In this study, primary school children were divided into two groups: Those taking music lessons, and those who did not. The participants in the study were tested on the verbal subscales of the Malin’s Intelligence Scale for Indian Children (MISIC) and an English word-reading test.

Conclusion

The results showed that the musically trained participants performed significantly better on the tests of comprehension and vocabulary. The researchers concluded that this result is in line with the hypothesis that music and language share processing resources, as a result of which transfer of learning takes place.

Citation

Swaminathan, S., Gopinath, J.K. Music Training and Second-Language English Comprehension and Vocabulary Skills in Indian Children. Psychol Stud 58, 164–170 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12646-013-0180-3


2013-February

PÄIVI-SISKO EEROLA, TUOMAS EEROLA, UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ, FINLAND

EXTENDED MUSIC EDUCATION ENHANCES THE QUALITY OF SCHOOL LIFE

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to learn how music lessons affected children socially.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on children ranging from the age of 8 to 17. Outcomes were measured at age 17 and include cognitive skills, school marks, personality traits (conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness, and perceived control), time-use, ambition, and optimism about future success.

Conclusion

The researchers in this study found that musical instruction did provide measurable social benefits. They concluded that pupils in the classes with extended music education were generally more satisfied with school life than pupils in the classes with a normal music education curriculum. They also discovered that students in the EM classes also found that school provided them with achievement and opportunity more often than the pupils in the N classes. The most striking differences between these groups were found in the classroom climate, a novel factor designed for this study.

Citation

Päivi-Sisko Eerola & Tuomas Eerola (2014) Extended music education enhances the quality of school life, Music Education Research, 16:1, 88-104, DOI: 10.1080/14613808.2013.829428


2013-June

EUGENIA COSTA-GIOMI

MUSIC LESSONS AND THE POSITIVE EFFECT ON SELF-ESTEEM

What the study wanted to learn

The study wanted to measure how music lessons affect children’s self-esteem.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 117 fourth-grade children attending public schools in Montreal. They were divided into two groups. The first group (63), received individual piano lessons weekly for three years. The second group (54), did not receive any music instruction. Participants were administered tests of self-esteem, academic achievement, cognitive abilities, musical abilities, and motor proficiency at the beginning of the project and throughout the three years of piano instruction.

Conclusion

The study found that piano instruction had a positive effect on children’s self-esteem and school music marks. The study demonstrated that there are specific benefits associated with piano instruction. The increase in self-esteem in the children who completed three years of piano instruction was significant while the changes in self-esteem of those who never participated in piano instruction or who dropped out of the lessons were negligible.

Citation

Psychology of Music Copyright © 2004, Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research vol 32(2):139-152[0305-7356(200404)32:2 139-152]. www.sagepublications.com


2013-September

THE GERMAN SOCIO-ECONOMIC PANEL STUDY AT DIW BERLIN

HOW THE DEVELOPMENT OF COGNITIVE SKILLS IS ENHANCED BY LEARNING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to learn if children who take music lessons at an early age experienced neurological benefits from music lessons.

Details about the study

The longitudinal study was conducted on children who received music lessons as compared to those who did not. The study was not measuring one specific benefit. Rather, it was looking at a wide array of possible benefits from music lessons. This study examines how long-term music training during childhood and youth affects the development of cognitive skills, school grades, personality, time use, and ambition using representative data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

Conclusion

This extensive longitudinal study showcases the many neurological benefits for children from taking music lessons at a young age. The study found that kids who take music lessons have improved cognitive skills and school grades and tend to be more conscientious, open, and ambitious.

The following is a list of the many benefits of taking music lessons at a young age:

  1. Improved reading and verbal skills
  2. Improved mathematical and spatial-temporal reasoning
  3. Improved grades
  4. Improved IQ
  5. Improved language acquisition
  6. Improved listening skills
  7. Slows the effects of aging
  8. Strengthens your motor cortex
  9. Improved working memory
  10. Improved long-term memory for visual stimuli
  11. Better anxiety management
  12. Enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem
  13. Improved creativity

Citation

Hille, Adrian. “How learning a musical instrument affects the development of” 25 Sept. 2013, www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.429221.de/www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.429221.de/diw_sp0591.pdf. Accessed 28 May 2023.

2013-October

MASOUD AZIZINEZHAD, MASOUD HASHEMI, AND SOHRAB DARVISHI

ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH MUSIC AND ITS EFFECT ON INTELLECTUAL, SOCIAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

What the study wanted to learn

The aim of this paper is to consider what we know about the ways that transfer can occur in relation to the skills developed through active engagement with music and how they may impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people.

Details about the study

The paper is a synthesis of many studies conducted on the effects of musical training and lessons on the development of young people. No new individual study was conducted.

Conclusion

The various benefits of music lessons on the brain are summarized as follows: In early childhood, there appear to be benefits for the development of perceptual skills, which affect learning a language and impact literacy. Music lessons appear to help people develop rhythmic coordination. Music lessons were shown to enhance fine motor skills. Those who took music lessons had improved spatial reasoning, which is related to some of the skills required in mathematics. Musical training enhanced people’s self-perception, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

Citation

Azizinezhad, Masoud & Hashemi, Masoud & Darvishi, Sohrab. (2013). Music as an Education-related Service to Promote Learning and Skills Acquisition. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 93. 142-145. 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.09.167.


2013-November

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

STUDY SHOWS MUSIC LESSONS EARLY IN LIFE HELPS OLDER PEOPLE PROCESS SPEECH BETTER LATER IN THEIR LIVES

What the study wanted to learn

Researchers wanted to learn how music lessons in early life affected people later in their lives. A person’s nervous system deteriorates as they age, resulting in elderly people having difficulty understanding and picking up on fast-changing speech. The researchers wanted to find out if people who took music lessons during their lives performed better in understanding speech, especially in challenging environments.

Details about the study

Forty-four older adults, ages 55–76, were used in the study. All subjects had normal hearing. The participants were divided into three groups based on the amount of music training they had in their lives. To compare groups’ neural representations of speech, scalp electrodes were used to measure auditory brainstem responses to different sounds.

Conclusion

A greater amount of music training early in life was associated with the most efficient auditory function, even decades after music lessons stopped. The researchers believe it may be that early music instruction instills a fixed change in the central auditory system that is retained throughout life. This study shows that children who accomplish as little as 20 days of music training will experience improved verbal IQ scores and enhanced executive function of the brain.

Citation

Older Adults Benefit from Music Training Early in Life: Biological Evidence for Long-Term Training-Driven Plasticity, Travis White-Schwoch, Kali Woodruff Carr, Samira Anderson, Dana L. Strait, Nina Kraus, Journal of Neuroscience 6 November 2013, 33 (45) 17667-17674; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2560-13.2013

2013-November

ARNAUD CABANAC, LEONID PERLOVSKY, MARIE-CLAUDE BONNIOT, MICHAEL CABANAC.

STUDYING MUSIC RESULTS IN BETTER GRADES IN ALL SUBJECTS

What the study wanted to learn

The study wanted to find out if students’ grades improved if they chose to take a music elective.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on students from a secondary school in the province of Québec, Canada. The students were members of the International Baccalaureate program. They were selected in their first year of secondary school based on their high grades in previous years. Music was compulsory during the first two years of their secondary school curriculum, with two courses taking nine days per period.

Conclusion

The study showed that the students’ average grades who had chosen a music course in their curriculum were higher than those who had not chosen music as an optional course. It also demonstrated that students taking music lessons achieve better performance in many academic subjects. The study stated that students who studied music performed better, even if those who had not studied music had equally high initial achievements.

Citation

Perlovsky, L., Bonniot-Cabanac, M., & Cabanac, M. (2013). Music and academic performance. Behavioural Brain Research, 256, 257-260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2013.08.023

2014-June

JENNIFER ZUK, CHRISTOPHER BENJAMIN, ARNOLD KENYON, & NADINE GAAB

THE LINK BETWEEN MUSICAL TRAINING AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS SKILLS

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to investigate the relationship between musical training and executive function (EF) in children and adults. Executive functions encompass several cognitive processes that allow for independent and self-regulated behavior, such as inhibition, problem-solving, goal-directed behavior, maintenance of information in working memory, and cognitive flexibility.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 30 adults between 18 and 35 and 27 children between 9 and 12. Half of the participants were “musical.” The adult musicians either were seeking or had obtained a performance degree and practiced at least eight hours a week. The children had been taking private instrumental lessons for an average of 5.2 years.

Conclusion

In this study, researchers found that there were differences in brain activation between child musicians and non-musicians. They found more activation in areas of the brain called the “CEO regions.” These are the frontal regions of the brain associated with executive function. The study revealed that musicians exhibited higher cognitive flexibility than non-musicians. The study also showed that adult musicians showed a more proficient working memory. The child musicians exhibited faster processing speed than their non-musician peers.

Citation

Zuk J, Benjamin C, Kenyon A, Gaab N (2014) Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Executive Functioning in Musicians and Non-Musicians. PLoS ONE 9(6):
e99868. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099868

2014
September
Musical lessons aide in the development of the brain

JAMES J. HUDZIAK, MD, MATTHEW D. ALBAUGH, PHD, SIMON DUCHARME, MD, ALAN C. EVANS, PHD

MUSICAL LESSONS AIDE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRAIN

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to assess the extent to which playing a musical instrument is associated with cortical thickness development among healthy youths. Cortical thickness is positively associated with general intelligence.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 232 youths, ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old. Age, gender, total brain volume, and scanner were controlled for in analyses. Participants underwent MRI scanning and behavioral testing on up to 3 separate visits, occurring at 2-year intervals.

Conclusion

The researchers concluded that playing a musical instrument was associated with more rapid cortical thickness maturation within areas implicated in motor planning and coordination, visuospatial ability, and emotion and impulse regulation. Brain matter increased through music lessons. The researchers also concluded that there were benefits in anxiety management and emotional control.

2014
September
Music lessons improve processing of sound and improve speech

NINA KRAUS

MUSIC LESSONS IMPROVE PROCESSING OF SOUND AND IMPROVE SPEECH

What the study wanted to learn

The study set out to analyze the effects of music lessons on sound and speech recognition.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 50 children, ranging from 6 to 9 years old. The children were put into two groups: 1) children with one year of music lessons and 2) children with two years of music lessons.

Conclusion

The researcher discovered that learning to play an instrument strengthens the brain’s ability to capture the depth and richness of speech sounds. She also shows that music lessons improve the brain’s ability to process pitch, timing, and timbre, which helps children comprehend and process language much more efficiently.

2014
November
Musicians have much more well-developed long-term memories than non-musicians

HEEKYEONG PARK, JAMES SCHAEFFER, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS – ARLINGTON

MUSICIANS HAVE MUCH MORE WELL-DEVELOPED LONG-TERM MEMORIES THAN NON-MUSICIANS

What the study wanted to learn

The study sought to discover the link between musical expertise and long-term memory by studying the brains of professional musicians.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 15 non-musicians and 14 trained musicians. The trained musicians had been playing classical music for more than 15 years. The researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) technology to measure electrical activity of neurons in the subjects’ brains and noted processing differences in the frontal and parietal lobe responses.

Conclusion

The study found that the classically music trained participants performed far better than non-musicians on working memory tests. They also discovered that on long term memory tests, musicians registered increased sensitivity with regards to memory for pictures. Non-musicians did not demonstrate this.

2014
December
Musical training has a biological effect on children’s developing nervous systems

NINA KRAUS, JANE HORNICKEL, DANA L. STRAIT, JESSICA SLATER AND ELAINE THOMPSON NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

MUSICAL TRAINING HAS A BIOLOGICAL EFFECT ON CHILDREN’S DEVELOPING NERVOUS SYSTEMS

What the study wanted to learn

The study sought to discover if community music programs enhance brain function, especially for at-risk children.

Details about the study

The researchers teamed up with the Harmony Project, a community music program serving low-income children in Los Angeles. Children between the ages of 6 and 9 participated in the study. The research team traveled to Los Angeles to evaluate them as they enrolled in Harmony Project’s programs and returned each summer for the following two years to evaluate them longitudinally. Researchers use a neural probe that allowed them to gauge speech processing.

Conclusion

The researchers found that students who played instruments in class had more improved neural processing than the children who attended the music appreciation group. This demonstrated that children who took music lessons had a biological effect on their developing nervous systems. The effects were not the same for children who just listened to music without taking music lessons.

2014
December
The multitude of benefits from taking music lessons throughout an individuals lifetime

SUSAN HALLAM, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

THE MULTITUDE OF BENEFITS FROM TAKING MUSIC LESSONS THROUGHOUT AN INDIVIDUAL’S LIFETIME

What the study wanted to learn

The paper wanted to analyze empirical evidence relating to the effects of active engagement with music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people.

Details about the study

This article highlights many studies and research conducted over many years. It draws on research using the most advanced technologies to study the brain, in addition to quantitative and qualitative psychological and educational studies. No new research was conducted.

Conclusion

The article is a broad report of many studies and research that show the multifaceted benefits of receiving music instruction over the course of one’s life. The many benefits include:

  1. Development of perceptual skills that affect learning a language and impact literacy
  2. Improved rhythmic co-ordination
  3. Improved fine motor co-ordination
  4. Improved spatial reasoning

 

2015
January
Students with 4 years of arts and music lessons score significantly higher on SAT scores

AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS

STUDENTS WITH 4 YEARS OF ARTS AND MUSIC LESSONS SCORE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER ON SAT SCORES

What the study wanted to learn

The study wanted to determine if children who took music lessons in high school scored higher on SAT tests.

Details about the study

The study looked at data from The College Board from 1999-2015. The students in the study belonged to one of two groups. The first group comprised students who took music lessons for 4 years in high school. The second group consisted of students who took a half year or less of music instruction.

Conclusion

The researchers found overwhelming evidence that students who took 4 years of high school music lessons outperformed the nonmusic lesson students on their SAT scores. The critical reading and mathematics portion of the SAT were included, and the writing section of the SAT was excluded. Every year from 1999-2015 demonstrated the SAT score advantage for students taking music lessons.

2015
April
The many benefits of musical lessons for neuro-education and neuro-rehabilitation

CLÉMENT FRANÇOIS, JENNIFER GRAU-SÁNCHEZ, ESTHER DUARTE, ANTONI RODRIGUEZ-FORNELLS

THE MANY BENEFITS OF MUSICAL LESSONS FOR NEURO-EDUCATION AND NEURO-REHABILITATION

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to learn the effects of musical training on neuro-education and neuro-rehabilitation by analyzing previous studies.

Details about the study

This report is a comprehensive review of multiple studies done over many years. The researchers have summarized several studies with a couple of themes in mind. No individual study was conducted by the authors. The researchers in this article focus on the recent gains in the fields of cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience and their contributions to our knowledge of brain function.

Conclusion

The researchers created a report that highlighted several studies that all showed the positive effects of music lessons on various areas of brain functioning. In the first section of their report, they highlighted several studies showing that learning to play a musical instrument can induce substantial neuroplastic changes in cortical and subcortical regions of motor, auditory and speech processing networks in a healthy population. In the second section of their report, they provided an overview of the evidence showing that musical training can be an alternative, low-cost and effective method for the treatment of language-based learning impaired populations. In the third section of their report, they provided the results of studies showing that training with musical instruments can have positive effects on motor, emotional, and cognitive deficits observed in patients with non-communicable diseases such as stroke or Parkinson’s Disease. All of these studies and results help favor the idea that the structural, multimodal, and emotional properties of musical training can play an important role in developing new, creative, and cost-effective intervention programs for education and rehabilitation in the near future.

2015
October
The positive effects music lessons

E. GLENN SCHELLENBERG, KATHLEEN A. CORRIGALL, SEBASTIAN P. DYS, TINA MALTI

GROUP MUSIC TRAINING AND CHILDREN’S PROSOCIAL SKILLS

What the study wanted to learn

The researcher wanted to investigate if group music training in childhood is associated with prosocial skills.

Details about the study

Children in 3rd or 4th grade who attended 10 months of music lessons taught in groups were compared to a control group of children matched for socio-economic status.

Conclusion

Music group training in childhood is associated with increased prosocial skills. Results show that children who took 10 months of group music lessons had larger increases in sympathy and prosocial behavior compared to a control group matched for socio-economic status. The effect was only seen in children with poor prosocial skills initially and was evident even with compulsory lessons, suggesting group music training can improve prosocial skills.

2016
June
Study reveals that children with musical training tend to focus and tune out distractions better

BELGIAN RESEARCHERS MARIE-EVE JORET, FILIP GERMEYS, YORI GIDRON

STUDY REVEALS THAT CHILDREN WITH MUSICAL TRAINING TEND TO FOCUS AND TUNE OUT DISTRACTIONS BETTER

What the study wanted to learn

The study wanted to find out if musical training affects a person’s (specifically children’s) ability to focus.

Details about the study

This study measured and compared “cognitive inhibition” in children who did and did not have music training. Cognitive inhibition is a person’s ability to concentrate and tune out distractions. The study was conducted by Belgian researchers and was performed on 9 to 12-year-olds with and without musical training.

Conclusion

The study showed that children with musical training performed significantly better in tasks that required focus. The likely reason is music practice requires focus, and practicing a musical instrument daily trains a child to focus on other tasks, as well.

2017
January
Learning to play an instrument is much more beneficial than just listening to music

JOHN DANI

LEARNING TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT IS MUCH MORE BENEFICIAL THAN JUST LISTENING TO MUSIC

What the study wanted to learn

The study was conducted to verify the hypothesis that receiving music lessons is more beneficial than merely listening to music.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on people ranging from 60 to 85 who began taking piano lessons.

Conclusion

The researchers concluded that after six months, those who had received piano lessons showed more gains in memory, verbal fluency, the speed at which they processed information, planning ability, and other cognitive functions, as compared with those who had not received music lessons.

2017
February
Short term instrumental music training improves working memory in children

XIA GUO, CHIE OHSAWA, AKIKO SUZUKI, KAORU SEKIYAMA

SHORT TERM INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC TRAINING IMPROVES WORKING MEMORY IN CHILDREN

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers in this study wanted to analyze the effects of short-term musical training, versus all of the previous studies that have focused on long-term instrumental training.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 40 children, ranging in age from 6 to 8 years old. The children were placed in one of two groups: One group received a 6-week (12-session) keyboard harmonica curriculum, and the other received no training. One interesting note – the musical training did not use traditional instrumental training, the curriculum did not use musical scores to emphasize creating an association between sound (auditory modality) and finger movement (somatomotor system). The researchers used cognitive measurements including verbal ability, processing speed, working memory, and inhibitory control, which were administered before and after the curriculum in both groups.

Conclusion

After the 6-week-study, the researchers reported an improvement in working memory. The working memory results were very evident, suggesting that even a short period of instrumental training will improve working memory.

2017
October
The Role and Meaning of Music for Older Adults with Dementia

M. ELLIOT, P. GARDNER, M. NARUSHIMA, L. MCCLEARY

THE ROLE AND MEANING OF MUSIC FOR OLDER ADULTS WITH DEMENTIA

What the study wanted to learn

From an insider’s perspective, this multiple case study explored the role and meaning of music for individuals with dementia who are aging in place.

Details about the study

The study was conducted using semi-structured interviews, observations, and videos of older adults with dementia. The study’s central theme is a connection, with three types of “connectors” – self, partner, and music – as subthemes. Connection to self involves present moment awareness, accessing memories, and self-expression. Connection to partner builds on self-connection and spending time together with music. Lastly, the connection to music builds on the previous two subthemes and the desire to keep things normal. This study provides insight into the growing body of interdisciplinary literature dedicated to dementia, music, aging in place, and contemplative practices, as well as implications for aging and caring for someone with dementia.

Conclusion

The findings suggest that music offers organization of thoughts, and acts as an anchor to the present moment for individuals with dementia. Music also acts as a catalyst for connection between the person with dementia and their partner, through embodied selfhood. Lastly, our findings support the positive aspects of the experience of music and dementia (enhanced feelings of well-being, increased social interactions, heightened sense of empowerment and control).

2018
February
Improvements in Executive functions of the brain from taking music lessons

ARTHUR C. JASCHKE, HENKJAN HONING, ERIK J. A. SCHERDER

IMPROVEMENTS IN EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE BRAIN FROM TAKING MUSIC LESSONS

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to study the effects of long-term music education on cognitive abilities and academic achievement in children.

Details about the study

The study was conducted on 174 primary school children. Participants were randomized into two music intervention groups, one active visual arts group, and a no arts control group. Neuropsychological tests assessed verbal intelligence and executive functions. Additionally, a national pupil monitor provided data on academic performance.

Conclusion

The study’s results indicate a positive influence of long-term music education on cognitive abilities such as inhibition and planning. This study supports a far transfer effect from music education to academic achievement mediated by executive sub-functions. Test scores on inhibition, planning, and verbal intelligence increased significantly in the children who received music instruction.

2018
June
Study shows that speech benefits from music lessons

MIT (MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY)

STUDY LINKS MUSIC LESSONS WITH BETTER LANGUAGE SKILLS

What the study wanted to learn

The study wanted to determine whether music lessons improve general cognitive ability, leading to better language proficiency, or if the effect of music is more specific to language processing.

Details about the study

This study was conducted in Beijing, China. The children were 4 or 5 years old. Their native language was Mandarin. The 74 children participating in the study were divided into three groups: one that received 45-minute piano lessons three times a week; one that received extra reading instruction for the same period of time; and one that received neither intervention. After six months, the researchers tested the children and analyzed the results.

Conclusion

The study found that learning music helps to improve language skills. The study concluded that music lessons are as useful (perhaps more useful) than additional reading lessons. Researchers have found that piano lessons have a specific effect on kindergartners’ ability to distinguish different pitches, which translates into an improvement in discriminating between words.

2019
June
High school students who take music lessons perform better academically than those who do not take music lessons.

GUHN, M., EMERSON, S. D., & GOUZOUASIS, P.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO TAKE MUSIC LESSONS PERFORM BETTER ACADEMICALLY THAN THOSE WHO DO NOT TAKE MUSIC LESSONS

What the study wanted to learn

Researchers wanted an extensive look into the positive effects of music lessons and their correlation to enhanced academic achievement.

Details about the study

The study corrected for prior performance and socioeconomic factors. The study was conducted on over 100,000 students at public high schools across the province of British Columbia. The students graduated between the years of 2012 to 2015. More than 15,000 were taking music lessons during their years in high school.

Conclusion

The study concluded that high school students who take music lessons perform much better academically in English, Science, and Math. The researchers also discovered that those who took music lessons outperformed those students who just sang in a choir. Possible explanations for this cause and effect were given, but the study did not specifically address the cause for the increase in academic achievement, just that the results showed a strong correlation.

2020
June
Financial benefits for college from taking music lessons in adolescence

THOMAS E. KLOSS, DONGKUK LIM

FINANCIAL BENEFITS FOR COLLEGE FROM TAKING MUSIC LESSONS IN ADOLESCENCE

What the study wanted to learn

The researchers wanted to explore the relationship between the costs of private music lessons and college scholarships received.

Details about the study

The researchers controlled for three socioeconomic factors – parent income level, parent education level, and parent’s music background. The study was conducted by administering a survey to 126 music ensemble students at two state universities. The students were asked to describe the costs and benefits of music lessons and report how much music-related college scholarship money they were receiving.

Conclusion

The researchers report in this study that there is a positive correlation between the total amount spent on music lessons prior to college and the total amount a student receives for financial assistance for college. The data showed that for every dollar spent by the student on pre-college music lessons, they received 11 cents for music merit-based scholarship in their freshmen year at college.