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#1253926 - 08/22/09 10:21 AM Studio Newsletters
michiganteacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 71
Loc: Michigan, United States
Hi all,

I am new to the forum, and am enjoying it very much! It's so helpful and inspirational to hear what you all have to say. There are some truly epic teachers here.

I have been teaching for 7 years in an established music studio, under someone who I consider to be a not-so-insightful manager. I began planning to open my own studio out of my home in a wealthy area about 1 1/2 years ago. I graduated with a bachelor's in piano performance this past spring, and I opened my new studio this past June, and am now up to 9 students whom I consider to be of quality.

I have gotten many of my ideas from browsing other teacher's websites and policies. One of the things I keep hearing about is "Studio Newsletters". I have somewhat of a vision for this, but was hoping for some ideas from you. Some specific questions:

- How many newsletters do you publish a year?
- Do you print them out and hand them to your students or do you e-mail them?
- Do you use a specific template?
- What do you include in the newsletter?

Thank you so much for your insight!
Jessica S.

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#1253961 - 08/22/09 11:23 AM Re: Studio Newsletters [Re: michiganteacher]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
I believe my studio has been very helpful to my business. I’d love to talk about it!

I would like to make it clear that I am not saying this is the best way to do this. On this forum people seem to get very touchy if they do things different then you do. ……

I send out a newsletter in the mail once a month with my tuition billing statement. I send it in the mail because I believe that is where everyone collects and puts important papers (I used to send it with the students but it always got lost)

I get a lot of positive feed back about the newsletter. Especially from transfer student families. I charge a little more than the going rate in our area. The newsletter is sent with the tuition statement as a reminder of what the parents are paying for.

I have been doing this for years and have a series of articles written that I re-use. If you chose to have more than just studio info and upcoming events, it can be a lot of work. Do it now before your studio is larger. I have been re-using the same articles for years now and it is very easy.

My articles include “Metronome- what is it and how do you use it” “Getting the most out of the practice time” “Performance Anxiety” “Tips and Reminders for Successful Auditions” “Dynamics” “Why Scales” etc. I have 20 or so articles I rotate.

I have an article about the importance of practicing that I use often. I also have copies of just that article that I give to parents when a students begin slacking on practice. Not only does it encourage practice, it give helpful practice tips.

Some of these articles are written very elementary. Like brief descriptions of crescendo, forte, mezzo forte etc. I have an article that explains what a repertoire is.

I have found educating the parents is very important. Some parents know nothing about music. Giving them ownership and knowledge helps keep their kids in piano. Case in point. My husband played college football and knows basketball and baseball. He knows nothing about soccer. Even if our kids want to play soccer, they won’t (Don’t flame me for this) because Dad, who is in charge of the athletics in our house knows nothing about soccer. It is human nature.

I also have articles I found years ago from the VHI Save the Music website that discuss the benefits of music study and the affects on the brain and so on. These articles are legal to reproduce. Every newsletter has something about the benefits of music study.

My newsletter discusses upcoming events, features students who have done well and informs parents of local musical events- like a church or arts council that is featuring a classical pianist in concert.

I use Microsoft works template and I call my newsletter Piano Notes. . The whole newsletter is written in columns like a newspaper and is contained on one page. If the newsletter is longer, I use legal size paper. I print them out at home. Years ago when I had 50 students I photocopied them at the local office store.

I don’t have as much trouble with problem parents as I did in the beginning I think many times when a parent is unhappy, they just don’t understand how piano lesson operate. So many parents mistakenly think piano lesson are similar to dance or t-ball. Piano success is dependent on practice outside of the weekly lessons. Often parents come to piano lessons not realizing the long term commitment I have an article about that too.

Good Luck.
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.

#1254084 - 08/22/09 03:28 PM Re: Studio Newsletters [Re: Mrs.A]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I do a once a month, one page newsletter called "Quick Notes" and it has a watermark background of the first page of Fantasy Impromptu to dress it up a bit. It follows the KISS principle, and even so, there are parents who don't read it and are caught by surprise.
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

#1254141 - 08/22/09 05:09 PM Re: Studio Newsletters [Re: John v.d.Brook]
MrsCamels Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 178
Loc: Los Angeles
Ms. A,
I like your idea about mailing the newsletters with the bill. I send mine home with students and notice that some parents don't get it that are usually on top of things. I think I might switch to mailing them with the bill (which I also currently send home with students).

My newsletters go out seasonally, at least 4 a year, although I did 2 for summer this year. I include studio announcements, reminders, etc. Also a practice tip in each newsletter. I also include a list of free music performances in the area.
Teaching since 2004
Private studio owner since 2008

#1254690 - 08/23/09 05:02 PM Re: Studio Newsletters [Re: MrsCamels]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I'm hoping to start a newsletter this year. I am loving the examples shared here - especially reusing articles. I am hoping to send mine via email.
piano teacher

#1255036 - 08/24/09 10:53 AM Re: Studio Newsletters [Re: Lollipop]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I do an email newsletter monthly. I use mailchimp.com to help me with nice editing and layout and mailing.

I'm thinking about switching to a blog style though, so that the old newsletters will be available in one place. Anyone else do this?

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians


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