Monthly Archives: February 2018

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing Prospective Students.

With the start of the new year, now is a great time to fill open slots in your studio and student interviews are an excellent tool to use with prospective students. .

Once someone contacts you for lessons and you gather some initial information it’s now time to schedule a meet and greet or “interview”. I call these trial lessons.

Here are some tips I have found very helpful in holding trial lessons.

 

Don’t:

Don’t overwhelm prospective students with questions. Instead help the child feel comfortable and welcome. No one is themselves when being asked too many questions. For now keep your questions to a few basic introductions.

Don’t start with the importance or the demands of practice.

Instead Emphasize the fun and possibilities first. You can discuss practice at the end. Starting with the hard part can deter even the most serious students by making them feel overwhelmed and give you as the teacher the appearance of being overly harsh and strict. Practice standars are good and can easily be covered at the end of the trial lesson.

DO:

Have a mini lesson:

Have a mini lesson so you can get to know the potential student better and they can get to know you. During the lesson you can learn a simple song by rote, learn the layout of the keyboard, talk about the musical alphabet, do some simple ear-training, or do some interactive rhythm games. Don’t do too many activities. Try picking 3 of the above activities such as learning high and low, learning a simple song by rote, and introducing rhythm.

Note: I find having students learn a simple song by rote helps inspire them and show them all the possibilities of taking piano lessons. You want students to leave a trial lesson excited and this is a great way to do that.

At the end of a trial lesson answer any questions and then use this time to highlight your studio, cover your studio policy and show them any resources you give new students.

Highlight your studio:

Try to pick 3 things that makes your studio stand out from others to share with families. This could be your amazing recitals, exciting duet opportunities, or group classes. Or if you have a more serious and competitive minded studio, the performance opportunities, masterclasses, and exceptional opportunities to participate in high caliber competitions could be some of your unique attributes.

If you include any practice incentives or reward programs now is a great time to explain them and/or practice expectations.

If you give new students any resources such as flash cards, notebooks, and practice materials in addition to their music books now is a great time to go over these.

Your Studio Policy:

Lastly do make sure you cover the major points of your studio policy and give the full policy to the parent to read.

Before they go, DO make sure you know these things:

Do they have an instrument at home and any other necessary materials such as a foot rest for very small children, adjustable bench (or cushions), or any other materials that you may require.

Go over pertinent information in the studio policy and answer questions. Do make sure they understand the process you choose for payment etc.

And lastly before they leave ask for a commitment to lessons. I like to ask for a registration and materials fee so I can send them home with materials and hold a specific time slot they would like.