Since the dawn of mankind, the sounds of the natural world have been an integral part of our culture. All the world is sound, or vibration. From bees humming to the sound of falling water, the same vibrations that make music surround us in nature. Aboriginal Australian tribes believe that humans actually sang the world into existence with Songlines as they walk the song lines crisscrossing land between natural spaces. Great composers often used nature as the backdrop for their works, such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, or Johannes Brahms C Minor Symphony.
It should be no surprise that
exposure to music in early childhood helps kids make a connection with nature.
Many traditional children’s songs such as Green
Grass Grows All Around, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Teddy Bears Picnic, and Walking in the Green
Grass sing of the natural world around us. We know how music has many
benefits for the healthy development of a child from the earliest ages, but it
can also help to create a connectedness to nature that will last their entire
lives. Here are just a few ways that music helps kids connect to nature:
- It is often hard
to express in words the emotions and feelings that being in nature evokes.
Music helps express those feelings without words.
music and nature helps kids learn mindfulness – how to be present and in the
moment. This is why much Mindful Music used for relaxation, meditation, and
personal healing is based on sounds in nature such as waves at the beach, a rain
shower, or a babbling brook.
- Like music, the
sounds of nature help children to listen more carefully and intently. This
helps sharpen communication skills and teaches perseverance.
- Songs and music
about the natural world help children to develop familiarity and empathy towards
plants, animals, and elements in nature, encouraging them to spend more time in
outdoors. This develops a sense of harmony and rhythm with nature, and thus a
more caring attitude towards it.
- There is a reason why outdoor concerts are so popular in all forms and genres of music. The scenery and smells provide additional stimuli to make the music experience even more enjoyable. Concerts are often scheduled at sunset to take advantage of the beautiful sky. Many religions have a dawn or sunrise ritual attuned to music or chanting to communicate new beginnings, new life, or hope.
- The link between
the pleasure that music brings and exposure to nature in early childhood helps
to encourage a lifetime appreciation of the outdoors and environmental
It is well documented that
exposing children to music at an early age helps their development in numerous
ways. Science is also proving that time in nature provides kids with exercise,
mindfulness, and the development of deeper social connections. It should not be
surprising then, that the natural connection between
music and the environment have been around since the dawn of mankind.
Summer is coming to a close, and with it comes the new
school year. Parents are beginning to plan class schedules and lists of needed
school supplies and clothes. This is a time where the mind changes focus from
the more laid-back summer activities to a more structured schedule that
includes school and other activities. While parents’ minds are focused on
setting up the school year calendar and children’s schedules, it’s a great time
to gain new students for your children’s music studio. Here are a few tips and
methods to beef up your rolls for the new school year:
- Make sure your online listings are up to date – While we may not all be part of the online generation or comfortable with technology, you can bet that your target audience is! First and foremost, make sure your Google Listing is up to date. Parents use Google for even the simplest information, such as phone number or driving directions. Make it easy for them to find your children’s music studio! It’s also a good idea to perform a Google Search on your own business to see if any other listings need updating. Many online directories create listings without notifying you, so it’s important that their information is also correct.
- Social media is where parents find recommendations and support – Older generations of parents relied heavily on books and advice from their own parents or grandparents. Today’s generation tends to rely heavily on social media. While you don’t have to be a social media guru to be effective, having a presence is imperative for reaching today’s young parents. Instead of spending too much time trying to be on all social media, pick a few popular ones and spend more time on them to promote your children’s music classes.
- Make good use of your current parent network – As school preparation begins to crank up, parents are spending more time online. Now is a great chance to speak with and/or email your current parent client list to ask them for reviews and referrals. Google reviews are highly regarded by your target audience, so ask your current parents to provide a simple review. To get referrals from parents, consider offering a discount or free class to encourage them to provide names of their peers that might also be interested in music classes for their children.
- Network with your local schools and parent
organizations – With the school year beginning, there are numerous
opportunities to network with parents, such as open houses, PTA meetings,
booster clubs, etc. Consider creating a business card with a special offer on
the back to provide incentive for parents to try out your music studio. For
Kindergarten and Pre-K, approach some of the day care providers and schools and
offer to do a free music lesson for the children. This is a great way to gain
new students by getting parents and school administrators excited about your children’s
- Consider a mailing to prospective parents – While direct mail seems very “old school,” if done correctly, it still remains an effective way to get your name out there and gain new prospects. List brokers can provide affordable lists of local prospects in your area based on all kinds of demographic information such as geographic area, number of children in household (and approximate ages), home value, etc. To make your mail campaign more effective, provide a theme and incentive (coupon or voucher), such as Back to School Music Class Special! Keep in mind that consumers typically respond better to dollar amounts vs. percentage when pricing is not known. To save even more on your mailing, explore the different options provided by the USPO to get the best Return on Investment. Finally, keep in mind that sometimes direct mail programs require several mailings to the same recipients to be effective. Be patient and budget accordingly.
Using all or any of these methods will help you prepare your
children’s music studio for new students in the new school year. Take advantage
of the change in focus that affects parents this time of year to become a part
of their regular new school year schedule.