Tag Archives: summer activities for kids

How to Retain and Gain New Music Students During the Summer

As the school year winds down and families begin to make their summer plans, regular weekly schedules from the school year are sometimes overlooked or forgotten. This experience can be especially true for music teachers, as lessons are often considered part of school curriculum. Brain drain or “the summer slide” is often credited with a fall in cognitive activities for students over the summer.

With the potential for the attendance of regular weekly lessons or classes to fall in the Summer, studio owners should be proactive to not only maintain a steady income over those months, but also look at it as an opportunity to increase income. So, how do teachers retain music students, and even add to their class rolls during the summer?

Here are a few ideas that can help throughout the Summer Vacation:

  • Try Billing by the Semester or Year – Billing parents monthly, or by the class, is typical for music teachers and programs. But the approach often creates mental gaps in between those programs, providing parents and students an opportunity to “take a break” and miss some time, especially over the Summer. While it takes a bit more planning, semester or even full year billing can not only create a more stable cash flow for music teachers and studios, it can also provide a structured “pathway” for parents and students to continue lessons.
  • Gain New Students with Summer Advertising and Promotions – While Summer vacations and competing camps may cause a dip in current student music studio attendance, it is actually a time when many parents are looking to sign their students up. Consider an investment in advertising during the Spring and Summer using Summer themed programs. This does not have to be expensive, either! An ad in a newsletter at your local pool, Word of Mouth (WOM) using referral cards with current students, or offering a Summer Enrollment Special to get parents over the finish line. Summer themes stand out in advertising!
  • Offer an Alternative to Screen Usage – According to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, children between the ages of two and five spend an average of 2.2 hours on screens every day. That number is undoubtedly higher during summer months, as parents again struggle with how to keep their children engaged in other activities while they are at work. Work out messaging to address this hot topic for parents. Emphasize that music lessons provide an extremely beneficial alternative to screens in all of your marketing and dialogue with parents, especially during the Summer.
  • Consider Free Group Classes with Organizations to Gain More Students – In addition to camps and music studios, many other organizations offer children’s programs during the summer. Public Libraries offer Summer programs and many churches offer Vacation Bible School or similar programs. While many teachers resist giving away any instruction for free, these programs are looking for daily activities to fill their days, and music instruction is a very popular subject. Partnering with these organizations offers exposure to a large group of potential new students once the free program is over. Approach them with a structured plan that takes some of the planning burden off of them. Keep in mind that having a good option for both secular and sacred music programs allows more flexibility with these partnerships.

While the Summer months may be a time when current music student enrollment tends to fall due to family vacations and camps, music studio teachers should also consider it an opportunity to gain new students and income through offering specialized curricula, themed programs, and alternatives to screen usage.

Shore Up Your Enrollment All Summer Long!

Summertime means hot, sunny days and chillin’ by pool, but for some Musikgarten studios it can also mean a not so cool dip in enrollment and attendance. Here are 11 HOT ways to keep your studio humming all summer long…

  1. Talk to parents about their summer plans so you can better anticipate your summer enrollment and plan accordingly. Ask parents if/when they’ll attend during the summer, why or why not, and when they’re away on vacation. You can create a simple, free survey using Google Forms or SurveyMonkey, and send it to parents via email.Happy children on a green meadow.
  1. Start sending emails or notes home now to remind parents that Musikgarten is just as fun in the sun! Let them know now if you’re planning an alternate summer schedule so they don’t miss a beat.
  1. Talk to parents about summer learning loss and how participating in Musikgarten provides an enriching learning experience. You already know music instruction boosts academic performance; this article recommends enriching, less-structured activities as one way to help keep kids’ minds sharp all summer. Consider this from the National Summer Learning Association: “When school closes for the summer, what do kids face? For some, it’s a world of interesting vacations, music lessons, and library trips. For others without these enriching summertime opportunities, the break can lead to serious academic consequences—and the disparity can be dramatic.”
  1. Consider adding a few extra daytime classes for parents, sitters, and summer camps looking for ways to keep little ones busy. They’ll thank you!
  1. Reach out ASAP to nearby camps and churches, YMCAs, and day care centers offering summer programs. Camp directors are always looking for local, affordable activities; they may bring you new students by the busload! If space is an issue at your studio, take your Musikgarten to the camp and be sure to supply take-home information.
  1. Offer summer specials and limited-time promotions. Consider an exclusive summertime rate for current families to encourage them to stick with your studio all season.
  2. Consider adding a flexible, drop-in class for parents and sitters battling boredom and rainy day blues – your studio can be a real sanity saver!
  1. Spring and summer means lots of family-friendly outdoor events and festivals popping up in every town. Check with your local paper, convention and visitors bureau, or city website for a calendar of upcoming events. Then contact the organizers about hosting free, interactive music activities for kids; be sure to bring flyers or cards for parents!
  1. If you have the space and resources, consider offering a half- or whole-day Musikgarten camp. Musikgarten curriculum can be one part of the daily schedule; you can fill the rest of the time with music-themed arts n’ crafts, games, activities, and even movies. Here’s a list of age-appropriate musicals and musical movies.
  1. Don’t stop marketing your Musikgarten! It can be temping to take a break, but keep up your marketing and social media efforts: a new summer student may turn into a year-round enrollee! Need new marketing ideas? Click here!

11.  Go outside! Plan aChildren playing in the parknd promote a few classes “al fresco” – have parents meet you at a local park or under a shady tree near your studio (of course, get permission if it’s not your property.) Ask families to bring picnic blankets or beach towels, and water bottles. Encourage children to listen to the music of nature, like birds singing and leaves blowing in the breeze. You can even have an impromptu summer parade!

Are you ready for summer? We are! Tell us how you keep your Musikgarten growing all summer; email us here.