A Music School’s Number One Challenge
The better the relationship the student has with the teacher, the better retention you’ll have.
I believe that the number one challenge with running a music school centers around music instructors and the tension that they can create within your business. Tension that they can create with you—the owner.
3 Qualities All Music Instructors Should Have
The product that you sell is the relationship that your students have with their teachers.
The problem with music instructors isn’t necessarily them. The problem is that there are so few people within a given market that can teach music lessons. In order for someone to teach lessons at your school, they have to be a skilled musician, they have to have an engaging personality, and they have to be good at teaching. If one of those three attributes isn’t there, they’re not going to make for a great teacher. How many times have you hired somebody because they were an impressive musician but their personality wasn’t so engaging and your students didn’t connect with them? The product that you sell is the relationship that your students have with their teachers. I always felt so vulnerable because of that.
The better the relationship the student has with the teacher, the better retention you’ll have. Once you have that teacher on your staff, there’s only so much you can do to make them better employees. It’s so important in a music school to get the hiring right, to hire the right people for the position, but now more than ever, it’s so hard to simply find people.
Finding the Right Music Teacher is Never Easy
Your music instructors don’t necessarily have loyalty to you and your music school. Most musicians are hustling—hustling students and gigs just trying to cobble a career together.
Pre-COVID, music schools would put out an ad for music teachers. Maybe they’d get a few resumes. Most music school owners have to hustle to get the word out that they’re looking to hire a teacher. You could post a job posting on Indeed, but quite often that’s not enough. You got to do some networking and talk to musicians in your community. Talk to your teaching staff.
How a Teacher Shortage Can Take a Toll on You and Your Business
Whenever I listed a job for an administrator position in my school, I got flooded with resumes. It was overwhelming. Having a good office person is hard to find, but I never had a shortage of candidates when I needed to fill that position. I once had to fire a drum teacher at my school, and for three months I couldn’t find someone to replace her, so I had to take on her schedule. I was not happy about it. My wife wasn’t happy about it. I was coming home every night at 9:30.
Think of this Scenario Ahead
Most music school owners I talk to in this post-pandemic world are flush with students, but they have a shortage of instructors. They’re building a waiting list but no instructors. So what’s one to do? Is it possible to run a music school with smaller teaching staff? One thing you can do is only hire people that are willing to work five days a week and fill their schedules up. That allows you to have a leaner staff, although it can certainly become problematic when that teacher who’s teaching 25 or so hours a week decides that they want to go on tour for three weeks, or they get a job in the pit orchestra for some traveling Broadway show. Of course, they’re going to jump on that opportunity.
When you drop your rates [for groups], you’re sending the message that your group class is of lower value than the private lesson.
The Potential Solution to Your Staffing Problem
Your music instructors don’t necessarily have loyalty to you and your music school. Most musicians are hustling—hustling students and gigs just trying to cobble a career together. Another way to run a music school with a leaner staff is to embrace group lessons. The more you embrace group lessons, the smaller your staff needs to be. I want to share with you an extreme version of this.
How many times have you hired somebody because they were an impressive musician but their personality wasn’t so engaging and your students didn’t connect with them?
How to Become Highly Profitable despite Teacher Shortage
There’s a music school out of Boston, Massachusetts. It’s called The JamZone. It’s owned by a guy named Darren Simman. No, we’re not related, but he’s got a cool last name. Darren has two music schools. One location is groups and private lessons, but then he has another one that’s only groups. He only has three teachers teaching out of that second location. Darren is one of the teachers so he really only has two teachers. Maybe he’s got three teaching out of that location, yet that location is super profitable. One teacher taught for an hour, teaching five kids. Not paying a necessarily reduced rate, but a lot of music schools do that as they dramatically drop their rate for their group classes. When you do that, you’re sending the message that your group class is of lower value than the private lesson.
Darren’s doing Kidzrock and Jr. Rockerz, and he’s doing Daniel Patterson’s group piano program. All three programs are programs that Darren licenses. He didn’t have to develop these and build these up from scratch. The music teacher challenge existed before COVID, but it’s really become a challenge for a lot of music school owners due to the lack of people looking for work right now. For whatever reason, no one seems to want a job and there are plenty of jobs to fill.
….when you add up the amount of time and hours you spend, it’s sometimes way better to actually just invest in someone that’s going to fast-track that problem for you.
– – – EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS – – –
In this episode, I want to share with you a recent video that Johnny Wilson of Build a Music School made about my Kidzrock program. Kidzrock is for ages four to seven that teaches this age group how to play guitar, keyboard, and drums in a performing ensemble. So it positions the private lesson as a destination. It’s a highly profitable program. Any group program can be highly profitable, but Johnny Wilson is going to talk about why he feels like he missed out on an opportunity in his music school by not offering Kidzrock. Why music schools are potentially leaving money on the table by not licensing a program like this.
If you don’t know Johnny Wilson, I encourage you to check out his website buildamusicschool.com. I know a lot of music schools have gotten great results from Johnny’s coaching program. I’m gonna hand the microphone over to Johnny and share with you a video he made called “Why I Wish I Knew About Kidzrock Earlier”.
Johnny Wilson “Why I Wish I Knew About Kidzrock Earlier”
“In this video, I want to talk to you about a program called Kidzrock and why I wish I had discovered it earlier. It’s not a program I’ve built. It’s not one I have any ownership in. I’m not an affiliate for it or anything like that. I do know the owner who’s created it—Dave, he’s a great guy. I get sent a lot of stuff because of I guess, you know, the following that I have in this industry. I get sent a lot of stuff. People saying “Can you review this?” “Can you feature this on the blog?”, and I don’t know if I’ve ever done that for a software or a program, but this is one I look at and go “Yeah, this is, this is really good. Like, I wish I had used this.” So, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about it and why I wished I’d used it.”
“Basically, what Kidzrock could do is it’s a program that allows really young kids to get into playing in a band really early on. Now, we know that that’s really hard, right? When you’re trying to teach real instruments like keyboard, piano, guitar, drums and trying to get a kid who’s starting out from scratch to be able to play in a band that usually comes years later. Once they’ve got that rhythm, they can plan time with other musicians and they’ve got some basic chords down and all that sort of stuff. Now, Kidzrock…they’ve kind of solved that problem to allow kids to fast-track being able to play in these little rock bands. In short, it doesn’t sound perfect, but it still sounds pretty good, and the kids just absolutely love it. I’m gonna tell you like five reasons why I wish I had used it and you can grab a link down below to Kidzrock and check it out fully. Here’s five reasons why I think Kidzrock is worth mentioning.”
The 5 Reasons Why I Wish I Knew About Kidzrock Earlier
1. Kidzrock Fast-Tracks the Opportunity for Kids to Play in Bands
“Number one is that we waited for those young kids to get into bands until they were good enough, and that can take years, right? Obviously, many people learned to play an instrument because they want to play in a band, right? I wanted to play in a band. I looked at all the drummers playing in bands. Thought they were cool. I wanted to do that. So I started lessons, but it wasn’t for years til I got to play in an actual band.”
“So with Kidzrock, this unlocks that pretty much straight away, which is really crazy. Once you click there and have a look and see how it works, you got “Ohh okay. That’s how they do it and they do some really cool things with some colors and with some, you know, guitar necks and keyboards and all those stuffs. I won’t get into how they do it. You need to check it out, but this is kind of like why I wish I had connected with it.”
“So, number one is like we waited years to get the kids into the program, but they wanted to play in bands. So this would have fast track the opportunity for kids to play in bands.”
2. Kidzrock Saves You From the Struggles of Building Music School Programs
“Number two is that most programs that we built in our music school, we spent thousands, and sometimes ten thousand dollars, to build ourselves, you know—books, video programs, and we built stuff that just took countless hours of like sitting down in meetings and mapping out and going back and forth for revisions and then putting it into the classroom and testing it and filming it and revising it.”
“It’s just hundreds and hundreds of hours to get the great programs that we have. Now, by the way you can get all those programs and now build a music school program. Grab a free trial and they’re all laid out there for you so you don’t have to spend tens of thousands, but Kidzrock is not one of those programs you get for free. This one does cost some money but worth every penny. So we build all these programs and it cost a lot of money and a lot of time, but if we found a program that actually solves this problem, and it solved it, you know, quickly, we can implement it and get results within a month for something like that.”
“I mean, when you add up the amount of time and hours you spend, it’s sometimes way better to actually just invest in someone that’s going to fast-track that problem for you. I think for this particular issue, young kids getting to play and enjoy music and small groups, playing different instruments in a rock band like that is a problem worth solving and paying for. So, that’d be number two.”
3. Kidzrock Allows You to Scale Up Your Business and Grow Your Profits
“Number three is that we would have left so much money on the table when we think about the amount of kids that were in lessons and they’re already in like group lessons. So yeah, we’ve maximized that side of the business. We had all sorts of other upsells, but we couldn’t get them into bands because of the way that we ran things until they were ready to be in bands. Whereas there would have been, even if we said 20% of students who are in lessons, who would also want to, you know, upsell and join a band, it’ll probably would have been more like 40 or 50%.”
“Imagine how much more money we would have earned if we were able to offer that program and get all those kids in. So I look at it and some of the things I’m like, I just kicked myself, “We could’ve, yeah, I could’ve made a lot more money. Not just money, but create lots more cool jobs for people, like lots more hours doing what they love providing a variation in their job from not just teaching one on one or groups, but now they get to teach that and run bands. So it makes the job more fun as well. So that would be number three. Definitely left a lot of money on the table by not doing this.”
4. Kidzrock Positions Your Business Into Great Marketing Ideas
“Number four is that we would have got way more footage of young people playing in these little groups that we could use for marketing. So that’s one of the great things that you want to do. You want to get great behind-the-scenes footage and get stories and testimonials. You use those stories to leverage to get, you know, into your marketing to get more stories and students in and it’s just that whole cycle—we call it the circle of cash. So that is something that I wish. I would have had way more footage of kids doing that because that leads me to number five.”
5. Kidzrock Takes Your Business to a Whole New Level
“We were already probably, you know, we were the best in our area for what we did in terms of cool opportunities musically for young people, but none of our competitors did anything like this. So this was just like shot us to a whole new level and our community. Maybe if you look in your community and you look at who are the competitors, even if you’re just a piano teacher, and you’re like, “Well, who are all the other piano teachers?” Chances are they’re just offering piano lessons and maybe they also add some concerts, maybe some workshops or something like that, but imagine if you could even just be the piano teacher who offered piano lessons plus rock band and piano students got to play in a little rock band. So we would have been able to really take that, you know, that sort of preschool four- to seven-year-old age group, just to a whole new level, and really, yeah, just being kind of seen as on a whole new level. So that would have been really cool.”
So don’t run it off because it’s not free. Don’t be a stingy musician. Those people that don’t go far, don’t be one of them.
“So that’s five reasons why I wish I knew about Kidzrock earlier. So for you, I’m telling you about Kidzrock now. So whether you’ve got, you know, 30 students, a hundred or a thousand students, check it out. There’s a link down below and have a look and see whether it might be worth you looking into, and remember with anything that costs a bit of money, it’s about looking at what the return is on their investment. So don’t see it as a cost. See it as an investment. Run the math seriously.”
“One of the things I was really impressed with Kidzrock is they have a whole implementation and sort of development program for people when they onboard it. So it’s not just “Hey, here’s all the stuff. Figure it out.” Dave and the team, they’ll actually work with you to get it implemented into your school so you can be earning the money as fast as possible and getting the students booked in so that you just don’t even think about the money anymore. So don’t run it off because it’s not free. Don’t be a stingy musician. Those people that don’t go far, don’t be one of them. So there we go. Kidzrock, check it out. I think it’s really awesome, and again, I’m not a not an affiliate, not an owner or anything. Dave’s a great guy, but if his product was crap, I wouldn’t promote it, but I think it’s a great product. I think you should check it out.
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