Start your own business in classical music

Recruiting New Private Music Students.


The amount of information about promoting your business sometimes can be overwhelming. I would strongly suggest at least trying one or two advertising methods first.  Building a studio can take long time.  It’s not sprinting. It’s a marathon.

I would suggest trying the free or cheap advertising opportunities at the beginning. It is easy to overspend on advertising. I used a few free and very cheap advertising methods. Some of them worked well, and others were not that successful.

I started advertising my studio by putting posters in grocery stores (WholeFoods and a couple of local stores). I did this for about a year. I know a couple of local teachers who were able to build large size studios just from this form of advertising. However, putting posters in grocery stores did not produce good results for me. I got a few piano students and accompanying gigs, but It was not enough to build a large studio.

I also mailed flyers with my information to many music and band teachers in local schools. I did not receive any callbacks. I assume that the teachers are hesitant to recommend someone they don’t know personally to their students.

From the very beginning, I set up a simple website. My most successful recruiting tool was my website. It is relatively easy to do. Multiple online platforms offer pre-made templates, and you only need to fill in your information. Some platforms like offer the service for free. You can also find plenty of YouTube videos, which explain precisely how to set up a simple website.

  1. Once you have your website ready, register it with Google’s local business listing. Here is an article on which describes how to do it. Your website will be showing up in the local business searches very soon. My website has contributed to finding the majority of my current students. 

Here are a couple of examples of how I got new students through my website.

  1. A few years ago, a local teacher unexpectedly passed away. He had a large private studio. His students suddenly were left without a teacher. They did a Google search for local piano teachers and found my website. I suddenly got several new students right away.
  2. A year later, another local piano teacher moved away. She found me through my website and referred her students to me. I had another influx of new students.

My second most significant source of new students is my connections with local musicians. I work as an accompanist at a local university. It provides me with an opportunity to work with professional musicians in my area. I can network with them and keep my performance skills sharp.

Once you have 10-15 students, your studio starts to grow organically. Your current students will be your biggest recruiters. Their friends and neighbors will want to study with you.

I hope you find this article helpful.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


Rudolf Ozolins

Rudolf Ozolins

Rudolf Ozolins holds a DMA in piano performance from Michigan State University. He has a well-established piano studio in Detroit Metro Area. Rudolf works as an accompanist at Oakland University with Flute studios of Sharon Sparrow, Jeff Zook, and Amanda Blaikie. He actively concertizes as a chamber musician.

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