Acquiring adult students - How can a teacher get adult students?

Talk with other teachers, exchange tips, participate in polls regarding a teaching studio business

Postby Stretto » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:06 am

I would really love to teach some adult students but haven't had the opportunity. I would love to teach some adults who always wanted to learn music/piano but never had the chance or some who quit years ago and want to take it up again.

How would I best target this segment of the population in advertising and make it known I have openings for adults? This is a booming retirement community. Everywhere I go during the day there are primarly retirees (and stay-at-home moms) out and about. How could I go about coraling some in for lessons? What would be good places to advertise that retirees would read? I suppose the newspaper to start. Any other ideas?

If you began lessons or started up again as an adult, how did you find a teacher?




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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:03 pm

A surprising number of private teachers don't like to teach adults, so you could well have a wide open field. I would suggest that your advertising read something like "Beginners through Advanced, Children and Adults welcome", or wherever you feel your strengths lie. But make your offerings known to people.

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Postby minorkey » Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:57 am

Stretto wrote:If you began lessons or started up again as an adult, how did you find a teacher?

I got word-of-mouth recommendations from the local piano dealers, as I was also piano shopping at the time. They had plenty of names to choose from, and knew who was good with adults (many of these teacher rented studio space from them too). So, you may want to make sure your local dealers know of you, and have you on their "list".

Of course, this will only work for those prospective pupils who are actively piano shopping, but I think many of them start to browse around as they contemplate lessons.

I think you'll enjoy teaching adults- we/they are VERY motivated to learn, as a whole. Practice is not an issue- we know we need practice- although some may be squeezed for time. And we take the teachers' suggestions for practice techniques seriously.
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Postby Stretto » Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:13 pm

Thanks minorkey,

I think a lot of adults are reluctant to take lessons from a teacher who has had no experience teaching adults. As I said, I would really love helping those who always felt learning piano was out of their reach or never had the opportunity or wanted to start up again. How do you think I could convince adults to "give me a try" without previous experience teaching adults? Maybe just a lot of enthusiasm for helping them learn?
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Postby minorkey » Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:05 pm

Sure! Who could resist that? Also, project a willingness to be very patient, flexible, to "go with the flow" and to help them achieve their specific goals, whatever they may be- just common sense. I have a friend taking lessons who is strictly playing for her own personal enjoyment, and has no interest whatsoever in playing in recitals or on any kind of stage. Others- like me- are more willing to make fools of ourselves in recitals! :laugh: In interviews, you don't have to emphasize that you have "no experience" with adults- if asked, just say your experience with adults is very limited, but you will be very attuned to their specific needs.
Good luck! Let us know what happens.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:20 am

Dr. Bill Leland wrote:A surprising number of private teachers don't like to teach adults, so you could well have a wide open field. I would suggest that your advertising read something like "Beginners through Advanced, Children and Adults welcome", or wherever you feel your strengths lie. But make your offerings known to people.

B.L.

This is good advice. So many people think of piano teaching as an activity geared toward children, that almost any ad that indicates or emphasizes adult teaching will induce a response, especially in light of the fact that few teachers mention adult teaching in their advertising. A Yellow Pages ad that mentions adult teaching is a good way to do it, though it costs some money. As I've said in other locations on the site, targeted advertising is generally better than a scatter-shot approach.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:40 pm

If there is a newsletter that circulates in a retirement community, you could try that; or write up a little 'blurb' and put it in your library, visiting nurses office, town hall, or up in the grocery store, post office, etc. You might offer a "special" for adults wanting to play again or wanting to start a new skill...at a lower price for an introduction. (A winter special...help get through the winter dolrums)...
You might offer a group also. Sometimes people are less shy and you could do two together or more. (I have some good information of "class piano".)
I auctioned off a month of lessons at our church fair last month. I had two women interested, so I am taking both. I just suggested to the 2nd bidder, to donate her bid to the church. They begin next month.
I have taught adults before - it is fun as there usually is no pressure to perform and you can relax and go at their pace. It is a good challenge, too, as each one is even more differing in previous skills, and their learning pattern is set (good and bad).
Bz weekend and just found this thread,
Joan
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:27 pm

Just make sure your Post Office ad doesn't go right next to the mug shot of some "Wanted for Armed Robbery" poster!
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:15 pm

:laugh:
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