Category - Marketing

Promote your studio with this Free Graphic Design

Sometimes those last time slots in your music studio are the toughest to fill. Andrea West has a free graphic that may get the job done for you. Keep reading…

Is your music studio full, or do you still have a few slots you would like to fill? We all have years where we are full and have a wait list, but there are times when you want to increase your studio size.  If you don’t have a large advertising budget, you may need to rely on referrals, word of mouth, apps like Nextdoor (a free private social network for your neighbor hood) and your website.

Another fairly inexpensive option is flyers.  These can be used as a leave-behind at local events, sent in an email as an attachment, posted to your Facebook page and distributed by your own students to their friends.

It’s important that your flyer be eye-catching. Start with a cool graphic design.  If you don’t feel up to creating the design yourself, I’m offering a free one during the month of September (starting today!) with the purchase of any graphic design. Print two designs to a page, so that you get two 5.5” x 8.5” flyers per page.  Be sure to include your studio name, a clever tagline is always a good idea, a call to action, and your contact information.

You can easily print these at home, or take it to a local printer.  If your budget is tight, you can use any paper you have, but if you want to take it up a notch, print on a heavier weight paper or even card stock.


Purchase at least one of Andrea’s design (I dare you to stop at one!) and receive her clever “Chalkboard with Quote” graphic for free!

Check out all the designs HERE!



Marie’s Secret Sauce for Getting New Students

NEWSFLASH! Marie Lee (good friend and featured here at is writing a happy-music-camp-01group teaching resource for the Piano Teacher Planning Center! I, along with many others, can’t wait to learn from this long-time expert in group teaching.

In this post, Marie gives us a taste of what’s to come.

Even if you are not interested in teaching piano in groups, you will want to read Marie’s article for great tips on how to grow your studio during the summer. She shares her “secret sauce” –a brilliant way of getting more students in the door during the summer months. Also, keep reading so you learn how to market this “secret sauce.”

Take it away, Marie… Read More

Register NOW for the 88 Creative Keys 2017 Workshop

Take a moment to check out the video below –you’ll learn what we’re cooking up this summer at 88 Creative Keys and get a chuckle, too.

Here we go!

The 88 Creative Keys 2017 Workshop Registration is open. If you’ve been thinking about attending, this is the year to commit. 

The first ten registrants get an extra discount–they are going fast (I mean SUPER fast) so press that blue button below.


Need more info before you commit? Here are some answers to the questions you may have. Read More

A Look Back at Trendsetting Piano Teaching Resources in 2016

Grab a cup of coffee–here’s 40 resources worth your time!

My friend and colleague Marie Lee and I compiled a list of winning resources that worked for us in 2016, and we can’t wait to share them with you. They are organized according to topic.

What did we forget? We didn’t include everything we intended–we had to stop some where.

What would you add to the list?

Professional and Creative Development


Piano Teacher Planning Center is a brand new component of I’m so excited to piano teacherplanning centerhave a store–no, a center–where teachers will find a growing collection of free and for-purchase teaching aids, some created by me but others created by fellow teachers who have great ideas.

In celebration of the new year, there’s a store-wide sale until January 15, 2017. By the way, if you have a cool game or product that you want to sell, contact me at and let’s plan to make it part of the PTPC in 2017. -Leila


I attended my first 88 Creative Keys Workshop in Denver this past summer. I waited almost an entire year and 88 CK was well worth it! It was one of the best things I could do for my continuing education as a teacher.  You can read reviews from 2016 attendees here and learn more about 2017’s workshop here. -Marie
Here’s a video of Leila leading a body beat activity with teachers.


Tim Topham’s podcasts keep me happily occupied on my Sunday afternoon walks. I look forward to them each week. Tim finds the best guests who discuss–you guessed it–trendsetting topics! Here are seven of my favorite podcasts because they deal with creativity at the keys. -Leila


I look forward to Amy Chaplin’s Piano Pantry Friday Finds. Amy is one of my new, favorite bloggers. -Marie


Even though I didn’t practice like I should have, I learned so much from Bradley’s online lesson session that I can use with my students. Bradley Sowash is encouraging and informative. It has opened up a whole new world of piano playing for me. -Marie


ForScore, Turbo Scan, the Air Turn Pedal and the iPad Pro is a combo I’ve used every Sunday since writing my December 2015 blog post. I’m not sure how I survived without this set up. In the post you’ll learn how I move hard copy sheet music to ForScore so I can enjoy hands-free page turns. This is the wave of the future for reading scores. -Leila Read More

The Makings of a Great Website: 7 Things You Need to Know

If you are around my age–definitely older than 29 but still feeling 29–you’ve had to make friends with websites, social media platforms, emails, webinars with little or no training. Those younger than our “seems-like-only 29 years” have grown up comfortable with a sea of terms like….browser, upload, download, mobile, link, stream, text, PDF…and more.

But some–you know who you are–may feel like you are sinking in the sea of trending terms and savviness and are struggling to stay afloat. I admit, it’s not easy!

That’s why I’ve invited Nick Colakovic to write a post about setting up a website. If you want to teach piano in the 21st century and get the word out, a website is mandatory. Nick provides seven things that you’ll want to include when building your website. I know I need to update my own after reading his tips!

Take it away, Nick.

Are you currently in the process of making your website? If you are, then it’s good to know what things you need to be aware of before you begin.

Creating a website can be a challenging task, and since there are so many different things that need to be included, it’s no wonder that many people struggle when trying to put them all together.

This is why I’ve prepared this guide, to inform you about the seven things you need to know when you are designing your website.

Design and Feel

Read More

My Reaction to SAVVY Musician In Action 2016


David Cutler explaining the rules of the SAVVY pitch game.

A few months ago I announced that I’d be attending David Cutler’s SAVVY Musician in Action 2016. Little did I know that my plug for the event would sway three fellow teachers and 88Pianokeys (88PK) readers to attend. I was THRILLED to hear that Marie, Renee and Becky would be joining me on this adventure!

Turns out, that this adventure gave all of us a similar sense of anxiety. We knew this would be like no other conference with tons of hands-on, out-of-the box experiences. Furthermore, we’d be heading to hot humid, South Carolina meaning long flights, sleeping in dorm rooms and intermingling with NON teachers! In addition we were assigned to prepare and deliver a one minute pitch on day one of the SAVVY event.

Together we commiserated about the superficial stuff like what to wear and which hair products to use to tolerate the humidity, but I believe those conversation threads were a coverup for our fear of…the unknown. Read More

Wild West of Marketing: Marie’s MTNA 2016 Report Part 3


Amy Chaplin at MTNA

Aren’t we always looking for tips that help us figure out how to find students and build a successful studio? In her third report from her quick trip to MTNA’s 2016 conference in San Antonio (find the others here), Marie Lee shares her notes from Amy Chaplin’s, session called The Wild West of Marketing: How Do You Know What Really Works?”  

Carry on, Marie…

What is marketing?

Bestselling author, Seth Godin said,

If it’s noticed; it’s marketing.

When Amy began with this quote, I was instantly tuned in. Like Amy, I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin‘s philosophies. Another quote by Seth is this,

Good marketers measure. Good marketers tell stories.

That’s how I’d describe Amy. She’s a good marketer with good stories and actual analysis. In my book, Amy presented one of the best classes of the conference!
Read More

How to Make More AND Teach Less this Summer

Summer will be here before you know it. This is unfortunate timing because just when it feels like you can’t pack anymore into your extremely tight schedule with spring recitals and festivals, it’s now time to think AND plan ahead for summer…ugghh….are you tired like me?

The good news: there’s a comprehensive resource that will get you through, inspire you and package your summer plans with a bright shiny bow in no time.

Do you have an answer to this question below?

What ARE you going to offer this summer?

  • No lessons and earn no income.
  • Drop-in lessons where students pick and choose when to have a lesson which means progress will be extremely slow.
  • Normal weekly lessons which means you’ll be faced with all kinds of requests to reschedule because of family vacations, etc.
  • A camp designed around a theme that engages students with fun activities that help to solidify concepts.
  • A workshop designed around a topic that will boost a specific skill set.

If you still haven’t decided, you have to admit, the last two options sound much more appealing than the first three. And, it could be the remedy for teacher or student burnout.

If you are ready to dig in and commit to a plan that will ease your mind and balance your bank account during the long summer months, you MUST check out Make More and Teach Lessan online course by Jennifer Foxx.

Foxx has diligently written and produced a resource that will encourage you to hold and then help you successfully run camps, workshops or both as an alternative to the typical private lesson format.

Are you looking for support and ideas?

With Foxx’s methodical, comprehensive and well-organized resource you’ll gain two important things:

  1. Rock-solid guidance for establishing a successful summer camp or workshop
  2. Substantial resources covering every detail from liability to lesson plans.

Are you on a tight budget?make-more-teach-less-cover-art

The course comes in two editions: Basic or Premium. If the Premium doesn’t jive with your budget (it’s worth the price, though) there’s another option.

The Basic edition includes:

  • The Logistics or running a camp (Who, What, Why, When and Where)
  • Structure and Scheduling ideas
  • Ground Rules and Policies
  • Fees, License and Liabilities
  • Marketing ideas
  • Lesson Planning Tips
  • Do’s and Don’ts in running a camp
  • Course Workbook with helpful questions to help you along your journey.
  • Plus you will be invited to join an exclusive membership to our private Facebook community.

The Premium edition includes:

All of the above AND

  • Camp Lesson Plan Templates
  • An Inside Look at Creating a Lesson (which includes a complete LESSON PLAN you can use for a workshop or camp!)
  • Example Camp Documents (a look at my registration forms, how I word my letters to parents and how I like to schedule my own camps and workshops.)
  • 20 Popular Activities you can do at your own camp
  • Popular Game Tools to use at your camp that have been a hit with mine!
  • Music Camp Theme Ideas to help get you started
  • Premium edition value $109.00!

Why will this resource be worth every dime?

  • It comes from an experienced expert: It is clear that Jennifer is a seasoned teacher and a fan of organization as you explore her course. As expected, her camp and workshop ideas follow the same path.
  • It’s concise: The course is divided into 9 modules that include a lecture with slides. There’s no fluff or chit-chat. Each module is appropriately titled, brief but packed full of information. Because the lectures are conveniently divided into small portions, it is easy to revisit your favorite parts.
  • It’s complete: Jennifer covers all the bases so you just need to implement the plan. Her generous supply of documents, lesson plans, camp theme ideas and forms would have been a dream come true years ago when I first started holding summer camps.
  • It’s a community: your investment in the course includes membership to a private Facebook group where you can learn more ideas and seek advice.

Frequently asked questions

(For your convenience, I’ve copied the FAQ from Foxx’s website to answer your questions.)

  • When does the course start and finish? The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course – you decide when you start and when you finish.
  • How long do I have access to the course? How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.
  • What if I am unhappy with the course? I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days letting me know how I can improve and I will give you a full refund.

Still not convinced?

Here’s a promo video that provides a great outline of what the course provides.

Ready now?

Enroll here or click on the sun and take advantage of this exclusive coupon for code for 10% off the Premium edition for 88PianoKeys readers.

Offer ends March 31, 2016.




The BEST Source for Referrals to Build a Bigger Studio

The following post smacks of practicality and savvy advice and since I couldn’t have said it better myself, I asked Martyn Croston if I could share his article at (For the record: I’ll take credit for the boys in the pics: my three sons quite some time ago!)

Word of mouth is often considered one of the most effective ways to find students.


Because having someone recommend you is an extremely powerful marketing strategy, and increases the chances a new prospect will choose you as a teacher.

But when you only think of referrals this way, it’s a S-L-O-W process.

Waiting for your friends or existing pupils to recommend you can take a long time to gain significant numbers of new students.

However, there is a faster way..

But you need to consider this from a different angle.

…and answer this question.

Do you know what your biggest source of referrals is? Read More