Increasing Retention by Customizing Lesson Plans

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Understanding the importance of customizing lessons and how it affects teacher retention.

Understanding the importance of customizing lessons and how it affects teacher retention.

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  • 1. Increasing Retention by Customizing Lesson Plans Monet Payne Community Manager TakeLessons.com
  • 2. Topics to Be Covered
    • So you just received a new student…
    • The Customized Lesson Plan
    • How are students placed?
    • Become a Chameleon: Adapt!
    • The Strategy: Ask, Listen, Apply
    • Following Through
    • Surprising Statistics
  • 3. Welcome (back)!
    • Singing and acting professionally for 12 yrs
    • Teaching voice for 7 yrs
    • Trained in multiple instruments
    • High School level music/voice director multiple productions
    • Rehearsal accompanist
    • Co-founder and President of StudentNATS San Diego
    • Bachelors in Music
    • TakeLessons Community Manager and Student Counselor
  • 4. So you just received a new student…
    • The scenario:
      • Your new student wants to learn music that does not reflect your personal taste/training
      • Now what?
      • Time to do some research!
  • 5. The TakeLessons Service
    • Tools to help you address your students’ needs
      • Student questionnaire
      • Goal setting feature
      • Student Counselors in sales to point students toward teachers with similar interests
      • Teacher forums so that you can share your teaching concerns and ideas with peers
      • Support Counselors to communicate with students when challenging scenarios arise
  • 6. The Customized Lesson Plan
    • One of our biggest selling points
    • Students feel confident in their decision to choose our company, knowing that our teachers will not try to make them “fit into a box”
    • Music is about self expression
    • Your job: find a balance between working on the familiar and challenging the student with unfamiliar repertoire and styles
  • 7. How are students placed?
    • 15% of Students/parents book online without our recommendation
    • 40% Students/parents contact us via phone or email with a specific teacher in mind after viewing profiles online
    • 45% Student/parents call in without doing prior research and a Student Counselor makes their best recommendation
      • You may be the “best match” in the area, regardless of experience in the genre that the student would like to learn
        • Schedules might sync best
        • The closest teacher
        • In studio vs. in home preference
  • 8. Be like a Chameleon: Adapt!
  • 9. Be like a Chameleon: Adapt!
    • Utilize the first call and questionnaire
    • Make a great first impression - 70% of the opinion is influenced by the tone of the voice and 30% depends on the words one speaks
      • Get excited!
      • Be personable and professional
    • Ask questions in regard to the questionnaire – find out as much as possible to give you a head start
    • A great first call sets up a great first lesson and longevity with the student
  • 10. Be like a Chameleon: Adapt!
    • Our Duty as Teachers
    • To serve our students’ needs
    • Be the CEO of teaching – strive for excellence
    • Take advantage of your resources
    • If you need help, ask!
  • 11. The Strategy: Ask, Listen, Apply
    • Ask
    • Have the student bring you a mix CD of some of their favorite artists
    • Is there a common theme?
    • Ask them what they like about their favorites, who do they look up to, and why?
  • 12. The Strategy: Ask, Listen, Apply
    • Listen
    • Treat your new task as you would if your teacher assigned you a new piece of music
    • Become familiar with the genre/specific work that you choose for them
      • Listen to it
      • Go to the library
      • Check the local music store for ideas
      • Use the internet – the resources are endless!
        • Youtube – watch performances
        • Amazon – purchase music books
  • 13. The Strategy: Ask, Listen, Apply
    • Apply
    • Assign music that is appropriate
      • Age
      • Level of experience
      • Style of interest
    • If they’ve taken lessons before (or sing/play on their own), it’s helpful to have them bring in a piece that they already know to better assess their current abilities
      • This may affect your initial choice of repertoire
  • 14. Example of Student Feedback
    • Teacher didn't customized lesson plan
    • “ I completed a lot of the pre work to describe what I was looking for and the first session just seemed to jump into a generic intro that wasn't personalized. The lesson felt unprepared, wasn't well thought out and didn't take into consideration what I completed in my file that I wanted to focus on. I'm not so sure she prepared properly for my session, as if she didn't read any of my info. I think she wrote 2 sentences on my site which gave indication she either didn't have anything else to say, or the time to say it.”
  • 15. Following Through
    • Utilize the lesson journals
      • Notating what repertoire you worked on and what to work on for next time
      • This helps parents make sure that students are practicing and gives them specific tasks
      • Reminds students that they’re improving and gives parents an idea of where their money is going
    • Be realistic with parents/student about expectations
      • Whether the student is 6 or 60, he/she will not sound like Beyonce or be able to shred on the guitar overnight
      • Communicate
    • Set goals
      • What does the student/parent want out of the lessons?
      • Go out of your way to provide performance/audition opportunities if desired
  • 16. Surprising Statistics
    • TakeLessons Survey Report - Retention
    • 41% of all students who quit were taking singing lessons
    • 38% of students who cancel do so between month 1 and 3
    • 78% of students who cancel are over the age of 24
      • These students are paying for their own musical education - if they don’t think it’s worth the money, they’re not going to continue
  • 17. Surprising Statistics
    • Why do students quit?
    • Too busy = lessons are not a priority anymore
    • Motivation = not driven to pursue higher musical growth
    • Met goals = not challenged anymore
    • 4. Teacher didn’t meet expectations
  • 18. Surprising Statistics
    • Teachers not meeting expectations
    • Unprofessional
    • Heavy family traffic in and out of studio
    • Teacher not available as listed on website
    • Lack of teaching experience in specific genres (heavy metal, R&B, etc)
    • Teacher canceling lessons
    • Not engaging for young student or no goals
    • Bi-weekly lessons cut short by other students with weekly schedules
  • 19. Wrap Up
    • Forum Challenge
    • On the teacher forums, there will be 5 sample student questionnaires on our most popular subjects:
      • Voice
      • Piano
      • Guitar
      • Drums
      • Violin
    • How would you design a lesson plan?
      • Post your lesson plan for your desired instrument
      • Comment on one other teacher’s lesson plan by Monday
      • Two teachers who complete both of the above tasks will be randomly selected to win $50
      • http://takelessons.com/forum/teacher-community/teacher-webinars
        • Must be logged in to view and post!
  • 20. Upcoming Webinars
    • Keeping Students Motivated!
    • February 24 th at 7:30 am (California time)
    • February 25 th at 7:30 am (California time)
    • February 25 th at 3:30 pm (California time)
  • 21. Q&A