Web-site for a music teacher

September 2, 2018, 1:59 AM · Hello, everyone.
I am now helping to one of my friends to design a web site for her. She is a music teacher in piano, singing and violin. She currently has students from very small children to ones who aims the conservatirium and amateur adults at different level of skills.

So, i have some questions both for teachers here, and for students and parents.

For teachers:
1) do you have a web-site? Or face-book page is enough for you?
2) if you have one, can you share here the link to it? And what was the most important for you to display when you were designing it, and what did you change with time?

For students, when do you search a teacher:
1) was it important for you that teacher has a web site, not just a facebook page?
2) what did attract you from the first moment to make you read all the details and eventually call or write to a potential teacher.
3) do you follow the updates on the web site or facebook page of your current or ex-teacher?

Thank you very much to all in advance, and any comments and advise are welcome.

Replies (11)

September 2, 2018, 3:16 AM · Student here.

1) Yes, I appreciate a web page. I don't use Facebook and I don't want to see "please sign in to see more" whenever I click on something.

2) There was no web page when I signed up, only a brief resume in a teacher's directory. However, some teachers describe themselves as performers, with photos of themselves in evening dress or tuxedo. Those went to the bottom of my list, especially if there was no explicit statement about whether they would teach beginners and/or adults.

Teachers here have a tendency to provide resumes with the names of their professors in conservatory. However, those names mean nothing to me as an aspiring student. I'd like to know that you have a suitable degree in music and teaching experience or a teaching-related degree. I also appreciate information on teaching schedules and prices (with timestamps so that I can see that they are up to date). Some teachers have regular schedules and stick to them, whereas others make appointments. The latter type can serve well for adults who have busy schedules themselves; less so for children.

3) I occasionally check my teacher's page to see if there are performances of her quartet coming up.

September 2, 2018, 3:50 AM · Thanks)
September 2, 2018, 5:13 PM · I don't have a professional FB page (just a personal one), nor do I have a website. But I'm well-established in my city and have more students than I can really comfortably manage, so I'm certainly not looking to expand. It hasn't seemed to bother anyone.

If I were just getting started, I'd opt for a website over a FB page. Young people are largely migrating away from FB.

Edited: September 2, 2018, 7:00 PM · https://layugstringstudio.com/ Here's mine. Created on wordpress. Does everything I want it to do except I still have trouble with the calendar widget and I'd have to pay for a much higher membership in order to get a widget to do expanding links. I run a fairly small studio and don't look for a ton of new-student traffic, but it gives me an up-front place to put my policy page, and to have an good overview of who I am and what potential students can expect from my studio. I have links (which I need to update) to local shops and music organizations I want to support; a pretty comprehensive instrument buying guide from the days when I was teaching 60-80 students a week in a school lesson system; and I use the blog posts for info about upcoming performances or other studio news. I'd actually love to be more interactive with it, and at times have maintained a fb page with youtube link and other more interactive things, but that's not high on my priority list at the moment.
September 2, 2018, 11:05 PM · Having a clean, easy-to-read website can be very useful if you're building up a studio. For my wife and I, it's about maintaining an ongoing presence in our local music community, and providing a public facing source of information about what we do as sometimes word-of-mouth can result in some bizarre interpretations of our craft.

We have a video front and center that our students have given us permission to post, and it makes it very clear what we train our students to accomplish!


September 5, 2018, 2:29 AM · Thanks everyone, who found some time to reply.
Any other comments on this topic? ))
Edited: September 5, 2018, 6:38 AM · As an adult beginner, it's hard to find a teacher. I was in possession of a list of violin teachers from the local youth symphony, but that didn't tell me if the teachers taught adult students, taught traditional vs. Suzuki methods, or even their location. So I used that list in conjunction with some googling to find a teacher (it's hard to just call a teacher when you have a day job, since they're usually busy teaching when you get home from work).

The thing is, a bad site can actually hurt. One local music school, for example, was lacking in information other than how to sign up for a semester. No teacher bios. Not even information about prices. And their only photos of violin students showed a Suzuki classroom full of youngsters. As a result, I didn't even bother contacting them, although a few teachers on my list taught there.

The teacher I found is wonderful. She also has a useful website, giving some bio, mentions her teaching style (conservatory trained as well as Suzuki certified), states she teaches all ages including adults, etc. There is a section for registered students that requires a login, but that page is for calendar/scheduling, downloading audition forms, etc. By having students register with an email, it also helps her send automated lesson reminders, reminders for weeks without lessons, monthly invoices, etc.

Facebook is the devil. I don't use fb, and not having an account makes it difficult to get info from a business that uses fb for their homepage. If you want to reach new students, use a real web page.

September 5, 2018, 10:34 AM · My website is a very basic WordPress template but gets the job done. I do primarily Suzuki so I have the group class and event schedule posted, some pictures and videos, and text information about my teaching philosophy, how classes are structured, commentary and links about instruments, supplies, etc. A prospective student/parent can easily see:
- who I serve (children learning violin)
- how I serve them (a fairly defined structure of classes and schedules)
- what my qualifications are (track record in the community as shown by student performances)
- how to get in touch (a Google form and I use the wording "please contact for general information and/or waiting list instructions" to signal that it's not as simple as signing up for a time)

You'll want to make sure people who are your target audience get the answers they're looking for. I do have rates posted although it takes a little reading to get there. There's nothing wrong with wanting to know how much things cost, but if someone asks about price as the first priority, it's likely that they didn't take the time to find out what I'm about.

The Google form has been very useful because I get 30+ inquiries a year and from the form I should learn how they found me, a little background on their experience with music, what classes/schedule they are interested in, preferred call back time, etc. Then I decide whether to respond by phone or email. I only post events and videos on FB for the benefit of current students (parents) who enjoy seeing and sharing those things.

September 5, 2018, 3:11 PM · Thanks a lot for the comments from both students and teachers.

For now, we have in the plan to put:

1) general summary of few lines with contact info.
2) teaching approach, schedules etc, price
3) bio
4) info on her new book for violin children students.
5) locations and a way to sing up for the trial lesson, with maps, contacts etc.

I also got an idea to ask her current and former students to write about her, what she is as a teacher for them, with all the photos and music achievements of her students.
But whould not it be too much?
What do you think?

September 5, 2018, 3:24 PM · Definitely not too much. You can have various links on the home page. I think teacher philosophy is important, but maybe you covered that. You could include videos too if available. As a parent, I want as much information as possible when choosing a violin teacher.
Edited: September 6, 2018, 11:36 AM · In the 1-5 list, #4 (about the book) doesn't fit well; it is probably aimed at a very different target audience than the information about lessons. Better keep it separate from the rest.

The testimonials and photos would be interesting for prospective students, but be aware that that kind of information needs to be refreshed periodically. Small-business and hobby websites tend to go stale after the first year or two. It won't look good if the testimonials read: "I learned so much from X in the past two years! Alice, December 2013." With a picture showing the fashion trends of 2013.

And if you consider Yelp for managing reviews, think twice. (Extortion practices.)

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