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Parent Financial Incentives

Music Lessons Shouldn't be the First to Go When Finances are Tight!

Help keep more students in piano lessons with the use of awards and incentives.


Have you lost a student due to financial hardship? Have you had a parent struggle with choosing between piano or sports? Scholarships are a great way to reward dedicated students and/or help financially strapped parents. Scholarships will keep many students in lessons who otherwise might quit — especially if the reason for quitting is based on financial hardship.

  • Hold informal/formal auditions for merit based scholarships
    • Employ the use of a third party judge (another piano teacher in your community would be great!), or judge the auditions yourself.


  • Provide a Parent Intake form for financial considerations. Many parents are not going to divulge a lot about their finances in order for their child to take piano lessons, but having a form will weed out those who just want to take advantage of a better deal.


  • Be sure to advertise that you offer scholarships in your studio as an added incentive for students to book lessons with you!

Service Exchange vs. Money

When finances are tight for parents, exchanging services instead of money can often keep lessons in place. Do you have items which can be used as barter for lessons? For example:

  • projects around the house
  • babysitting needs
  • cleaning

A traditional exchange system (i.e. money) isn’t the only option for creating value for and dedication to lessons. Parents can work on projects while waiting for the students lesson. Or, students (if old enough) can help out directly after lessons. Be creative in your thinking! Offer options when situations seems appropriate.

Financial Incentives

There are many things you can do at your studio to create an incentive for parents to sign up with you and to keep students in your studio! Some suggestions include:

  • 2 for 1 lessons
    This could be done for first month, or as holiday gifts, or specials for referrals, etc. Examples of this idea include:
      1. Lessons given to two members of the same family, for the price of one.
      2. Or, with a single student it could be charging for only one lesson out of two given. This would essentially be half-price lessons.
  • Buy one get one half-off.
    This is especially helpful for parents who want to enroll more than one child, but are concerned about the cost of having multiple lesson fees. One student can be charged full-price and subsequent students of the same family are charged half-price each.
  • Referral discounts. Give families a one-time discount for referrals. This will motivate families to spread the word for you, and fill your studio with students!

“Dr. Clark believed passionately in the transformative power of music making in the life of every person - not just the young, not just the gifted, not just the privileged.” — Frances Clark Center

Provide students with a fun and exciting way to practice elementary theory terms.  This crossword puzzle includes 10 early elementary music terms and definitions — tie, whole note, repeat sign, quarter note, half note, bar line, slur, double bar line, measure and staff.