How a piano teacher returned to teaching after a long hiatus and used WunderKeys to sign up 12 students overnight.
“I love working with the kids. I almost feel guilty getting paid to teach.”
Cherie has a thriving piano studio and believes that the WunderKeys program is an important element in her success story.
After graduating from college with a music degree, Cherie taught piano exclusively for many years before taking a long time off to raise children. “Then I moved to a new community three years ago,” she says, “and I thought that I would open up a new piano studio.”
In Janesville, one-on-one teaching was an untapped market in piano preschool, and Cherie saw a golden opportunity. “I knew I’d be able to build a music studio without putting myself in direct competition with all the other music teachers who’d already been in this community for a long time.”
At the music store where she teaches, she is now the only teacher with students under the age of eight.
To make this work, she developed an inventive way of advertising that didn’t cost her any money – and achieved fantastic results.
“Overnight, I had twelve people sign up.”
Cherie concentrated her advertising efforts on Facebook.
“I took the Middleton Mouse graphic that WunderKeys provided, and I posted on different ‘Mom groups’ that I was offering a four-week free trial for preschool piano lessons. Overnight, I had twelve people sign up . . . People just jumped for the opportunity.”
By following the Facebook groups’ best practices and guidelines, including only posting once per group and not spamming members, Cherie was easily able to access the exact market she needed to grow her business.
Although her initial reaction was not to give away her time for free, she very quickly saw the benefit of the four-week trial.
“Honestly, I had spent a lot of money advertising in the newspaper and in other ways that were not getting any results, and this didn’t cost me anything out of my pocket. I figured that even if one of those students stayed on, it was worth that amount of time.”
Cherie was right – and her retention rate was excellent. Ten out of twelve students continued after the free trial. She credits WunderKeys as a major factor in this success.
“The program really sells itself.”
The kids had fun with WunderKeys. “And the parents actually saw results . . . When they see that it’s not just a fun activity but also educational, that [the kids] are enjoying it and learning music at the same time, then I think the program really sells itself.”
Now Cherie has a flourishing studio and is busy setting up her students for long and happy musical futures.
“I’ve taught between twenty and twenty-five WunderKeys students, and I would say that most of them continue on. There are a lot of benefits for children to have lessons early.” She laughs. “I love working with the kids! It’s like playing. I almost feel guilty getting paid to teach.”
And her students definitely share that enthusiasm.
“One student I have,” Cherie says, “she’s also in dance, and her parents were talking about her schedule and the busyness.” The student was so adamant and in love with piano and the WunderKeys program that she would rather give up dance – which she adores – than piano.
Another student proclaimed, after his parents pushed physical education in the form of swimming lessons, “Piano is my sport!”
“She would rather give up dance – which she adores – than piano.”
When asked about her tailored approach to teaching and her success with WunderKeys, Cherie speaks about connecting with the Wunderbie characters and zeroing in on the individual child’s interests and way of learning.
“The kids are just excited each week to see what’s going to happen next,” she says. “The concepts are simple. It’s really just finding out what the hot buttons are for each of those kids . . . A lot of it is in the imagination.”
Her best advice for other teachers is to learn and utilize the WunderKeys books.
“Definitely study them so you know what concepts are being taught,” she says. “Think about some ways that make you unique as a teacher . . . and how you can use the Wunderbie friends in that setting. Also read through all the posts on the WunderKeys’ teachers’ Facebook page, because there are so many people who share great ideas.”
Three years after opening her business, with WunderKeys by her side, Cherie and her piano studio continue to thrive.