What to do with an overflowing music studio waiting list

Having a music studio waiting list is a good sign that your business is flourishing. But it can feel like a waste to leave people on your waiting list when they’re clamouring to become a customer!

What to do with an overflowing music studio waiting list and how to bring extra students into your piano studio

In my last article, I helped you set up your waiting list so it can run on autopilot. Now that you have this steady trickle, or flood, of names coming in – what are you going to do with them?

Yes, the whole point of a music studio waiting list is that they’re waiting to get into your studio. That works great if it’s a few names at a time and you have open spots coming up regularly, but what about if your waiting list is completely stagnant? And the names are just piling up?

The way I see it, you have 3 options for managing your overflowing music studio waiting list.

Psst! If you’re not yet at the stage where you have a waiting list you might prefer to read this article about piano studio marketing instead.

Option 1: Nurture and Wait

Probably the most obvious option – it’s a waiting list, so let them wait. But there are 2 caveats here.

Set Expectations

The first is to make sure they’re not waiting with false hope. As I shared in my last article, I have an automated email that lets new waiting list applicants know they will probably be waiting a long time and that they should look for another teacher in the meantime too.

I simply don’t want students delaying their piano studies because they think I’ll have an opening any day now. Because I won’t. And because their music education is too important.

Stay in Touch

The second thing you need to make sure to do if your waiting list is going to be waiting a long time is to check in every so often.

You could try sending your studio newsletter to your waiting list families, emailing them specifically about what to do to get ready for lessons or just emailing every 3-6 months to ask them if they still want to be on the waiting list.

Option 2: Change Lesson Format

If you want to make better use of your waiting list and make your studio more profitable, the best option is to teach more than one student at a time. 

This doesn’t have to mean changing your entire studio so you can teach classes of 20 students. You could keep the same hours and increase your student numbers considerably by moving to partner lessons or buddy lessons.

If you want to increase your numbers further and get more kiddos off your waiting list you could transform into an all group studio. I interviewed Lynnette Barney about switching to groups on the Vibrant Music Teaching Podcast here.

Once you decide which format to switch to you’ll need to communicate that change to your current piano parents. Here’s a great article about how to make a change like this.

Option 3: Hire Other Teachers

Group lessons not for you? Perhaps you would prefer to hire another teacher to work alongside you.

My favourite option is to take on a student teacher on a mentorship basis. This is great for them as they gain experience and training, great for you as you make extra income without teaching longer hours, and great for our industry as you’ll be passing on high teaching standards to your mentee. 

You might think that you need more space or a commercial location to have another teacher working for you but that doesn’t have to be the case. The new teacher could travel to students’ homes or could simply use your space when you’re not teaching.

What will you do with your music studio waiting list?

Maybe there are other options I haven’t explored here? Let me know what you’re doing or what you’re planning to do in the comments.

6 thoughts on “What to do with an overflowing music studio waiting list”

  1. Have you ever tried maybe adding some waiting list students to a group class just to keep their interest if they’re willing to wait on you??

  2. Well this year I finally reached what I feel is to be my personal limit of 70 students and I am still getting inquiries. So now, I am pondering the best way to deal with my waitlist. I spend too much time trying to hook people up with other teachers, I would like to automate that! I don’t want to take my free trial lesson down, because it generates so much interest. But I think I need to change it because it is misleading. I won’t have any openings until next Summer. My brain is tired from scheduling. I can’t think of a way that still invites people to take a look at the studio and keep it in mind, when I really can not take them on, sigh I will need new students next Fall, hmmmm

    • I think a waiting list is the best solution Ruth. You can send them an automatic email back suggesting other teachers if they can’t wait, and letting them know when you’re likely to be available.

  3. Thanks Nicola, this is useful! Do you have any guidance or resources on hiring another teacher? It’s been a dream of mine for about 2 years and I’ve no idea how to get started or how to locate someone!


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