Recruiting Flute Students

Heidi said: Mar 20, 2018
Heidi ReiterFlute
Davie, FL
1 posts

Dear Fellow Suzuki Teachers,
I have been having a difficult time finding new students to teach Flute. My degree and past experience has been mostly in Art, however I have played the flute for over 40 years, performing in college bands, orchestras and more recently with a violin, guitar flute trio for our temple and for weddings, etc. I have also been learning the Suzuki Method and I did take the first course, Every Child Can. I have flyers and business cards made, and have tried passing them along to local public school music teachers, music stores, etc. I have also been taking piano lessons to learn the accompaniment for Suzuki book 1. Right now I have 2 flute students, but it has been difficult to find more. Any suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks.
Heidi Reiter
Flutist and Artist in South Florida

H.L. Reiter

Kelly Williamson said: Mar 22, 2018
Kelly WilliamsonTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Flute, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Cambridge, ON
280 posts

Hi Heidi,

It can indeed be challenging to get your name out there. You have made an excellent start by passing around your cards and flyers to local stores, and also by performing at your temple. Your personal community (whether that is friends of your own children, your faith community, or other personal connections) are often the best place to get those first students in your door. Once you have some students, I suggest you get them out in the community where people can see them. Our local music teachers’ association is good for that in my small town—even after six years of living here, and over 20 years teaching with the Suzuki method, private lessons are just a hard sell, so my studio has built very slowly. However, since the beginning when I had just one student, we had access to 5+ recital opportunities per year with the teachers’ group. My students have not only been able to play for others (for themselves), but it has helped me to get my name out there with colleagues, and have my students seen.

As soon as you have two students—which you do—you have a group class. Which means you can present both solos and group/ensemble pieces. You didn’t mention that you had taken Unit 1 training. If you haven’t, I urge you to do so, so that you have a firm foundation. (ECC is really a brief introduction to the philosophy—the first course for teachers is Unit 1.) In the book 1 training you will get lots of ideas on how you can hold regular group classes in your studio. The energy of kids getting together to play, and playing together in public, is a really vital one for people being impressed by what your studio has to offer. It may still be slow to build up numbers, since word of mouth is by far the best way to get students. Re the book 1 training—teacher trainer Kim Lorimier is in Florida. It may be a bit of a drive, but I suggest you contact her about doing some training. You won’t regret it!

Great idea to study the piano accompaniment parts. It has helped me enormously—especially with a small studio—to be able to accompany my own students in recitals, as well as in their lessons. When I had a bigger studio (25-35 kids) it was worth it to hire a professional accompanist for everyone, and of course I held recitals for my studio instead of sharing with other teachers. But for now if I have just a few kids playing in a recital, I play for them myself and avoid the hassle. :D

All the best! PS If you are on Facebook, you might join one of the Suzuki flute groups on there to make connections and widen your community. “Suzuki Flute Group” is one. This chat area does not always get regular circulation—especially since the flute group is smaller than the string communities.

Kelly

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