REVIEW: The PracticeSpot Guide to Promoting Your Teaching Studio (Philip Johnston)

Full Title: The PracticeSpot Guide to Promoting Your Teaching Studio: How to make your phone ring, fill your schedule and build a waiting list you can’t jump over

Author: Philip Johnston

Released: 2004

Summary: This is a comprehensive marketing guide for the private music teacher looking to grow their studio. The beginning of the book is dedicated to creating a vision for what you want your ultimate studio to look like (“Create a copy of your Future Teaching Schedule”) and setting the stage for new students to come in (“Setting the Right Fee”, “Improve your desktop publishing skills”, “The qualification edge”). The bulk of the book is dedicated to promotional ideas from as simple as advertising in the yellow pages to giving discounts for referrals to more creative ventures like organizing a practice-a-thon, writing newspaper articles, and hosting a community radio show. There are “call-out” boxes and “Masterclasses” strewn about the book that give practical advice about how to finance and track the campaigns and the power of creating a diverse marketing plan.

The Pros:¬†This is an IDEA book. The real strength of this book is that there are so many creative ideas of getting your name out in the community and in some cases, a “how-to” guide as to implementing them. There are easily over 35 “campaigns” to consider – from print advertising (with suggestions on how to create an ad) to administering a competition to getting involved in a school music program to starting a choir or chamber group. Every teacher, new or seasoned, will be able to find at least a handful of ideas they never thought of. The author also gives reassurances that even if the phone doesn’t ring off the hook after your campaign has been launched for two days, you should keep at it, or tweak your approach, or try something new.

The tone of the book is very natural and conversational. It is an easy and quick read. It is also organized in such a way that you can skip around and find the ideas that appeal to you without feeling like you have missed something by not reading the book from cover to cover. The author also covers how to properly represent yourself in print and digital media including what your studio website should include and although some of the suggestions may seem obvious and simplistic to those who have been teaching for a while, for new teachers this is sensible advice.

The Cons: The content is excellent so the only con I would point out is the formatting of the copy. The book is self-published and the formatting is very distracting. The callout boxes sit outside the natural margins of the page, there are several different fonts and font sizes that are used on certain pages, indents are inconsistent, pictures and examples seem strewn about haphazardly on certain pages and the spacing and “dead” space on the certain pages is distracting.

Since this was released in 2004, it does not include any advice about social media. According to the author’s comment on, the book is being updated.

Recommendation: Highly recommended for teachers who need a boost of energy into their studio. Try a handful of the ideas and you are bound to get some business. You will still get a ton of information even before the update.



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