Trying Out Lessons
Kylie S., Australia
I have run three FIS’s over the past week, and have encountered a number of potential parents who use the phrase “we want to give it a go”. Now, I know this is a phrase we don’t like to hear necessarily – as “giving it a go” sounds quite temporary and portrays a lack of long-term commitment on the part of the coach. I do ensure I go through the relationship conversation and long-term relationship chart at the FIS, and will continue to as lessons go on etc.
However, my question is, how to respond to this phrase/attitude from the very beginning, because a part of me can understand where they are coming from. If a family has never been involved in music before, they are often just testing the waters out. Putting in their little toes, so to speak. (Too many clichés I know!) I know I would be similar if my sons were to start being involved in something that I had had no contact with before (martial arts, sports training etc).
Mark M., New York
This may be a too-simple answer, and I do look forward to hearing more/better ideas, but one answer at least is that this is Workshop 1 is for.
Whether with or without Workshop 1 being done first, we do want people going into ongoing lessons feeling more committed than simply “having a go.” But for some people, that’s really where they are. Workshop 1 gives you, and them, the chance to be okay with the fact that that’s where they are without feeling that an ongoing lesson is being potentially compromised from the start.
Terah W., Kansas
Good idea, Mark! Will use that with the more reticent as an option.
The other thing I do that seems to serve me well is my 3- month requirement for sign-up. I know there has been discussion about this in other conversations but it does give plenty of opportunity for us as teachers to get a good start and for them to ‘commit’ without “signing their life away” (as they might feel). I.e., long enough for us to probably establish a relationship, show them what SM really has to offer, and keep them from quitting in a month while possibly gaining a great student on board for the long haul. At 3 months, if they quit, they will at least be ‘walking marketing’–provided departure is a pleasant affair and no reason why it shouldn’t be. If they stay, you both benefit.
Sometimes a foot in the door is a good experience from either side of said door!