The 7 Essential Piano Studio Registration Documents You Need

Your Ideal Piano Studio Registration Documents For A Great Year

The weather outside may not say Spring right now.  But, the process of looking at piano studio registration documents feels like a time of renewal and chance to plan for a great year.

Dealing With Things Proactively

When I first started my business, I had read the stories of frustrated studio owners and teachers who struggled with finding that balance between work and personal life.  Who felt that their clients pushed them around to get what they want.  With our twins in preschool, I knew that I needed to be proactive in dealing with those issues beforehand instead of dealing with them as they came up.  For me, that meant presenting a professional look in everything my clients and potential clients saw.

This isn’t to say I got it right the first year.  Or, even the second.  It took time and research to figure out what documents helped me run my studio the most efficiently.

Before getting into what should be included in your registration, figure out your why. When you know “Why Piano Registration Matters In The Upcoming Year“, you know what to include. This made all the difference in what to include!

Piano Studio Registration Documents

There are a few things I think every teacher should have included in their registration process.  They ensure your studio looks professional, have clear guidelines for your clients, and set up your studio to run smoothly … so you can focus most of our attention on the fun part, teaching!

  • Registration form
  • Studio contract/policy
  • Photo/Video release form
  • Studio calendar
  • Teaching and office schedule
  • Interview sheets and new client process
  • Welcome packet for new clients

This may seem like a lot at first glance. And, I get it.

Do These Make The Year Easier?

The short answer.  Yes.

Our local community association and rec centre has a code of conduct.  “Respect yourself, others and property.”  I love how simple and all-encompassing this code of conduct is.

However, I’ve also learnt the hard way that I need to be a wee more specific in my policies so I can manage the expectations of my clients and ensure we have a healthy relationship for years to come.

The more intentional and specific my policies have gotten, the less I have had to deal with on the administrative side of my business.  The problems tend to crop up when I don’t enforce my policies.

Annually I go through all my registration documents to check whether they were still meeting the needs of my business and my clients.  It’s an important step in making sure my documents present a professional image and clearly state expectations.

A Simple Example

When I started offering group lessons in my studio, we did only two per year. Eventually, this grew to 5 group lessons per year.

Once I looked at our school district calendars for next year (I take breaks when my kids are off school) and took into account the times my clients enjoy having group lessons, it was clear that another group lesson week needed to be added to the contract. The upside is that I now have an outline of what my studio calendar looks like each year (including at least one week of professional development) and will not be scrambling to determine those dates as I go along. 

The piano parents in my studio know the number of group lessons and the policy if they choose not to attend. Specific dates are listed in our studio newsletter so they can make plans accordingly. All while following my studio policy.

Registration Form (#1 – 3)

Some teachers prefer 1-page piano studio registration documents for each aspect. However, I would argue that having everything in one place makes it much easier for clients to quickly and easily sign up for lessons. And, isn’t that what we all want?

Here are the parts I include in our Google form.

  • Contact information
  • Studio contract/policy
  • Photo/video release form
  • Agreement to specific studio-wide policies related to students
  • Keep the same or change their lesson day/time (for new clients, it’s a confirmation they still want that time)

Everything related to parents or adult students goes under the studio contract/policy. Anything related to students, like practice or having devices charged before lesson time goes under a separate section. (That last one is an essential if you teach online.) This helps clients make those jumps between sections with ease.

Posting pictures and videos of what is happening in your studio helps create a sense of community.  But depending on the country you live in, it may be illegal to take or post photos/videos of your students online without parental permission.  Save yourself the legal trouble and get permission beforehand.

Why Use a Google Form?

An electronic copy avoids trying to decipher handwriting and ensures you have accurate information. Using a Google Form is easy to create while also incredibly easy to transfer information to other places that you might need it. For example, from the spreadsheet you can copy and paste contact information into your phone. (If you have an Apple device, do this easily through iCloud.)

For clients, using Google Form is easy to fill out on their cell regardless of where they are. It also ensures clients don’t have to potentially photocopy or take pictures of documents to return to you. Even when I taught in person, there were times this happened and it wasn’t ideal.

Schedule and Calendar (#4 and #5)

This is an aspect of this included in my studio registration documents.

To add this to your registration form, reiterate what your teaching days and hours are in the section clients confirm their lesson day/time. This doesn’t have to be hugely specific. Just the hours you’ve set aside to teaching rather than your current availability.

This ensures as you go through the jigsaw puzzle that is studio scheduling you have the freedom to change as needed.

I would also recommend setting up a studio Google calendar that shows your teaching times as busy (no details) while also showing all studio events then embed it on your website.

Lastly, be sure to add all your studio events to a consistent newsletter. I list 3 months of dates in each monthly newsletter so families have no surprises. I also reiterate when my office hours are so they know when to expect a return call, text or email. Because of this, they rarely (if ever) need to cancel a lesson for anything other than emergencies.

Interview Sheets and New Client Process (#6)

It’s fantastic to have a go-to doc that you can quickly pull up when interviewing a new student! While I like to spend a good amount of time getting to know a family before enrolling, I don’t want to spend a lot of time prepping.

I have used variations of these forms from Joy Morin for years and love them! While I used to print these off and keep them ready to use in my studio file cabinet, these days I get much of the same information in a Google Doc. It’s easier for me to keep everything digital.

Having a laid out process for new clients should also be a part of your piano studio registration documents. While technically it’s not a document, this process ensures you have the documents you need to support new clients.

These new client docs should include:

  • Email templates for each step
  • Sample interview activities for each level that are easy to quickly adapt

You don’t know whether they will enrol until they say “yes”. Having a process that ensures the time you do spend is with them is well worth it. Not planning a lesson that may or may not pan out.

Welcome Packet for New Clients (#7)

Think about businesses that have gone that extra step for you. An Amazon delivery where the business placed a handwritten note for you with the product. A follow-up email that looks like it was written by a person, not AI. You love those, don’t you? We all do!

Creating a welcome packet for new clients is especially important since it sets the tone of what they can expect in your studio. This should be part of your piano registration documents. Depending on whether you teach in-person or online, this packet may look different.

Welcome packet from in-person teachers:

  • Binder, tabs
  • Practice pouch

Welcome packet from online teachers:

  • Access to tutorial docs or videos for the programs you use
  • Optional: Ship some supplies to your student (just like an in-person teacher)

For all my students, I mail some sheet music or activity before we start lessons to get the excitement going!

The 7 Essential Piano Studio Registration Documents You Need

Knowing the why and what to include in your registration makes a huge difference in how great … or not-so-great your upcoming year will look like.

These are the 7 essential piano studio registration documents you need:

  1. Registration form
  2. Studio contract/policy
  3. Photo/Video release form
  4. Studio calendar
  5. Teaching and office schedule
  6. Interview sheets and new client process/documents
  7. Welcome packet for new clients

Which studio registration document do you struggle with creating?

Let me know in the comments!

Some Personalized Help

If you are looking for guidance in creating or editing your registration documents, I’d love to help you!

I can help you:

  • Help you convert your paper registration form/documents to digital,
  • Look over your existing policies to give feedback,
  • Give you tips and templates for emails in your new client process.

If that sounds good, set up a 1-on-1 consultation with me and I’ll help you set up your upcoming year in a way that brings joy … instead of stress.

NOTE: This article was originally published March 23, 2018.  It has since been updated to keep all the insights from before, plus more!

1 comment

Leave a Reply