This is a huge question going around in the online circles I frequent, and I thought it was something worth sharing on the podcast…
Whether schools are back in session in your community or are just about to head back, school and safety are on the forefront of everyone’s minds, particularly parents!
Before we get to the good stuff, I am going to pop http://callwithjaime.com in right here — you know, it’s my favorite way of connecting with you and if we haven’t connected in a while or ever, grab a time on my calendar!
Now, do parents really want online lessons or online programs or to sign their kids up for an online course or a membership site or a portal?
What do parents really want for their kids’ music education? In the scheme of things, they would love for their kids to get the best education!
It doesn’t matter how that education is delivered. Parents want whatever is best for their children; plain and simple… but there are absolutely other factors that go into it as well.
- have to juggle multiple kids’ schedules,
- have to balance their kids schedules with their work schedule,
- have to balance the programs that their kids are involved in between multiple households,
- have traffic to contend with,
- try to figure out programs based on costs, and
- want and then there’s money and then there’s family time around the dinner table
There are a lot of factors that parents need to consider when they’re signing their kids up for anything. The first and most important factor is the desire of the child (or the parent if the child is young.)
After that, it’s all the other bits and pieces of how adding music lessons into their schedule impacts the rest of their days and weeks.
When people ask, do parents really want to sign their kids up for online lessons, online programs, online courses, online membership sites, online interaction with their teacher, the answer is not just a “yes” or a “no.” It’s “will it make my life easier”, “will I be able to have family dinners?” “will I be able to have two of my kids take classes at the same time.” Or in simplest terms — What does it offer me selfishly as the parent??
What your online program does for the parent is crucial to getting them on board. Remember, parents want their kids to get the best education and experience. So we have to not only show them how this is going to help them in their lives, but also show how this is the right option for their children. When the benefits to the child and their musical education are insanely clear, it is so much easier for parents to say, yes to online programming.
Remember also that your program isn’t going to only have the student in front of the screen. They will not be staring at a camera or a screen the entire time. They need to have their hands on the instrument or need to be standing in a certain position. They are also going to be looking at music or at references and there are a lot of things that go into music education that are auditory and tactile and not just visual. And because they’re not just visual, that means that we are not just using the screen!
Reassuring parents that their child is not just in front of a screen can go a long way. Parents want convenience and they also want excellence. They want their child to feel good. They want their child to love what they’re doing.
So do parents really want online lessons? Maybe.
Now, do parents really want a lesson that helps their child accomplish their goals? Absolutely.
If that lesson comes in the format of an online program, then they’re going to sign up. It’s as simple as that.
Remember, we have to think the way the parent thinks…
- I’m going to be able to have all of my kids around the table at dinner every night,
- I am not going to be filling up my car with gas three times a week,
- I am not going to be a chauffeur mom.
Another really common thing that parents want to see when it comes to online lessons is support from the teacher, even if it’s not live and in real time. That’s why I talk so much and believe so strongly in the feedback loop.
Parents will want to know how their kids are students interacting with the teacher and how the teacher interacts with the students. It is not just about putting out content and expecting children to learn what we want them to learn without being involved. Online programs are not passive and we need to make sure that the parents know that we are in it with them even if we’re not in the same physical space.
Part of the reason why parents sign their kids up for programs is because they are interested in it. If we as the educator engage with the parent and not just think of them as the vehicle to get the student there, they are going to stay around longer. They are going to be excited about the investment they’ve made for their children and they are going to be part of the process!
So again, do parents really want online programming?
If you had asked me this question a year ago as we were on the brink of everybody starting school or almost everybody started school online. I don’t know if my answer would be such a strong yes! But right now with most students going back to school in person, at least part time, they are able to socialize with people outside of their household through that school system, which makes it so that after school programs don’t need to fill that void, like last year.
In short, parents are absolutely on board with online programming if we showcase how it will benefit them and their student. If we can clearly communicate how this is a great use of their time and money and is going to help their child become more musical. It’s a winning proposition 🙂