5 Reasons Your Trial Lessons Are Terrible [7FMS Ep. #80]

by Daniel Patterson


A lot of things have to go right for someone to discover your studio, be interested in your studio, contact you, and then set up a phone consultation or trial lesson.

After getting all of that right… It can be really discouraging to see that only 3 out of 10 of your trial lessons or consultations turn into a new student.

What could improve this terrible conversion rate?

Why don’t people sign up!?!?

It’s possible that you are making some easily correctable errors in your trial or consultation.

In this episode, we look at 5 reasons why your trial lessons aren’t converting.

This is based on an experiment that Daniel ran… where he looked at video recordings of trial lessons from a number of schools.

Observable patterns began to emerge… and you can benefit from these observations!

Click below to listen to the episode.



Or, check out the video version of the podcast:


Here’s what we cover in the episode:

  • Reason #1: You’re lacking information
  • Reason #2: You’re winging it
  • Reason #3: You’re being boring!!
  • Reason #4: You’re having disciplinary issues with the student
  • Reason #5: You’re lacking confidence in your success

During the episode, we made reference to two past resources that we’ve created:

BLOG POST: Are Parents Bored with Your Studio Website?
I wrote this blog post years ago, and I referenced it in today’s episode. The advice and actions in this blog post are still relevant today. You can also use the strategies here to improve your studio’s social media strategy.

PODCAST Ep77: Your Music School’s Sales Process
We published this episode a few weeks ago, and I referred to it in this episode. It’s one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever published, and we’ve already gotten initial feedback that it is absolutely full of practical knowledge that you can use to increase your enrollment rate.

We’d love to hear from you… what was your big takeaway this episode? What questions do you have?

We won’t know unless you reach out and tell us!

You can do so by replying to this email or contacting us here.


This episode is sponsored by GroupLessons.com A new group piano method that solves many of the problems that most group methods suffer from. (No more scheduling headaches for you!). Visit GroupLessons.com to book a virtual or live demo and learn how we’ve helped hundreds of studios get parents on board with group piano lessons.


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Daniel Patterson is a private teacher, writer, and marketing consultant for music schools. He began teaching in 2004. He co-founded and led marketing operations for a summer music camp that sees over 200 children each summer.

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  1. Gordon Darr

    I finally got around to listening to a podcast. This one here, #80, is my first. We closed our private lesson studio a year ago, and handed off our student list to a dance studio that was launching music lessons. We still operate a couple of community music programs (choir, rock band). We have talked about how to revive private lessons. After listening to this one episode I am very confident that we can do that, and be way more successful this time. Or maybe . . . go into an entire new community and start there. Lots and lots of possibilities. When you got to #2, “Winging It,” it was like a slap in the face. I think I even felt a little embarrassed, because I knew that this is exactly a failing of mine. People have tried to tell me this for decades, and I ignored them. I will take it all to heart, and yes, will tell a friend. From now on, less winging it for me, and more strategic, proactive professional development and planning. AND SCRIPTING!

    • Daniel Patterson

      Good luck! Building with systems and planning… you’re going to get it!


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