I’m not a big fan of giving discounts. I have found that some people expect discounts, almost like it is their right to a discount. They aren’t as appreciated and they don’t typically treat it serious as maybe they would a scholarship, for example…
Every once in a while you might come across a student that needs to quit lessons due to financial difficulties. Sometimes, it’s a student that you really don’t want to lose because they are very dedicated and come to lessons prepared each week, the parents are supportive, the student is advancing well and it just hurts you to see them quit knowing they have so much potential and love for music. I have had this happened to me several times over the years and I just can’t bare to let them go. So I offer these families a partial scholarship through the MusicLink Foundation. While I can still offer a studio scholarship on my own, I like to make these scholarships more official, I feel that they are treated more seriously since they are represented by MusicLink. Now even though the teacher does not get any sort of reimbursement from MusicLink when offering scholarships to their students, there are several benefits to going through MusicLink.
First what exactly is MusicLink? Taken from their website, “The MusicLink Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks out promising music students in need and links them with qualified music teachers willing to teach them at up to half their normal fee for as long as the student is committed to the lessons.”
Now for some of the benefits of offering a scholarship through MusicLink:
–Discounts on music and materials– Several publishers have partnered up with MusicLink and have extended discounts to MusicLink Scholarship students. Sometimes the music is even free! A great benefit that students can use!
–Grass Roots Grants for MusicLink Program– This program can provide reimbursement to teachers for student music and event fees.
–Assistance with instruments– MusicLink receives thousands of donated instruments that they are able to pass to MusicLink Scholarship students.
–Music Camp Scholarships– This provides the opportunity for students to attend the music camp of their choice through the MusicLink camp scholarship program.
One of my favorite things about MusicLink is the policy form that the parents and students sign. This form spells out the responsibilities of the family, student and teacher during the scholarship period. I like this because if you find students are taking their scholarship for granted and sliding on their responsibilities (coming unprepared to lessons, etc…) the scholarship can be removed if the requirements aren’t being met. I also think it’s a good idea to put a time period on the scholarship (ie: 1 year) and then re-evaluate when the term is up if there is still a financial need.
Regardless if you use MusicLink or come up with your own studio scholarship, they are a great option to help those dedicated students in your studio that you don’t want to see go.