In almost any business, competition is fierce. Particularly in the music lesson business there seems to be a music school on every corner and this often leads to potential students asking us: “what’s different about the Music Lab?”. This is a great question because the answer leads to the reason that we have been able to more than double in size over the past two years and our amazing team continues to grow. On a phone call, we are usually restricted in time to explain so we do our best but in this week’s blog we would like to take the opportunity to explain at a much deeper level so let’s get right to it. There are two major factors that separate us and allow us to beat out the competition: our team and our focus. These are very broad terms so allow us to explain on a more specific level.
Firstly, our focus. Our focus is directly on the student. As is common in our industry, we don’t just provide the minimum and then do what we can with marketing to make sure we can achieve the highest volume possible(i.e. simply providing four walls with an instrument inside of it and hope for the best). We constantly ask the question, ‘What does the student NEED to become better?’. This is evident in all the tools we’ve never stopped adding and improvements that we have never stopped making. To name a few, we have two full acoustic kits in multiple rooms so that both the student and instructor are never limited in what they are trying to learn. We do not use electronic kits due to volume limitations so the students feel of the drum set is never compromised in any way. Each room is equipped with headphone amplifiers mounted onto the walls with 4 outputs so that the instructor, the student, and even parent can listen in on anything the student is playing to practicing to. A key part of learning is hearing/seeing a recording of yourself for constructive criticism. To achieve this, we equip our drum rooms with a Yamaha EAD10 module that is designed to record the quality mixed audio AND video of the student playing on the kit to a song. For our piano students, we have them take lessons on quality upright acoustic pianos for the full experience. For our guitar students, we always make sure we are fully equipped with different amps, guitars of multiple sizes, so there are never any issues with new trial students or current students that may have forgotten their instrument. Most of our rooms are very large and spacious so the parent can comfortably sit in on the lessons if they would like. We also do not limit our focus on the student to the lesson room. We do recitals each year to give the student an opportunity to perform and experience the feeling of the ‘bright lights’. This year, we are doing our first band class(due to popular demand) where we will have students get the chance to play in a band and experience at a very young age what it’s like to communicate musically with others in a band. For new students, we have begun equipping them with a few starters such as Vater Music Lab drumsticks for our drum students, Music Lab guitar straps for our guitar students, Music Lab branded binders, a hard-copy of learning material for each new piano student, etc… We have begun doing this because we want to help the student focus as much as humanly possible on learning instead of the small things that we can take care of for them. Our offerings are endless and are never focused on volume. We are focused on the student and ask ourselves daily what can we continue to add to help the student in their musical journey.
Secondly, our team. In today’s market, you will hear almost any business talk about their great team. This will usually mean people that they have hired or contractors they pay to perform certain duties that the business needs such as marketing, branding, etc… At Music Lab Rocklin, our ‘team’ is a group of people that have a vested interest in making the brand unique through their love of music. Our marketing team has a vested interest. Each Music Lab location owner has a vested interest. Our instructors have a vested interest. To explain more specifically, we don’t have a separate company that offers us the same services as anyone else. Our marketing team actually a part of the Music Lab itself. Why is this so key and so difficult for competitors to match? The vast majority of the music lesson industry is set up in two ways. One is a single owner that opens up their own shop and the other is a corporate business/franchise focused on profit. When one single owner begins a brand in a small business, as is usually the case in our industry, by nature they are extremely defensive of their brand. This falls into our favor every time as all the responsibility and performance falls on one person. The owner will be responsible for ordering all marketing, hiring, creating content, etc… and in every case, this requires some aspect of the business to suffer such as musical knowledge, knowledge of personnel being hired, ability to come up with new ideas, etc… In the end, this challenge directly negatively effects the customer(students). The Music Lab’s model allows each individual owner to completely focus on improving conditions for only their students while vested partners work on marketing, hiring, brand growth, etc… We are also not a franchise. We are a team of musicians, marketers, and businessmen that hold licenses in the use of the Music Lab brand with ego’s set aside. Again, this causes us to win every time. The other form we compete against is the corporate/franchise businesses that offer music lessons. The advantage we have against that model is pretty obvious. We are not so profit-focused that our instructor quality suffers due to low pay, low investment in facility improvement, etc… for the satisfaction of either investors or franchise owners. This leads to one of our biggest assets we have as a team and that is our instructors. Our instructors are a group of motivated, educated, and experienced individuals that love what they do because we have an ownership team that focuses on keeping their students happy via constant innovative tools and ideas which leads to a great environment overall.
To summarize, there is no music lesson business as unique as ours with the team and focus we have. Our owners put the student as the focus. Our owners are an incredibly vested ownership team that includes CPA musicians, marketing company owner musicians, and touring musicians on a national touring level. This has led to the doubling of the business over the past couple of years and we are extremely excited for the future as we will never stop putting our skills and experience to use for our students.