Three ways that supporting musical education can create new customers.
Musical instrument sales have been steadily decreasing over the last decade, yet there are more manufacturers of musical instruments than ever. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, including a cultural shift towards digital and highly produced music and fewer live concerts that might inspire new players. Music manufacturers are having a hard time inspiring a new generation to get passionate about playing music. One approach is through education.
How Music Education Can Create New Customers
1) Inspiration Starts with Education
According to Fender, 90% of people learning to play guitar quit in the first year because it’s too hard. Clearly, few people have the patience and fortitude to self-teach. Providing access to music education, whether by connecting music teachers and students online or through online video learning programs, can bridge the gap. Does every music brand need to create a program as robust as Fender Play? Probably not. But you can participate in existing programs in your area of expertise, such as The Music Experience, a festival where people can try out guitars from brands like PRS, Fender, Gibson and more.
Bottom line: Getting creative about new ways to inspire and support future players goes a long way towards growing your customer base.
2) Empower Those Who Are Already Teaching
Shrinking public school budgets have impacted the number and quality of music education programs and limited the ability of children to develop a love of music. One way to counter this trend is by providing schools with the funds they need to reinstate such programs. Jim D’Addario, whose self-named company, D’Addario, manufactures strings for musical instruments, started the D’Addario Foundation to do just that. He says,
“We want to help those who don’t have music education in their area. We want them to be exposed to the wonders of playing music, enjoying it and learning it, because we know how it can effectively change people’s lives. Last year, we gave more than one million dollars in grants and free products to music education programs. We know how important it is. It helps kids succeed.”
Bottom line: The more music brands step in to make music education possible, the more likely it is that a new generation of players and fans will be born.
3) Get Parents on Board
Unless parents play instruments or are passionate about music, they may not encourage their kids to take lessons. Marketing directly to parents and educating them about the enriching role music can play in the lives of children may help. Your company does not necessarily have to create its own program. Your approach might be as simple as turning parents and their kids on to the School of Rock, a program that teaches kids to play instruments and perform together. There are now almost 200 branches nationwide, and every one of them is filled with the next generation of your customers. How can you leverage opportunities like that? It’s food for thought.
Bottom line: There are many barriers to making music a lifelong passion, but there is a silver lining. The number of children in the music-learning age category (5 to 13 years) is expected to rise 10% by 2030 (First Research).
Music manufacturers must embrace this critical opportunity to thrive. Now is the time for marketing teams to get inspired and be creative about finding new ways to help the next generation rock out.