Many music schools lack a deep understanding of student retention metrics, among which churn analysis stands paramount. Churn, a metric that indicates of the rate at which students enroll and depart, is a critical metric for music schools aiming to sustain and augment their growth. This analytical approach is not merely about tracking numbers—its about deciphering the underlying factors that influence student retention and engagement (more about these factors in an upcoming blog.) So, let’s start at the beginning.

At its core, churn analysis offers a lens through which music schools can evaluate both operational effectiveness and customer satisfaction. The financial ramifications are stark. For instance, a student taking 60 lifetime lessons at an average rate of $45 per lesson generates roughly $2,700 in lifetime revenue. But, should a student leave after just 30 lessons, lifetime revenue is halved, underscoring the necessity of strategic instructor assignments and retention initiatives to optimize financial outcomes, educational quality. More importantly, understanding the drivers of churn allows schools to to intervene before losing students or instructors.

There are few software tools that can help music schools understand and manage the ins-and-outs of churn. Those schools that do think about churn may try to export data from a variety of sources (scheduling, POS, accounting) into analytics tools such as Google Looker Studio or Amazon OneSight to try and better understand the intricacies of churn, but these tools have a steeper learning curve and require significantly more expertise to setup and customization. In short, using 3rd party analytics tools requires a meticulous approach to data aggregation and analysis, demanding a higher degree of technical proficiency that is often beyond the abilities of music school operators.

The following graphic shows the impact of assigning new students to one of two instructors. Instructor “A” has an average student lifecycle of over 61 lessons, generating an average of over $2,600 for each student they are assigned. Comparatively, Instructor “B” has an average student lifecycle of under 35 lessons, generating revenue of under $1,500 for each student they are assigned. This means if 20 new students are assigned to Instructor “B” rather than Instructor “A,” the music school stands to lose $22,000 in lifetime student revenue due purely to teacher assignments. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Instructor “B’s” higher churn results in more scheduling availability, making it more likely Instructor “B” will be assigned new students.

Groov will soon release capabilities that include onboard churn analysis, as well as insights into other key performance indicators (KPIs), promising to streamline the analytics process for music school operators. This evolution will enable music schools to access actionable insights with greater ease, facilitating informed decision-making. In the interim, Groov can help schools utilize platforms like Looker Studio and OneSight, despite their complexity, and can offer substantial value in helping understanding and improving student retention strategies.

The integration of sophisticated analytics into music education is not a mere luxury but a necessity for schools committed to excellence and growth. The ability to analyze churn and other KPIs enables music school operators and their instructors to pinpoint success factors and areas needing attention, thereby enhancing the student learning experience and institutional stability. While the music education community eagerly awaits Groov’s expanded functionalities, the current landscape offers other, albeit more complex, avenues for churn analysis. These tools, when effectively utilized, can provide the insights needed to foster a nurturing and sustainable educational environment.

For further exploration of churn analysis and its applications in music education, or to stay informed on Groov’s forthcoming features, please feel free to reach out via email to

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Byrne is the founder and chief executive officer of The Real School Of Music—a multi-unit chain that, over the past 15 years, has delivered over a million music lessons. Tom is also co-founder and chief marketing officer for Groov Software for Music Schools. Tom can be reached at