Did you know that moms are the #1 most powerful force in music retail for kids? Friends, family, teachers, and pop stars all play a role in sparking kids’ early love for music, but the ultimate decision-maker for most children’s first instrument experience is usually mom.


Pew Research found that 54% of American children age 6 to 17 have taken some kind of music-related lessons. But if mom doesn’t step in to provide early musical guidance, 85% of adults who don’t play musical instruments end up wishing they would have learned to play as a child.


For music retailers, this means kids’ desire to play music is there, but local businesses must find ways to get instruments into their hands. The best way: through moms.


Mom’s Music Influence: Following the Money

Don’t get us wrong: Dads and grandparents play a big role too – especially if they’re musicians themselves. But when you look at retail statistics, moms tend to hold the purse strings.


Some stats about female heads-of-household in the U.S.:


  • 91% make the final decision about new home purchases
  • 89% select the family’s banking provider
  • 80% make the family’s health care decisions
  • 66% choose a new computer
  • 65% pick out a new car
  • 58% make all family online purchases

Willingness to Spend

Let’s look at spending on music lessons for kids. Parents magazine asked parents across the U.S. to share how much they spend on kids’ extracurricular instruction. Their responses varied widely, from $425 a month to $10,000 a year. Isn’t it interesting that the lowest response was still more than a few hundred dollars a month?


It’s also worth noting that many parents said they’d be willing to spend even more, if their child really wanted or needed it. In fact, the author of the Parents article herself said she spends $3,000 a year on her kids’ piano lessons and would be willing to pay more.


Misunderstood Moms

Connecting with moms is important – but it’s also crucial to do it the right way. One survey of more than 5,000 moms found that many felt mom-focused marketing was patronizing and a poor fit for their families.


  • 46% felt that most brand marketing creates pressure and unrealistic ideals
  • 35% felt ‘pigeonholed’ by brands
  • 28% felt that mom-focused marketing tends to be sexist


So how can your music shop place a high value on reaching moms, while connecting with them in a way that truly resonates? Here are some ideas.


Hire More Moms

People like to shop at stores where they feel welcome – where they feel like they fit in. With that in mind, mom and business novice Liz Reisman bought a struggling music store in Easton, Connecticut and made it the region’s most successful music enterprise. The Creative Music Center is now ranked on the National Association of Music Merchants Top 100 list.


Reisman did it by creating a store that felt welcoming to moms. “Moms are typically making the purchasing decisions when it comes to music lessons,” she said. “I know how they should be approached.”


Invite Moms to In-Store Events

Another way to connect with moms is to outright invite them into your store. Offer special discounts for instructions that are popular with parents of young children, like piano and voice lessons. Show that you care about music education for their children.


Your shop could also host an event that focuses helping moms and children familiarize themselves with your instruments. Sometimes called ‘play dates’ or ‘meet the instrument’ events, these gatherings allow kids and moms to explore music in a casual, low-pressure environment.


Many music retailers are finding success with wine and dine events, which offer free wine and food during an open house. These events tend to appeal to working women and moms, especially if they are marketed as a ‘mom’s day out’ with lots of free giveaways.


Have a Presence at Festivals

Or reverse it: Instead of inviting moms to your store, seek them out at community events. Buy a booth at a farmers’ market or local festival, and bring along some unusual instruments and talkative musicians. Show that you’re a local authority in music education.


Don’t forget to tie the event back to your brand. Offer a coupon parents can use later at your store or website, and these events will become drivers of foot traffic for your business.


Connect Through Mom-Involved Groups

It’s also a good idea to develop relationships with local moms through school groups, churches, and parent organizations. Homeschool groups are also filled with moms that are hungry for low-cost education ideas.


As you reach out to these groups, keep in mind that authenticity is key in reaching moms – especially millennial-aged moms, who tend to be very suspicious of sales pitches. If you come across as salesy and pushy, this audience will probably be wary of connecting with you.


Stay Social

For a music retailer, social media is a key part of reaching moms and staying connected with them over time. One study found that 97% of young moms find social media to be somewhat to extremely helpful in parenting, and 85% of them walk through stores with their smartphones in hand, making buying decisions with the help of social media.


Now’s the time to ramp up your store’s presence on social media and show moms you understand their needs.


  • Offer social media exclusive discounts, which appeal to lower-income and stay-at-home moms.
  • Share photos of new instruments and successful young musicians on Instagram, which 93% of moms use weekly and 68% use daily.
  • Make frequent posts on Facebook, where millennial moms have an average of 500 friends and enjoy following brands they like.
  • Invite moms to join an a special deals club, because 68% of millennial parents won’t stay loyal to brands that don’t offer good discount programs.
  • Spread the word on social media about your charitable donations and volunteerism, because 54% of young moms will choose a company based on giving to good causes.


The theme here is that moms want to feel understood and welcomed by retailers, but they don’t want to feel pressured by them. Moms prefer to spend money with companies that genuinely care about their family’s needs. Show a mom you care, and she’s much more likely to become a lifetime customer.


For more music retail tips like these, download Octave Media’s ebook How To Reach New Music Retail Audiences. It’s packed with tips for music retailers in search of new customers and revenue.


8 Tips for Music Retail Stores Looking to Expand Reach and Maximize Revenue