Margot Kulik

Flexible Singing Lessons
with Margot: A
Punch Card Success

Margot Kulik has been running her own signing school, “Zingen met Mar,” in Zoetermeer, Netherlands, for over a year now. She teaches in person and online, utilizing the good old punch card system rather than a running subscription. Students easily schedule their lessons via Vev at their own convenience and can reschedule if something comes up.

Greatest passion

"Singing is simply my greatest passion," says Margot candidly from her studio at home. After studying at the conservatory, she knew she wanted to work with other people: "I think my strength is that I very much check with the student what singing means to them; where it comes from, how it feels, what do you like, what don't you like. I'm not going to bombard students with all kinds of different techniques and say 'This is what you have to do, go figure it out.'

Listening carefully to what someone's goal is, and responding to that, allows Margot to tailor the lessons completely. "If you just like to sing a few songs, I'll be happy to do that with you and help you. But if you want to get really technical about it, I think that's also really cool to help with," she explains.

"Everyone is welcome," Margot emphasizes, "I really tailor-make a program for you, that's where my strength lies."

Own singing school

Margot studied at the conservatorium alongside high school and already knew she wanted to become a teacher. First low-key to fellow students, later she ended up teaching at various music schools. She was able to quickly master teaching this way and worked with a variety of teaching methods. Margot: "I assessed carefully what worked well, but also what didn’t. Slowly but surely, I managed to develop my own method".

It radiates from Margot that she gets a lot of energy from her students and working with people. So, after her conservatory studies, she enrolled in a new study to become a social worker. The irregular work schedule made it difficult to combine work with the regular teaching days at the singing schools. Margot: "I knew. I don't have the time anymore to have one fixed teaching day a week, so I have to set things up in a different way."

From there, she decided to start her own business to keep her working hours and days flexible.

Margot created an Instagram page for her business and placed an ad on SuperProf. "That's how it took off. I didn't take students from the singing school I was working at, so I started from scratch."

Punch card

Many singing schools offer monthly subscriptions, but given the irregularity of her job as a social worker, that wasn't a convenient option for Margot. "That's how I ended up with this punch card system; it really revolved around having that flexibility. Of course, it offers me a lot of flexibility, but students also reap the benefits from that”, says Margot.

Margot: "Many music schools offer their lessons on a fixed schedule. So if you go on vacation outside of their vacation schedule, you miss out on one or two lessons already. And mind you, you pay a pretty penny for those subscriptions. Now students are free to say ‘Margot, I won’t be here for a month’. And I’m like, no problem - we’ll schedule the next lesson when you are back”.

a woman in a sweater is singing into a microphone

Online classes

In addition to in-person classes in her own space at home, Margot has also recruited students from Sweden and Belgium through SuperProf. "It kind of originated from covid, where everything had to be remote. But I found that it actually worked super well. I also want to offer people that live a bit further away the ability to take affordable singing lessons."

a woman in a sweater and satin skirt is drinking from a glass through a straw .


In the early days, Margot focused on getting good reviews. This tactic has paid off: "If you type in "singing lessons Zoetermeer" or "singing lessons Zuid-Holland" on Google, you will find my business right away."

Good reviews on SuperProf also made her climb quickly in their search results, with foreign students as a result: "The moment you get good reviews, you automatically move up the ranks."

Margot shares a practical tip: "The way I approached it was to create a general message with a link, with text along the lines of: 'I would appreciate it if you’d write an online review for me. It can be something nice or something constructive for me to work on.' And you know, a bunch of people left a review right away, and others didn’t. That's fine by me.”


Margot also consciously chooses to keep her singing lessons affordable. "If you compare it to singing lessons at a music school, you can easily spend a hundred euros a month just to have half an hour of private lessons every week. I think singing lessons should be available to everyone, that's why I keep my rates low."

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I think singing lessons should be available to everyone, that's why I keep my rates low

a woman is sitting in a chair holding a green electric guitar .

Developing yourself

Because the lessons are at Margot's home, it took her a while in the beginning to find her bearings on exactly how to go about it. "I remember well that with the first student, I wanted everything to look squeaky clean at home. You come into my house, then you stand in the hallway, and then go right up the stairs. So, luckily, you don't have to go through an entire living room first. But I know that in the beginning, I felt very strongly that I needed to deep-clean the hallway and stuff. Now I’m a bit more relaxed about that part, sure, it has to look good for people, but it was also a matter of developing your own routine with this".

Margot: "That applies to everything you do for the first time. Afterward, you think, here or there I want to pay extra attention next time. You have to figure out for yourself what is really important, find out what works for you, and develop yourself from there".

You also go through that development with teaching, Margot knows: "Sometimes a lesson doesn't flow so well, or someone asks you a question you don't know the answer to at that moment. That’s all okay. You know you can do it. You have to rely on that, otherwise you wouldn't have started this company".

Future dreams

"If I wanted to, I could do it full-time. Teaching singing is in my blood. It truly is my passion. But I have to say that I also really like the balance of working as a social worker. I like being able to do something for other people; I strike that chord in both jobs. Who knows, maybe in a few years I change my mind," Margot says with a laugh.

Teaching singing is in my blood. It truly is my passion

In talking about her dreams for the future, having her own space outdoors is high on Margot's wish list: "I've now built up 30, 35 students in a year. I think an external space, with a nice stage where my students can perform and show off what they have been working on, would be really cool".

If she moved to full-time, Margot would quickly look for a suitable space: "Also, then it all feels just a bit more professional than when you teach at home. Yet at the moment, it is also very convenient, because as soon as I have a break, I am just at home and can do whatever I want."

Working with Vev

Margot has been working with Vev for a few weeks now. Previously, she would schedule a new lesson with the student at the end of the lesson or via WhatsApp. "As you can imagine, I'm always reachable, but that also means that if you're away for a night, you can suddenly have five messages to reschedule a lesson. I found Vev and it was very easy to create a page. Within an hour you have a page up and running. I thought I'd try it out and see how it works. Coincidentally, a day later I had a student over and immediately went over how it works and whether it was user-friendly. Everyone was so excited about Vev, and so was I, because I don't have to start scheduling classes in my spare time anymore. So that's perfect, a true time saver. Thanks to Vev you have a lot more time to spend with your students on the actual teaching."

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Thanks to Vev, you have a lot more time to spend with your students on the actual teaching

a woman in a sweater is singing into a microphone

Piece of advice

As a piece of advice for others who are thinking about starting a business, Margot doubles down on starting small. "Of course, you want to go all out right from the beginning, but you have to keep it achievable. So set a nice goal for yourself that you think is realistic and within that, you form small sub-goals that you can tick off. For example when it comes to profiling yourself on Google. I started doing that two months ago, even though my business has been around for just over a year now. I justified waiting with that. First, just take a look at how you can start small to bring in your first customer. That would already be super cool, wouldn’t it? From there, you work your way up.

Key lessons

If you want to open your own singing school like Margot, here are the five most important lessons to take away from this interview:

  1. Listen to your customers: Personalize your offerings by listening carefully to your customers' wants and needs.
  2. Offer flexibility: Use flexible booking options, such as strip cards, to accommodate both your and your customers'schedule.
  3. Leverage technology for efficiency: Take advantage of online platforms and tools to organize and offer your services, providing wider reach and time savings.
  4. Importance of positive reviews: Actively collect good reviews to increase your visibility and attract new clients.
  5. Start small and think realistically: Set achievable goals and grow steadily, without overwhelming yourself.

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