Episode 029 – Lee Stockner on Going Deep to Serve Students with Special Needs

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Read the full transcript for this episode here.


Today’s guest, Lee Stockner, started out as a traditional, classical piano teacher, but when he had the opportunity to teach a student with Autism, he found some of his personal experiences with ADD made him able to relate, and teaching students with special needs became Lee’s niche.

On Lee’s journey to find ways to be a better teacher to his students, he developed creative solutions to the challenges they were facing and OTHER businesses ended up growing out of these solutions. It’s been an interesting journey!


  • Lee’s music school serves, primarily, students with special needs and autism.
  • Instead of just going “broad” and expanding instrumental offerings, Lee has also gone “deep” to serve clients better. In addition to his teaching studio, Lee has developed a special needs-friendly system of music notation and a method for teaching classical music with that notational language. Lee also trains music teachers to teach using this method.
  • When Lee reached his capacity to manage all his projects, he hired a business manager to take some work off his plate and keep his business moving forward.
  • Like most of us, Lee is susceptible to getting distracted by cool opportunities that come his way. He makes a practice of spending time at the gym in order to clear his mind and make more focused business decisions.
  • Understanding the preferences of special needs students influenced how Lee set up and operates his studio. Rather than partitioning their space into small individual studio rooms, his studio has an open floor plan.
  • Clients don’t mind paying a small premium for lessons at the Occupational Octaves music school because the environment and experience serve the students so well.
  • In his marketing, Lee has made a point to be completely honest about his experience, needs, and goals in order build a strong relationship with families.
  • It’s better to undersell and overdeliver than to promise something you can’t deliver and then disappoint a client.
  • Lee uses online digital marketing and email to spread the word about Occupational Octaves.
  • Lee and his work with Occupational Octaves has been recognized on a local tv station and in an upcoming documentary.


Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience and other works by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl 

Connect with Lee

Website: https://www.ooschoolofmusic.com/


Email: mu*****************@gm***.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/occoctavespiano/

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