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Teaching Music Classes: For Beginners

Updated: May 1, 2023


Have you ever considered earning some extra cash by starting your music teaching career? According to data from Glassdoor, the average base pay for a music teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area is around $59,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as the teacher's level of education, experience, and the type of teaching they do. Private music teachers and those who work at higher education institutions may earn more than this average ($15/hr up to $150/hr), while those who work in public schools may earn less. But before you begin your music teaching career, it's important to consider some key factors to ensure your success. In this article, we'll explore how to choose your area of specialization, determine your clientele, decide between being self-employed or working as a contracted worker, find a suitable location for lessons, and get started with your music teaching career.


While it may be tempting to offer instruction in a wide range of instruments or styles, it's important to focus on areas where you have a high level of expertise and experience. This not only ensures that you're able to deliver high-quality instruction that produces results, but it also helps you establish yourself as a credible and authoritative source of knowledge in your field.

Remember, students want to feel like they're actually learning something at the end of a lesson. By specializing in an area where you have advanced knowledge and experience, you can deliver instruction that meets this expectation and builds your reputation as an expert in your field. Plus, by focusing on your strengths, you'll be more likely to enjoy the teaching process and create a positive, engaging learning environment for your students.


This will help you focus your efforts and tailor your teaching style to meet their specific needs. When it comes to teaching music, the two main groups of potential clients are children and adults.

If you're just starting out as a music teacher, you may find it more challenging to find adult students, as they often have higher expectations in terms of your level of skill and experience. Children, on the other hand, are generally more open-minded and eager to learn, making them a great starting point for anyone looking to build up their student base.

That being said, if you're someone who doesn't enjoy being around children or doesn't have the patience required to teach them, it may be worth considering whether teaching music is the right path for you. Most music students will be kids, so it's important to enjoy working with them and be able to communicate effectively in a way that they can understand.

If you're interested in teaching adults, keep in mind that they may have more specific goals and expectations when it comes to their music education. Some may be looking to pursue a career in music, while others may simply want to learn a new hobby or improve their existing skills. As an adult music teacher, you'll need to be able to cater to these different needs and provide customized instruction that meets their individual goals and interests.

No matter which route you choose, building a successful music teaching business requires a combination of skill, dedication, and passion. By taking the time to determine your target clientele, developing your teaching style, and building a strong reputation in your community, you can create a thriving music teaching practice that allows you to share your talents and inspire others to discover the joys of music.


Starting your own music teaching business versus getting hired in an already successful one can be a difficult choice. To help with some of the decision making, former PSS audio engineer and music teacher, Liam Hardison gives some advice:

“If a teacher is going the self employed route, they shouldn't underestimate the work required to run their business. The administrative tasks of scheduling, rescheduling, invoicing, policy writing, policy enforcement, and client acquisition take a huge amount of time and effort. This is a huge benefit of working for a school with an administrative staff member and established brand.

However, teacher's typically earn more when self-employed, though it's important to remember that they'll have to pay taxes at the end of the year, so it's isn't as big of a pay difference as it appears initially. When making this decision I'd weigh a couple factors:

  • Do I want to get paid more and take on the administrative tasks of self-employment or would I rather get paid less and have those tasks covered for me?

  • How far away is the music school vs my private teaching space?

  • Does the music school offer W2 employment or 1099 contracting?

  • How soon will the music school have enough students for you to make enough money?”

Not only do self-employed teachers have to handle all the administrative tasks (without an assistant) they also have to worry about marketing their business and finding clients on their own. Getting hired in a music studio or school means that you show up to work and teach music to students you’re assigned to with no extra scouting involved.


Where will your music lesions take place? Do you have a designated studio or space in your home you would be open to sharing with clients? Home studios can cut costs when it comes to renting studio time. Although, it must be a clean and comfortable place for your students to spend at least one hour at a time. In this case, you must market to local clients as driving across town for a lesson may not be ideal for students. Avoiding this, you can offer on-the-go lessons in your clients homes. You won’t have to worry about sharing your personal address with strangers or keeping your home clean. On the contrary, you will be the one doing all the driving. To make up for this cost, you can price your lessons at a higher cost since your students are in the comfort of their own homes. As gas prices are soaring, driving anywhere may be completely out of the picture for you. You can offer online lessons via Skype or Zoom. This option allows you to market your lessons to students worldwide. Offering online lessons requires you to have a strong internet connection and a dedicated space in your home free of distractions to fully focus on your student. Not being in the same room as your students may require you to lower the cost of your lessons.



Starting a music teaching business can be overwhelming, but online courses can help. Platforms like udemy offer courses starting as low as $13.99 that can guide you through creating a successful music teaching business. These courses cover everything from business planning and marketing to scheduling and billing. It's important to research the instructor and course requirements to find one that matches your teaching style and preferences. Choose courses that offer visual aids and videos if that's how you prefer to learn. With the help of online courses, you can start and promote your music teaching business with confidence.


Create a business name that clearly reflects the service(s) you’re selling. Register your business name. Design a logo to match your company name. Consider hiring a professional graphic designer to help with your branding and design needs. A well-designed logo and website can give your business a professional and polished look, and make it more appealing to potential clients. Create a website. When creating a website for your music teaching business, it is important to ensure that it is user-friendly and provides all the necessary information that potential clients would want to know. This includes details about the types of lessons you offer, your qualifications and experience, pricing, and contact information. Get creative and add interactive features to engage clients to stay on your site longer such as videos and photos.

To make your website more engaging, consider adding interactive features such as videos and photos of your teaching sessions, testimonials from satisfied clients, and a blog section where you can share helpful tips and resources for learning music. You can also offer free resources such as music theory quizzes, printable sheet music, and other educational materials to attract more visitors to your site. Market and promote your business. Post ads on bulletins, newspapers, or local music studios and schools. Spread awareness by designing flyers and business cards or go digital by building an email list and a social media presence. When promoting your business, consider offering promotions or discounts to attract new clients. You can also reach out to local organizations or events to offer your services or sponsor a music-related activity. Additionally, consider partnering with other businesses or musicians to cross-promote your services and expand your network.


Utilize teaching aids or curriculum books to match your teaching style. There are endless resources out to teach music without having to create your own. Song books, flashcards, keyboard guides, sheet music, chord charts, just to name a few. Some of these aids have ready to go lessons for the students to follow along using different techniques that the teacher assists only when necessary. Hal Leonard, is one of the best sources for music publications where you can find teaching resources for almost any instrument. In addition to Hal Leonard, there are other great sources for music publications and teaching aids. For example, Musician's Friend and Sweetwater both have extensive collections of teaching resources and curriculum books. Music websites like Musicnotes and Sheet Music Plus also offer a wide range of sheet music and instructional materials.

When selecting teaching aids, it's important to consider your teaching style and the needs of your students. Some aids may be more appropriate for certain age groups or skill levels, while others may work better for visual or auditory learners. Experiment with different aids to find what works best for you and your students.

Remember that while teaching aids can be helpful, they should not replace the teacher's own knowledge and experience. Use them as a supplement to your own teaching and adapt them as necessary to meet the specific needs of each student.



It's also important to network with others in the music education industry. Attend local music events, join music education groups on social media, and reach out to former teachers or colleagues for potential job leads. Building relationships with other professionals in your field can often lead to job opportunities and career growth. To increase your chances of finding music teaching jobs, it's important to utilize a variety of resources. You can also reach out directly to local schools, music stores, and studios that offer music lessons. Make a list of these places in your area and send a personalized email, make a phone call, or even stop by in person to introduce yourself and express your interest in any potential job openings.


Indeed,, and Glassdoor are just a few sites you can scour to find the perfect job for you. LinkedIn is a popular professional networking platform where you can connect with recruiters and hiring managers and search for job openings. ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, and SimplyHired are also job search websites that can help you find job opportunities in your desired field. When searching for music teacher jobs in the Bay Area, it's important to research the requirements and qualifications needed for each position. Some jobs may require a degree in music education or a specific instrument, while others may only require experience playing or teaching music. Be sure to tailor your application and resume to highlight your relevant skills and experience.


With the right approach, teaching music can be a rewarding and lucrative way to share your passion with others while earning some extra income. Whether you choose to be self-employed or work as a contracted worker, you can build a successful music teaching career by defining your brand, marketing your services, and using teaching aids that match your teaching style. By following these tips and guidelines, you can create a fulfilling career that allows you to inspire others while doing something you love.

Are you ready to transform your love for music into a source of income? Our blog is your go-to guide for monetizing your skills as a musician. Whether you want to secure lucrative Bay Area gigs or explore fresh ways to generate revenue, we've got you covered. From expert insights on how to land a sync placement to effective beat selling strategies, we offer valuable resources to help you succeed.

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