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Teaching Music Classes: For Beginners


If you’re an incredibly talented musician with an affinity for sharing your knowledge with others, teaching music classes can be a lucrative way to earn some extra cash. A private music lesson can range anywhere from $15/hr to $150/hr depending on skill and experience. Ideal factors to map out before beginning your music teaching career include:


SPECIALIZATION

Choose to teach a specialization that you are advanced in. If you know the basics of guitar, don’t market yourself as an expert or offer advanced lessons. Students want to actually learn something at the end of a lesson. You also want to appear confident and experienced which may not happen if you’re learning alongside the student.

CLIENTELE

Kids, adults or both? If you’re just starting out, finding adults to teach may be difficult as they have higher standards for skill and experience than children. If you can’t stand being around children or don’t have the patience, teaching music may not be for you as most music students will be kids. You will be able to work on your own schedule however, lessons will most likely occur in the evenings or on the weekends after any obligations including school or work.

SELF-EMPLOYED or CONTRACT WORKER

Starting your own business versus getting hired in an already successful one can be a difficult choice. To help with some of the decision making, 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.

LOCATION

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.


HOW TO GET STARTED

SELF EMPLOYED MUSIC TEACHERS


  • Find online courses to launch and promote your music teaching career. Courses on udemy start as low as $13.99 and offer everything you need to start a successful music teaching business. Courses can help you create a business plan, marketing material, teaching resources, scheduling, and billing aids. Make sure to read all about the instructor, teaching style, and requirements to finish the course. If you learn better with visual aids and videos, find a course that’s offering exactly that!

  • Define your brand. Come up with a business name that clearly reflects the service(s) you’re selling. Register your business name. Design a logo to match your company name. Create a website and incorporate all the information needed for clients to contact you and inquire about your services. Get creative and add interactive features on your website to engage clients to stay on your site longer such as videos and photos. 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 social media presence.

  • 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.

CONTRACT WORKER MUSIC TEACHERS

  • Look local. Schools, music stores, and studios that offer music lessons are constantly looking for teachers. Email, call or better yet show up in person to introduce yourself and inquire about any job openings near you. Similarly, look at bulletins posted in these locations to find flyers or ads from private companies scouting for teachers.

  • Online job searching. Indeed, Monster.com, and Glassdoor are just a few sites you can scour to find the perfect job for you. Check out these entry-level opportunities found on Indeed in the Bay Area that are currently hiring music teachers. Apply ASAP, these openings will close.

  • Bay Area Music Project - Middle school Violin & Viola or Cello teachers

  • After School Music Academy - Beginner Ukulele Group and Piano Group teachers

  • Myriad Music School and Dance Academy - Guitar, Voice, Piano teachers

  • Sky Music School - Piano, Violin, Guitar Teachers

  • Village Music School - Violin, Piano, and Voice Teachers

Final words of wisdom from Liam,


“When teaching it's important to listen to your student. There is no point in being a musician if playing music isn't enjoyable, so the student's joy is a teacher's priority. They should be able to control the curriculum according to their goals. If there's a technique the student doesn't want to learn that the teacher thinks is important, it's the teacher's job to explain why this technique is important, and inspire the student to want to learn it.”


Next week we're mixing in all you need to know about selling beats! For more artist resources check out our other blog articles. Don't forget to subscribe to our mailing list to never miss a beat!


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