It’s no secret that teachers often feel unfairly paid for the amount that they do. For instrumental teachers, it’s a similar story: you’re at the mercy of a disorganised and chaotic system – generally paid an hourly lesson rate, but parents and schools demand a lot of your unpaid time. Rearranging missed lessons can leave you out of pocket and, frankly, the amount you do is not reflected in the amount you are paid. Pay also doesn’t necessarily relate to how musically qualified you are. So naturally, you’re frustrated.
Here are three things you can do to find out how much you’re actually worth as a teacher, and make yourself more valuable:
1. Talk to Other Teachers
No one likes to talk about it, but we have to support one another when it comes to pay – especially when we know how tough the climate is. Rather than undercutting each other, we should be helping fellow teachers earn what they deserve to earn. The MU rate for individual lessons or small groups is £35 an hour*, but location and teaching experience should be taken into consideration.
2. Be in Demand
One reason that teaching pay is so inconsistent is because of the demand for you as a teacher. Parents are in a prime position to see which instrumental teachers consistently produce the best players. The names of their favoured teachers get passed around from person to person, which means the teacher spends their career being sought after and ends up with waiting lists. If the demand for you is high? You can increase your pay. So, ask parents to recommend you to their friends, colleagues and other parents at the school. You could even test your fee by increasing it for new students and measuring the response.
3. Streamline your Pay
You may not think that this one actually earns you more money, but in making sure that you:
- get paid on time and
- seriously cut down on hours and hours of needless admin time
you won’t be working as many unbillable hours, and you will know how much money is coming in. By setting up your online payments with Practice Pal, we automatically send out invoices and follow-up requests for payments until they’re received. None of us want to spend extra time awkwardly chasing after unpaid invoices, so this much-loved feature is here to make your finances much easier.
4. Sign Up to our Mailing List
We want to help you earn what you deserve to earn. With our help, it’s not only possible, it’s smooth and straightforward. By signing up to our mailing list, you’ll gain access to our music teachers’ community, complete with tips, tricks and support for your music teaching business.
It’s time to embrace teaching! How much more could you earn if you make it worthy of your time and effort? Be in demand. Invest time and build a reputation to be the teacher to have. Then you set the amount of teaching you’re willing to do each week and you can determine your rates. Rates should factor in the work you do outside the lesson into your lesson fee and make the most of any gaps in the day to reduce evening preparation. Talk to other teachers about pay and don’t shy away from it. Be part of a community that nurtures you and provides a platform so that the more difficult conversations don’t have to be difficult. Then, you can embrace a new feeling of success, satisfaction and pride in what you do.
*correct as of MU rates 2020/2021