How to start teaching private music lessons

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Teaching music can be a real joy – as music teachers, we know the real thrill it is to see that your passion and enthusiasm has been transferred to someone else. But music teaching is about way more than just teaching. In fact, it can sometimes feel that the work you put into being a music teacher involves very little teaching. Welcome to a world of scheduling, rescheduling, travelling, equipment buying, child-sitting, salary negotiating and timetable mastering. 

At Practice Pal we want you to take charge of your music teaching business, and so we’re going to start you off with three fundamentals to consider when you consider how to become a private music teacher.

Create a business plan for teaching music

Here’s the exciting part. You’ve decided to become a private music tutor – a career path taken by up to two-thirds of musicians. But you need to work out why. What’s your vision? Is this part of a portfolio career, or do you want to be the greatest music teacher of all time? Write down your business plan – what do you want to achieve, and how are you going to achieve it? Where are you going to find your customers and how are you going to approach them? Having something solid worked out before you start means that you are taking yourself, and your business seriously. If you ever feel lost or flustered in your day-to-day teaching, you will be able to go back to your business plan to remind yourself of what you set out to do, and if you are sticking to it.

How much to charge for music lessons

One of the biggest and most frequent conversation threads on music teacher forums is pay. How much should you charge? When do you increase your prices? What does everyone else charge? The Musician’s Union gives a standard hourly rate (£35 an hour), but that’s just a starting point. Location and teaching experience should also be taken into consideration when thinking about what you’re charging. When starting out, make sure you make friends with and talk to other teachers. No one likes to talk about money, but we need 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.

Promote your music teaching business

Unless you are finding all your students through existing contacts, you need to find a way to get yourself out there. And these days, an online presence is not only possible – it’s expected. By having an online presence as a music teacher, you can create a real buzz and help potential students know how talented you are as a musician, as well as your personality that makes them really want to be taught by you!

Here are a few ways you can use online tools to build a reputation:

  • Create a website and keep it up to date! Keep it concise, clean and fresh. There are lots of great website builders out there – we recommend Squarespace or Rocket Spark
  • Set up your business on Google and get students’ and their guardians to write reviews online reviews
  • Build a social media presence – post feedback from parents, celebrate your students (with permission from guardians) and show off your own skills! We recommend Later – it’s an easy to use scheduling tool with a free plan that should give you all you need when you start out

Music teacher management made easy

When working out your vision, we’re pretty sure you haven’t included “getting bogged down by billing, scheduling and communications”. But for so many teachers their weeks are spent creating their own workflows and processes in order to manage their different students. You aren’t becoming a private music teacher to spend your days doing admin. We created Practice Pal so you can focus on doing what you love. Be in full control of your teaching timetable, earn more money, and enhance the teaching experience from day one of teaching private music lessons. Our end-to-end scheduling, billing and communication platform means you can be the most professional music teaching business you can be, without having to think up processes for yourself.

Start teaching private music lessons the way you want to continue and grow your business – put all your organisation and lesson delivery in one place with Practice Pal. Create your account and see how Practice Pal can turn your music teaching dream into a fully-fledged music teaching business.

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