You’re ready to take the plunge. You’ve decided to start teaching private music lessons. You just need a jump start to get going and some tips for organizing your business.
If you want to start teaching, you need 4 things:
Maybe the reason you’re so eager to teach is because you already have students.
Let me guess …
… That neighbor has heard you play your instrument and their son wants to be an awesome jazz trumpeter just like you, right?!
… Or a mom in your Bible Study group has heard you play offertories at church and just knows you would be the best teacher in the world for her talented 7-yr-old!
… Or, perhaps another teacher knows that you are studying for a music degree and wants to give you’re their students so they can finish up the Ph.D. program — (that’s my story!)
Seriously, it happens! Sometimes the students come knocking on your door.
But most likely, you will need to go looking for students. So, how do you get them?
Promote, promote, promote … then advertise some more!
Trust me — it works!
I went from 0 to 39 students in 4 months after moving to Colorado by implementing the above tasks!
You’ll need a place to teach and the two options that may come to mind first are:
However, there are many other possibilities! You can also teach at:
The first two options (students’ homes and your home) are probably the least complicated and the most used by teachers of all instruments.
To explore these options further, jump over to Deciding Where to Teach, where I discuss working for yourself vs. working for someone else, and list the pros and cons for each location.
I’ve taught in almost every type of location possible, so I’m speaking from experience!
You don’t have to wing it every week as a new teacher. Take some time to find materials that you prefer to teach from and your lessons will be so much more efficient and enjoyable. Not to mention that your students will likely learn more!
Obviously, lesson materials vary for every instrument and every teacher has their preference.
My suggestions for finding great teaching material:
Yes, you can use what you grew up on, but remember, there are many other options available, too.
4. Studio Policy
This is a very important piece of the puzzle! Take some time to develop your studio policy and remember that it will evolve over time.
Why is it so important?
You will be much better equipped to deal with situations as they arise by making decisions ahead of time, writing them clearly in a studio policy, and communicating them the first time you meet with students and parents.
So, what do you include? Here is the bare minimum:
Once you have developed your policy, create a clean layout that looks professional. Add a photo of your smiling face and get it printed on 24 lb. paper or colored paper. (Staples or Office Max will become a frequently visited spot over the years – too bad they don’t sell good coffee!)
Tip: Start Small
My studio policy started out as a one-page, one-sided, large font (to fill up the empty space) document. It evolved every few years to include more details and more concise wording.
Finally, after teaching private music lessons for 22 years, I developed a studio policy that I was totally happy with! It is complete, clearly stated, and professionally printed (and is formatted like a newsletter).
There is so much more information you may want to include in addition to the four points listed above. If you’re interested in more details and ready to put in a little extra time, download my pamphlet, Creating a Studio Policy: Your step-by-step guide.
With the following in place 1) students to teach, 2) a place to teach, 3) materials for your students to learn from, and 4) a well thought out studio policy, you’ll be ready to build a successful business!
Entrepreneur, music educator, wife, and mom of two