When you’re looking for a side business to do and you’re especially great at playing an instrument or several instruments, then why don’t you try becoming a music teacher on the side? You can go to people’s homes, have them come to you, or if you have access to another space, you can have people meet you there.
You may be thinking about how you could even get started in the business of music lessons. One essential thing is to be structured. Remember the following five quick steps to get your music lesson business up and running, and you’re bound to be very happy with the result.
You’ve got to let people know that you’re qualified and ready to give music lessons. Your clientele will most likely be kids, so you need to concentrate on parents, and where they will be. You can take out an advertisement in the paper, launch a social media account for your company, and print up signs to place in mailboxes, vehicles, or at the store.
Go down to the nearest schools to ask if they’ll help to get the message out about your classes. Local record shops may refer people to music lessons, so ask if they’re willing to help you promote your company.
Get business cards printed up and hand them out wherever you can – you can also stick them to the neighborhood bulletin boards. When those calls start coming in, be prepared to market yourself as a professional music instructor who can teach anyone at any skill level.
Create a Schedule
You have to stay on top of the times you’re personally available to teach classes, as well as of when you have someone booked. You also need to make a decision on how long your classes will be.
Half an hour is a reasonable time for kids, especially younger children with shorter attention spans. Much more than that, and you run the risk of your kids getting bored.
If you have older kids, you may be able to wing hour long sessions, so you need to think about how you’re going to break up your time slots.
Then you have to hold yourself accountable for your schedule. It may be tempting to push back a class with a client, but you and your customers need to be on time. If you keep pushing back your time, you’re going to continue to get further behind.
For those reasons, it might be best to put some time in between your classes so parents aren’t forced to wait for another session to end. This might be a red flag to parents.
You should also think about what’s going to happen if one of your clients can’t make their class because they’re sick. Give them the chance to reschedule their time slot, or pair it with a future lesson – whatever the parent prefers.
Think About Where You Plan to Hold Lessons
You’ll probably want your lesson room to be tidy and comfy. You’re also gonna want a good ambience and enough room for you, your student, and of course, your instruments.
If you plan on commuting to your students’ home, let them know what to expect from you when it comes to their practice space. Be fair and considerate; you should be asking for simple things like a firm chair for their kid to sit, a music stand, if needed, and decent lights so their kid can easily read their sheet music. Preferably, this would also be the student’s regular practice area so it shouldn’t be hard for the parent to already have.
The hardest part is determining how much you should charge for your time, but this is dependent on many factors. If you’re going to travel to them, you’ll have to consider the expense to travel. Have to rent space? You may need to pass that expense down to your client. At the end of the day, you also have to be competitive against other people in your area who teach your instrument.
Do a little bit of homework and check out what your competition is charging for similar lessons. If you’re able to travel to them, your clients may be happy to pay more for this because it means your customer doesn’t have to leave their home, but be realistic. Also, be sure to keep up with your income. If you earn more than $400 in one year, you’ll have to report it on your taxes.
The last thing you need to think about is what material you’re going to teach your student from. Find a good songbook with popular songs, vibrant colors and easy to understand. You can either ask their parents to purchase the book on their own, or you can offer it to them as an extra expense. Let the parents decide.
Be sure to have a quality music stand, additional items like cork grease or reeds, guitar strings, picks. It’s also good practice to have an instrument repair kit – you need to be ready for anything.
Offer prizes – either stickers for finishing a lesson, or candy for completing a chapter. It’s also helpful for you to have your own instrument to demonstrate to your student how to use theirs.
Once you have all of this in order, you’ll be prepared to start a profitable business giving one-on-one music classes.