If you’re an accomplished musician, it can be difficult to find steady work as a performer. For this reason, many musicians turn to teaching as a fulfilling and more dependable source of income. Teaching private music lessons can be an easy way to earn money doing what you love while passing on your passion to the next generation. However, it requires some planning and attention to detail if you want to be successful and draw more students to your studio.
Tips to Consider When Starting Your Own Studio
Before you enroll your first student, make sure you have everything lined up and in order, so you can build a more lucrative business.
1. You Need Some Type of Management Software
There are a lot of details to keep track of when your business starts growing, from scheduling and payments to contact with parents or guardians. Consider purchasing a management software program designed with music studios in mind, such as My Music Staff, to help you stay on top of everything and avoid costly mistakes. With certain programs, you can request and accept payments, easily schedule or move lessons, and even provide useful information and feedback for students to help them improve their skills at home.
2. You Need Good Instruction and Performance Spaces
Many private music teachers start out by teaching lessons in their own homes or by traveling to the homes of their students. If you want your students to come to you, you’ll need to keep a few logistics in mind, including:
Providing ample and convenient parking for students
Ensuring pets and other household members do not disturb the practice space
Keeping your home organized, clean, and ready for students and their families
Designating a space for parents to wait during lessons
A good instructor provides students with at least one musical performance opportunity a semester, so it’s important that you have a space for recitals or showcases as well. Community centers and churches are a good place to start. You can organize performances at community events or nearby nursing homes as well. Either way, make a plan to give your students a chance to show off what they’ve learned while giving them a goal to work toward.
3. You Need To Advertise Well in Your Area
Getting your name out as a music instructor is pivotal if you want to attract new students to your business. It can take time to build a good reputation until word of mouth is all you need to keep new clients trickling in. Until then, it’s worth the investment to strategically advertise in your area. Create a website and consider adding your information to online platforms that help people search for local instructors. Social media is a must if you really want to get the word out quickly. You can also find ways to advertise throughout the community on bulletin boards in libraries, community centers, and performance venues. Give your information to local music shops as well, assuming they don’t offer lessons of their own.
4. You Need To Plan Ahead for No-Shows and Unexpected Changes
One of the disadvantages of running a lesson studio is the fact that not all students follow through on their commitments. Some music facilities do charge the full rate for no-shows but do not require payment if lessons are canceled at least 24 hours in advance. While this policy may draw more students to your business, it could also cost you serious cash that makes it difficult to budget. It’s a good idea for private studios that are just starting out to require a monthly lesson fee rather than payment per session. This helps students and their parents take lesson commitments more seriously while giving you a little extra cushion when no-shows or cancellations do occur. Even with good planning, keep in mind that your income is still likely to fluctuate from month to month.
When it comes to teaching private music lessons, there are many benefits to enjoy, including creating a schedule that works for you while making a positive impact on the people in your community. If you want to turn music instruction into a profitable career choice, it’s possible with the right tools and approach. A good plan can help you start and grow your studio into a lucrative and fulfilling business.