Teaching music lessons in your free time can be an excellent source of side income while you create and play your own music.
There are several advantages private music teaching affords over a more traditional part-time job. Here are a few:
* Flexible schedule – You dictate your availability
* Hourly rate – Where else are you going to make up to $100 an hour?
* Satisfaction – It’s rewarding to guide someone from little (or zero) knowledge to playing an entire song
Starting out can be the toughest obstacle for private music teaching. Here are three ways, if done consistently, you will have potential students contacting you in the next 30 days:
1) Ask for referrals from busy music instructors or ones that don’t do travel or online lessons
Why would a busy instructor give you a referral instead of putting a student on their waiting list? Well, unless the student or their parent(s) are set on that teacher, the music teacher will likely lose that student to another instructor with an opening anyway.
Contact an instructor via email or phone and ask if they receive inquiries they have to turn down. Let them know you are starting out as a music instructor but ensure that you give quality lessons and their referral will not hurt their reputation. Make sure to give them a small gift each time they do refer someone that ends up taking lessons with you. If the instructor could make referrals but is hesitant about doing so, offer to give them the first lesson fee for each student they refer. That’s difficult to pass up. This also motivates you to do a good job teaching so the student comes back for additional lessons and your time with that student was not wasted.
How do you find instructors that likely have a waiting list? Start with Google. Enter your instrument + lessons + your location. The top couple search results likely receive more inquiries for lessons than they can handle.
Instructors also receive inquiries for at-location (student’s home) or online lessons. But many instructors choose not to travel or do online lessons. If you’re willing to do either (or both!), let that instructor know so they can refer those types of students.
2) Create a simple (free) online presence for your music teaching
A website or landing page makes it easy for potential students (or their parents) to do due diligence on you. This is where you build trust and offer an additional means for them to contact you. It shouldn’t be fancy. A website or landing page with background information about you, your teaching method, maybe lesson rates, and contact information is all that’s needed to start. Here are two free ways to accomplish this:
A) Sign up for Music Teacher’s Helper forever free account, where you can easily create a music teaching profile. Potential students can enter their information with an online form to be contacted about lessons.
B) Create an about.me page. It’s a visually appealing landing page maker. All your info on a single, easy to digest page.
And if you’d like to build a professional music teacher website, check out HostBaby and try it FREE for 30 days!
3) Spend 30 minutes each week advertising on Craigslist & offline locations
Yes, parents and adult students do search Craigslist for music lessons. So create one ad for parents of potential young students and one ad for potential adult students. Include your contact info and a link to your website. Remember, your website helps build trust and authority. Repost that ad once a week on Craigslist so it stays near the top. Just make sure your ad copy appeals to their emotions and needs, which will increase the likelihood someone seeing it is convinced enough to take action.
Next, print copies of those two ads. Always have a stack with you, and whenever you end up in a retail spot that has a bulletin board (i.e. local grocery store, coffee shop, or music store that don’t offer lessons), pin up your ads. Those bulletin boards are cleaned off occasionally. That’s why you should always have a stack. So you can make sure you always have an ad up there.
These three activities take less than two hours a week. Enjoy teaching the instrument or skill you’ve mastered. And enjoy the extra income.