Many of my students who have reached their final grades ask me how they can get into teaching. Like most teachers, they take opportunities to shadow a mentor in teaching practice. After a while, they find one or two beginner students of their own. They can extend their knowledge with teacher training and degrees. But many teachers get stuck at this point. They find it difficult to move on from teaching just a handful of beginners to making a living as a music teacher. So how can you grow your music teaching business into something that makes you some money?
If you want to get more students, you need to be proactive. Chances are your town has several teachers competing with your for students. You need to stand out from the crowd and become the most attractive option for new students. Make your Directory listing friendly and welcoming. Detail how you teach, what you teach, and the kind of students you can take on.
When you want to find more music students you need to go where they are most likely to be found. As a local teacher, you want to attend music festivals in your area, and ensure you have a stand to promote what you do. Get an advert in the window of your music shops, even if they don’t sell your instrument. And join all your local FaceBook groups, especially if they are linked to the arts and music.
To increase the number of student in your teaching studio, you could join a group of teachers working together. This might be in the form of a local music school. Or it could be an online service that distributes students as they enquire. TheMusicTeach links teachers who can teach online with students that would like lessons via Skype or FaceTime. This broadens your reach across the country.
For traditional face-to-face lessons, speak to your local Music Hub, Music School, or Local Authority. With the right qualifications and experience, you may become a valuable teaching resource for instrumental lessons in schools. Contact them to find out what they’re looking for and if you can help. Peripatetic work can be very lucrative, and you can often extend your lessons into your private studio.
Advertising is essential but it doesn’t need to be expensive. Many online phone directories offer you a basic listing for free. There are some great websites that have a directory of teachers you can list on for free. Make sure your name is on all the right sites.
As a local music teacher, you should be using a local printer service to produce postcards with your details and a short message about what you do. Add a ‘call to action’, so readers know to contact you. Pop one through every household door in your immediate area. You can use your local newspaper to distribute them through your entire district, but they may charge. Your card may also get buried beneath all the other bits that get stuffed into the paper.
Your current students should be spreading the word about how great their lessons are. If they are excited about your lessons they will tell their friends. Make sure your teaching inspires the students and give them the chance to perform publicly. These recitals will draw crowds of family and friends that will want to know who the teacher is. You should have business cards ready to distribute.
Your school-age students probably like to play music with their friends. Invite them to bring their friend to a lesson so you can hear their performance together. Start a FaceBook page and post your successes. You can ask parents and students to join the page and make their own contributions. This helps your name become better known as a music teacher.
To acquire more students for your music teaching business, you need to be a good teacher. You need to publicise your successes and encourage your students to talk about their lessons. Help them to make music with their friends. And offer them recital and performance opportunities every term. Keep in touch with the schools, and be part of the wider music community. Grow your music teaching business with TheMusicTeach by registering as an online teacher.