Author Topic: Teaching Music Lessons  (Read 3899 times)


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
  • Location: Alabama
Teaching Music Lessons
« on: February 21, 2016, 03:13:07 AM »
I have played several instruments for several years and have been thinking about teaching some lessons.  Does anyone do this?  How do you break into that market?


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1090
Re: Teaching Music Lessons
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 08:37:56 AM »
My husband is a music teacher who sometimes teaches on the side.

Really the best way is through word of mouth.  He has never gotten any responses from leaving his card on coffee shop bulletin boards.  However, his first year of teaching, he had nearly more lessons than he could handle on top of his actual job.  An experienced music teacher who worked in a rich part of town referred him to one parent who asked about private lessons, and it snowballed from there.

I imagine it's a tough field to break into if you don't have any connections, experience teaching, or any real credentials beyond playing yourself.  You may have better luck starting at one of those private companies that provide lessons, rather than trying to do this on your own. Playing in a community ensemble may also help you get some connections to get started.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Teaching Music Lessons
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 08:53:28 AM »
Haven't done music lessons, but for tutoring I just put an ad on craigslist for about $10/hour less than the average poster.  This gets you a few clients, and after 6 months or so you can raise your rates and use the first clients (and their achievements) as references. If you want to get serious about it I'd suggest talking to someone at a school or somewhere that can refer you after this point, to get your name out to troubled students.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1390
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Teaching Music Lessons
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 09:05:46 AM »
I haven't taught, but have taken lessons (voice). I also have a cousin who teaches (piano). You could see if there are any music schools in your area looking for more teachers, or any schools/colleges/universities that may refer beginner students to you. Getting your name out there is important. You could also join an organization like MNTA: If you end up with a lot of students or don't like the management side of teaching private lessons, a website like could be helpful.

One thing that I think is important to offer is performance opportunities--families of children especially like seeing their child perform and it's very good experience for kids, so if you can offer some kind of performance venue (even if it's just your living room with some extra chairs set up) and do informal performances for your students, that's really helpful.

teen persuasion

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1226
Re: Teaching Music Lessons
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 09:46:03 AM »
Our school district has a strong music program, which my kids have enthusiastically embraced.  The individual teachers generally give out a packet of contact info for people providing private lessons.  The teachers give this out at the end of the school year, to encourage students to continue over the summer break (and include upper level students to help younger beginners).  Try to contact the school system to reach the appropriate instructors, to add your name to the list.

Instrument sale/rental/repair businesses may also act as a link point for private lesson referrals.

Other ideas: substitute teacher for the music instructors, accompianist for choral groups or solos like All-County/All-State, pit for school or local musicals.

We are pretty busy all year with school music stuff.  There are 3 All-County weekends from January through February, and our youngest 2 boys at home are each in one.  Musical is in 3 weeks, so pit practice begins ramping up in frequency for DS4.  Spring concerts for each, followed by Houghton String Festival in May, and Recital usually in June for DS4 thru his private cello teacher.  There's also the random "Will you play taps on Memorial day?" things, too.  So school opens up lots of opportunities.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Teaching Music Lessons
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 10:57:39 AM »
I know several music teachers, and they generally won't do it for the money alone. It's hard work. It's even harder when the students don't practice.

Maybe you have a niche you offer, like being in a certain neighborhood that isn't well served, or having a certain schedule you can offer. Remember that the students are above all paying you for the reservation of your time.


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3502
Re: Teaching Music Lessons
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 11:06:40 AM »
My mom teaches through


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Teaching Music Lessons
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2016, 08:32:29 AM »
I used to teach piano lessons to beginning piano students. I found all of my students through word of mouth at my church. Are you part of any community group or church, especially with children, that you could pass the word out that you teach lessons? I currently don't teach anymore (too busy with my own kids' schedule and other work) but I have a friend who teaches and has a long waiting list and has offered that if I ever want to teach again to let her know and she can refer students to me.

At full disclosure, I didn't earn a ton, but it was nice side income to my husband's wages.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1645
Re: Teaching Music Lessons
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2016, 11:51:10 AM »
Ramit was highlighting a cello teacher as part of a recent campaign.  (Caveat: I have not actually watched the video)