Many people want to make money as musicians, few actually can. If you want to keep your hand in the music field, and make enough money to get by, careers in music are the way to go.
Private music teachers make up a significant proportion of the careers in the music job stream. We’ll look at what they need to do in order to be successful.
Music Careers: Private Music Teacher
Qualifications to being a private music teacher
This depends entirely upon your chosen career path. If you have sufficient knowledge, years of experience and a keen eye for teaching people, you should be all set for a career as a private music teacher.
However, students want to see a history of certification in music teaching. It is important to have some sort of certificate, from an accredited local institution, that qualifies you to teach music, or that qualifies you as one who is proficient in music. Working with an established music lessons company also helps build credibility. If you are teaching children it may also be beneficial to have some sort of criminal records check certificate handy for parents who are nervous.
Building your private lesson clientele
A private music teacher has to do their own PR. Advertising your services in key locations is essential to your survival, especially at first when you have a minimal amount of referral and word of mouth advertising.
Common places to advertise include:
- Craigslist and other similar sites
- Social networking sites
- Local music instrument shops
- CD and record stores
- Your local newspaper
- Flyers handed out at music events
Your own creativity is important here, and knowing your community is essential.
Payments and receipts
There is usually no contract signed between you and your students. You will want to track payments with written statements which you keep a copy of and give a copy to your student. That way you will both have a record that tracks the fact that you have been paid and disputes are easier to solve.
When it comes to the payment itself, insisting on the payment up front before the lesson begins should be a requirement. Some teachers will also allow for block payments for lessons up front so that cash doesn’t have to be handled on a daily basis.
Supplementing with regular work
A way that many private music teachers build their clientele and word of mouth is by first working at a local school, studio or music store with lessons being offered. Not only is this a great way to meet new students, but it can also help you network with people who will be useful to you once you go entirely independent.
The great thing about working as a music teacher, when you want to have a life in music, is that it keeps you sharp and learning too. Forgetting the basics, the same ones that you teach your students, can be easy when you’re steeped in advanced music theory later on in your career. Teaching others the basics continually teaches them to you again as well – making you a better musician.