Music Lessons Business Idea

Scott Pollack - Piano Lessons in Your Home-914.235.5416

VideoVoom 1/7/2008

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Business Summary:

If you have musical talent, whether it’s in voice, piano, guitar or just about any instrument, you can use that talent to give music lessons that bring in significant income. The most common model is the piano teacher who gives lessons in her home. But music lessons can also be given at the student’s home, at a leased commercial space, or in arrangement with a music store. Some people enjoy teaching through their school system’s community education program. Wherever you decide to give lessons, you might give them in a group (with guitar, for example) or individually, adjusting the costs accordingly. Your student can either buy or rent her instrument – you can provide the necessary music lesson books, with your student reimbursing you. Whatever you ultimately decide about where to give lessons and what to charge, you’ll love the flexibility that this business affords.

Start Up Cost: Varies – $2,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

Of course, you must have reached a certain level of proficiency with voice or instrument in order to feel comfortable teaching it to others. Make sure that you have a quiet, intimate space in which to teach, and do avoid interruptions if you can. It’s important to know when to bring out a piece that’s fun, after half an hour of playing scales. Giving positive reinforcement is a vital part of teaching any skill – finding the right mix of working hard and inserting breaks for jazz or pop is essential. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy your work and neither will your students. Another skill you’ll want to master (and it’s an easy one) is being able to digitally record your students’ work. Have a techie friend work with you on your computer for an afternoon and you’ll be ready.

How Much Can You Earn:

Prices for music lessons vary greatly, depending on the geographical area, whether you’re teaching in a big city or small town, and your own level of skill. Generally, group lessons run from $10 to $20 per hour per student, and individual lessons will run about $40 per hour. Ask other teachers in your area what they charge in order to get a feel for local lesson pricing.

Understanding Customers:

Many people, regardless of age, approach music lessons with a certain amount of trepidation. You’ll need to project a professional but warm approach to each student. There’s a lot for beginners to learn, with a great deal of repetition and practice time, but you can put your customers at ease and help them to understand the benefits of mastering their instrument. Your teaching skills will develop as you work with different types of students and learn what approach works best for you and for them.

Marketing Strategy:

Your students and your students’ parents (in the case of your very young students) will be only too happy to spread the word that you give music lessons. Still, you will want to advertise in the local newspaper. Put notices on community bulletin boards, church bulletins and in shopping malls. And do prepare your own flyers to distribute at gatherings where potential students and their parents might see them. If your community has a website with a blog, take advantage of that opportunity to drop your name and contact information.


Wherever you decide to locate your teaching space, you want it to feel comfortable for you and your students. You want a degree of privacy, as a music lesson can be a private and anxiety-provoking experience. If students have to wait while another finishes up, have a separate area with something to read or otherwise keep them occupied. Keep a corner of your home or studio for your own office, where you keep track of expenses, revenues and your all-important schedule. Keep a large filing cabinet stocked with music books and sheet music to use when needed. You’ll need the usual computer and other office standards, but make sure that you have and can use the software that allows you to digitally record your students.

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