So often, when talking to my music teacher colleagues, we lament how difficult it is to make a living as a music teacher. Teaching during after school hours each week day limits our working hours, and you can’t raise your rates every single year without driving yourself out of business!
So how do we as teachers make sure that we are maximizing our earning potential without exhausting ourselves? Here are some ideas to boost your music teaching salary…
1. Offer group lessons. Group lessons are a fun way for students to collaborate together as they develop excellent rhythm and ensemble playing skills. If you typically see one private student in a half hour for $25, but decide to see 4 students in a half hour for $15, you’ve more than doubled your hourly pay.
2. Break into the homeschool market. You can offer lessons during the school day without competing against after-school sports and limited time slots for students who attend public/private school.
3. Teach adult classes — especially to the parents of your students! Adults, too, have more flexible schedules and may be able to take lessons later in the evenings or during the day when their kids are at school.
4. Offer monthly workshops or masterclasses. Teaching a Saturday afternoon class on composition or a private masterclass for students who typically attend group lessons and charging a small fee is a wonderful way to earn a bit of extra income each month.
5. Teach group music classes at preschools and daycare centers. There are music programs (such as Music for Young Children or Music Together) that are designed specifically for these settings, or you could develop your own program!
6. Do summer camps. Dedicate one week of your summer to providing kids with musical activities and music-making.
7. Raise your rates occasionally. Remember that inflation is a real thing. If you have been charging $20 for a half hour lesson for five years, it may be time to bump it up a notch.