With a formal musical education and time on your hand, an idea to start a music tutoring business may seem more and more appealing to you day by day. As with starting any business there are many unknowns, but if you believe in your skills and love the idea of transferring your knowledge onto a young and aspiring musician, it should come as a natural step forward!
To get you on your way, here are 10 simple tips to make your life as a music teacher easier.
1. Planning is Key
Jumping into the venture head first could be a recipe for disaster, so in order to ensure the best chance for success, do a bit of research, see whether there is a demand for a music tutor and if there is any “market competition.” Before setting up a studio at home, which can be a significant investment, make sure the demand can cover your initial set-up costs and lead to profit into near future.
2. Consider A Home Setup
Set up a studio and create an atmosphere in which the student will enjoy learning. While it is a business, don’t make that be the first thing your students notice, try to create an environment that will enable the students to relax as well as allow you to conduct lessons to the best of your knowledge. This is also the reason why you should consider not to teach at the student’s home, in addition to the fact that, if you equip your studio correctly, you will have all the tools you need at your place.
3. Set Some Ground Rules
You are the person in charge, which means you set the rules regarding schedules, payment and cancellation policies. Being too flexible with your terms can lead to issues in the long run, especially if you allow the payments to be postponed. It is advisable to take advance payments for blocks of lessons, whether it is five, 10 or 20 lessons ahead, probably with a discount for larger blocks. This will also play into the hand of your student cancels or does not show up for lessons which means you are not earning the money you booked.
4. Get the Message Across
You can achieve this only if you communicate and understand the needs of your students. Make sure they understand the lessons and also make sure you understand their needs and reasons why they are looking to learn to play a certain instrument. While you are advised to stick to the lesson plan, it does not hurt to understand your student and how they operate, it will make it easier for you to find the way to approach your student in order for them to understand and acquire the knowledge properly.
5. Always be Prepared
Jumping into the lesson with no plan can lead to many issues. You could get lost in the sea of skills you would like to teach, and the student could lose interest in learning from you once they see how disorganized you are – always have a lesson plan! Also, try to restrain from too much demonstration, trying to impress your students with your skills too often can have a negative effect on some as they might think you are showing off and you are not really interested in teaching them.
6. Show Some Spirit
With organisation comes the enthusiasm. This means that you have to be flexible, have some fun with the lesson. While you should follow the structure of your pre-established lesson plan, allow for some fun excursions to help your student settle and enjoy.
7. Be Focused and Confident
If you love teaching, this should not be an issue. Just make sure you show your student that not only you care about their needs, you are the right teacher for them, knowledgeable and confident.
8. Take Notes
While you communicate with your student verbally, look for other unspoken cues. The student might be uncomfortable with some things but does not want to say it out loud. Write these observations down and try to find a way to help the student. This will show them that you pay attention.
9. Be Patient
Not all students learn at the same pace. Some might take more time to learn a skill while other do it in a sort of a natural way. Have patience with everyone. In the end, you have not learned all your skills in an instant.
10. Always Look for Progress
This is something that goes both ways. As you are looking to develop your student’s skills through lessons, additional homework, make sure you are developing along the way. Learning new skills yourself, making sure you are flexible and can adapt easily to new situations and learn how to approach any subject in many ways to suit different characters you find in your students.