Because it is a bankruptcy experience that almost all musicians share at some point in their careers, the idea of teaching music aside to earn extra money is something that appeals to many. But while it may seem like a dream for some to be paid to share the gift of music with others, there are many factors to consider when considering becoming a music teacher.
Teaching is a skill
Not all musicians can or should teach music, because teaching and making music are two completely different skills. Knowing how to play an instrument is one thing, but possessing the patience and thinking to know how to communicate this knowledge is something completely different. Patience, for example, is paramount when it comes to showing a student how to play again and again something rudimentary to play while sleeping. Like music, the ability of teaching can be taught, but many musicians are better placed to transfer their talent and hard work to other efforts.
Making money as a music teacher means working with children
In theory, you could set up a music teaching business that only serves mature, but you probably won’t find many customers. The vast majority of students who take music lessons are children, and being able to work with them requires a very different set of skills that it takes to play and teach music. Teaching children requires patience, passion, creativity and tenacity. To be a great music teacher for a child is to be a relentless motivator and defender of music. It is a difficult and often ungrateful job to want to be both a great musician and a music teacher, and many musicians are not cut for both.
Being a successful music teacher requires business acumen
There is certainly a transition between teaching and the profession of a professional musician when it comes to professional skills, but many musicians should think twice about adding more laborious administrative work to their records. To earn money as a music teacher, you need to travel or book a home teaching studio, track expenses such as mileage and receipts, and constantly try to do new business. If you think that teaching is as simple as introducing yourself, working for half an hour with a student and cashing a check, you will be disappointed. Every musician knows how difficult it can be to plan a group practice, but running a teaching business means planning 10, 20, 30 students each week. The musician’s laid-back personality does not bode well if a student’s parents are used to canceling their lesson at the last minute each week. In addition to weekly lesson plans, you also need to write off service contracts and contracts to protect your income.
Teaching is a good option for many musicians
Do not let all this scare you if you are interested in teaching. Seeing a student succeed through music is incredibly rewarding, and music teachers play an important role in our society. What is important is that you can take stock of your skills and interests to determine if the courses are right for you. Not all musicians are cut out to teach, but it can be a great way to engage in music and make money for those who have the personality for it.