Meri’s Musical Musings

Questions to ask yourself BEFORE starting to teach music lessons

Posted on: April 17, 2011

  • How do I plan to start getting students? (An online ad and a few paper flyers will generally not work too well)
  • Can I afford the costs of running a music studio, in addition to my normal household expenses, such as maitenance of instruments, purchasing supplies for students, and purchasing additional tools to enhance student learning?
  • Do I have the time to invest in continuing education? (many teacher education seminars are during school hours for students, meaning most teens as teachers would be unable to attend!)
  • How will I deal with students who don’t practice, or don’t practice effectively?
  • How can I plan for a student’s long term development as a player?
  • Would my teacher honestly recommend that I teach? (there are some teachers who would fire a student if they are caught teaching without their teacher’s knowledge, especially a student that is younger than they would recommend or has insufficient playing skills)
  • Do I have a good library of recordings and sheet music of the standard repertoire for the instruments I teach, and recordings of the orchestral repertoire called for on exams and auditions for high level ensembles?
  • Will people take me seriously for music lessons because of my age? (Many people will not consider a teen teacher)
  • Am I well above the average player of my instrument for my age? (there are teens who start teaching who can’t even get into a moderately high level youth band or orchestra)
  • Do I really want to do this for at least the next 5-10 years?
  • How will I deal with late paying and non-paying clients?
  • How will I deal with people who miss lessons for frivolous reasons, or quit lessons with little or no notice?
  • How will I be able to travel to student’s homes? (teaching in student’s homes is big business in some areas)
  • How will I deal with learning challenged students?
  • How will I  find an accompanist for students when they need them?
  • What kinds of performance opportunities do I want to give students? (many teens can’t offer any additional opportunities to perform)
  • How will I deal with students or parents who think the student is better than they really are?
  • What kinds of students do I really want to focus on teaching?
  • Can I develop a studio policy that is fair to both to students, parents, and myself?
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  • None
  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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