Your music teaching career survived the pandemic.
Now it’s time to bring in more students to make up for the business you lost over the last two years. You may even be able to raise your rates to keep up with — or beat — inflation.
Here are our 11 top tips for finding new music students and charging more for lessons.
1. Leverage word of mouth
Word of mouth is a powerful recruiting tool for independent music teachers. It can have a significant impact when your students tell their friends how awesome you are and they become interested in learning from you. Parents talking to parents can do the same. Generate enough buzz, and it can bring in a lot of new business.
Word of mouth doesn’t have to originate with your students and their parents.
YOU can generate buzz for you.
It’s okay — even recommended — to ask students, their parents, and others to talk you up. A simple reminder could be all it takes to get them to recommend you to their friends and family members.
2. Get active with local schools
Check to see if the schools in your area have openings for part-time music teachers. You may find opportunities to work as a tutor, start music labs, work with a group of students on a specialized project, or start a band. Students interested in music in school are also likely to want to take lessons from you.
3. Get active on social media
Social media is an excellent way for music teachers to build brand recognition. If you share great content that the people in your network love, they’ll pass it on to other music lovers who may know someone who wants to take lessons.
Smart hashtagging can help you get wider distribution for your social posts. Focus them on the type of lessons you provide, the city or neighborhood you work in, or areas of specialization. Consider boosting your posts and promoting them to parents in your area who may be interested in your services.
4. Put up — or distribute — flyers
It may seem super old-school, but flyers on community bulletin boards can often breakthrough today’s digital clutter. Keep them bold and straightforward, so they get noticed. Make it clear what makes you unique and why students should learn from you. Include a link to your website so people can find out more about you. Make it easy to contact you.
Also, consider distributing flyers at school and local music events. Many people might not want to pick up a handout, but the few who do may be open to engaging in a conversation with you.
5. Become besties with music teachers
School and private music teachers should be your best friends. Sure, many of them might be competitors, but others may be open to making referrals if they’re overloaded or know of a student who wants lessons for an instrument they don’t teach. Of course, you can do the same in return for them.
6. Reposition yourself
An improving economy is an ideal time to reimagine and reposition yourself. Is it time for you to become THE music teacher for serious students? Or maybe you can transform yourself into the coach who gets her students college scholarships. Perhaps you could position yourself as the polished performance specialist. Finding a unique niche could help you generate more business and increase your rates.
7. Attend school and neighborhood events
PTA meetings, school benefits, street fairs, and other local events are full of potential students and parents who might be interested in your teaching services. How can you expect people to find you if you’re not present in their lives and visible? Attend as many things as you can. It will give you more chances to talk about your teaching services.
8. Perform more
Many teachers don’t enjoy playing in public, but it can be a great way to get exposure. You never know: A simple volunteer church gig could encourage many youngsters to aspire to be like you — and learn from you.
9. Don’t limit your opportunities
Teaching isn’t the only way to earn money with your skillset. Consider becoming an accompanist or joining a music group to earn extra cash. Or learn how to repair the instruments you teach. It can be a great way to increase the business you do with your students, attract new repair business, and maybe even find new students through it.
Many music teachers think it will make them look cheap if they advertise their services. Doctors and lawyers used to feel the same. A small spend on social media and local advertising channels like programs and event calendars could earn you a lot of exposure. Remember: You control the messaging and imagery, so present yourself as the classy, intelligent professional you are when promoting your teaching services.
11. Earn ratings and reviews
Encourage students and their parents to provide you with ratings and reviews. Most people check them before they engage with service providers these days. Five-star ratings and rave reviews can be a great way to set yourself apart from other teachers in your community.
The pandemic is winding down, and the economy is soaring. It’s the perfect time to find new students, earn more money, and take your career to the next level.