5 Essential Things For Starting A Music Teaching Business

There are many reasons why people want to start their own music teaching business. People who get degrees in music use their education to teach anyone from a beginner to advanced student. Others who just enjoy playing music may want to make some extra cash on the side. Whether your background ranges from a novice to experienced musician, creating a music teaching business can be a daunting challenge for many. 

If you’re serious about making money from your music teaching business, here are the five essential things you will need:


The very first thing a potential student will see is your studio name. While it’s not too important what your studio name is exactly, it is important that your studio name aligns with you as a teacher. 

Along with your name comes your studio message, statement, or slogan. Now THIS should be the important part of your branding. You could almost think of it like you’re speaking to your ideal students. Focus on making your message:

  • Unique: Make sure you stand out of the crowd. Research other studios in your area and focus on what makes your studio different.
  • Simple: Although your message should spark an image, don’t be too descriptive. Focus on keeping your message short and sweet.
  • All about the student: I see this with way too many teachers where all they talk about are their degrees, experience, and how great they are. The truth is, no one cares about that. Focus on what you can do for the student and what the student can get out of taking lessons with you.


Knowing how you will structure your lessons is important for measuring your growth. This also shows you how you will allocate your teaching time and determine your teaching schedules. After looking at many music teaching studios, I found the four main types of lessons:

  • Private Lessons: 1 student per lesson
  • Buddy Lessons: 2 students per lesson
  • Rotation Lessons (20/20/20): 3 students per lesson
  • Group Lessons: 3 or more students per lesson

Never heard of rotation lessons? To sum it up, it is teaching 3 students in a 1-hour time slot. Usually you would teach one student 1-on-1, another student would be practicing with headphones, while the third student does music theory activities. After 20 minutes, each student rotates to another position, hence the name “rotation lessons”. 

Starting off your business, offering private lessons is definitely the easier route to go in. It’s what most people expect out of a music lesson. 1-on-1 teaching with a teacher and student in a room for 30-60 minutes. Almost everyone is going to offer that type of lesson, but is it the most profitable? Just do the math and you’ll figure out the answer.

For this example, I will use hypothetical lesson prices based on payment per month.

  • 60-minute private lesson - $100/month x 1 student = $100/month
  • 60-minute buddy lesson - $90/month x 2 students = $170/month
  • 60-minute rotation lesson - $80/month x 3 students = $210/month
  • 60-minute group lesson - $70/month x # students = $70 x #/month 

The special part about group lessons is the ability to change the variable of the number of students. You can teach as many students as you want to in a group setting and there are added benefits of teaching group lessons.

Here’s a quick video about the benefits of group lessons for children:


I feel like this is the most concerning topic for studio teachers. And I don’t blame them! This section of the business is susceptible to some controversy and confusion between teachers and parents. The best, and easiest way to prevent this is to just keep things SIMPLE.

Before we talk about what your policy is, let’s discuss what your policy is NOT. Your policy is not:

  • A way to attract students into your studio
  • A marketing campaign
  • A place to talk about you

Now let’s discuss what your policy IS:

  • A system of guidelines to run your studio as smooth as possible
  • An agreement between student/parent and teacher
  • Short and simple

You might be thinking how do I write my policy? What should I include in my policy?  

These are the most important sections you should include in your studio policy:

  • Lesson Tuition
  • Payment methods
  • Makeup Policy
  • Expectations of the student/parent/teacher
  • Cancelation
  • Work Hours/Holidays
  • Contact Information

Remember that although there may be a lot of sections, you must keep the descriptions SIMPLE. Treat your policy as a set of standards that you, the parents, and the students should uphold. It’s important that this is read by your customers, so don’t make it hard to read.

starting a music teaching business


As we discussed before, you may have already established your lesson structure and your rates. But included in your policy is how you will take payments. Many studios accept cash, check, or credit card payments. I encourage you to choose whatever payment you are most comfortable with, so long as you are responsible for getting your payments on time. 

After getting your payments on time, you must track your revenue and expenses if you are serious about growing your business. Checking your bank accounts daily promotes healthy financial habits not only in business, but in life. I can’t stress how important it is to know exactly where your money is going and where it is coming from. 

Looking towards the future, being able to file your taxes easily and efficiently is dependent on being organized with your finances. Some simple solutions are:

MyMusicStaff and Music Teacher’s Helpers are designed for music teachers specifically, while QuickBooks is designed for business owners in general. Be sure to check out each company’s features and prices that work for you.

Physical Space

The importance of your physical space might be overlooked, but the obvious question is where will I teach my lessons? Will it be at the student’s house, my house, or a commercial space? This answer could depend on your studio size, work hours (the amount of time you have), or cost (the amount of money you have available).  

Although each choice is acceptable, if you want to grow your music studio you will need a commercial space. This will take time, money, and learning so only get one if you are financially ready for this commitment. If you already own one, think of ways to organize your space. Make the design fit your studio branding, like we discussed earlier!  

Some costs to think about when choosing a commercial space:

  • Design and Decor: How will you decorate your studio? What will you put on the walls, waiting area, teaching space?
  • Equipment: Do you need to buy extra instruments? Hardware or software for teaching and administration tasks?
  • Rent: This will be your biggest cost. Just like housing, make sure you can still live comfortably with your business running in a commercial space.
  • Electricity/Water Bills: These are glossed over by some studio teachers, but these expenses do add up. 

Putting It All Together

Starting your music teaching business could sound fun, and it really is! However, if you want to be successful, you must establish the fundamentals of your studio.

These five things create the foundations of every successful music teaching business. The learning does not stop here, and I can tell you that there are certain things that separate the good studios and the great studios. And with the right knowledge and action, there is no limit for you to being successful teaching music.

If you would like to learn more about building and growing your music teaching business, watch this free case study and schedule a call with me. I would be more than happy to help and chat with you!

Best wishes

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