How to Make $10,000 Per Month Teaching Piano

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Today, I will show you how to make $10,000 month teaching piano.

This is not a gimmick. Nor is it a flashy title followed by an article that is fluffy and light on details.

This is exactly how I did it.

This formula works for both private teachers and large music schools. This model could easily be scaled up for music schools… allowing you to see 200 kids with two teachers. 300 kids with just three teachers.

First, some background:

I began teaching in 2004 and was determined to build a career for myself teaching piano.

I knew nothing about how to run a small business and had no idea how to attract clients to my studio. At the beginning, I struggled to find students. I worried that my students’ schedules would effect how I would support my family.

Despite all this, I threw myself into my career and grew my studio to 60 students in just 2.5 years. I co-founded a summer camp that was enrolling 200 kids per summer just a few years into its existence.

Around that same time, I grew my private studio to around 100 students… while decreasing the actual time spent teaching piano by half. I experienced a new level of enjoyment, relaxation, and satisfaction with my career.

There are three concepts that make it possible for any teacher to make 5x the average piano teacher salary… teaching only 20 hours per week.

These three concepts you need to know are:

  • Tell An Effective Story With Your Website: Unfortunately, loyal, excited, high-paying families don’t exist. You can’t find them. You must create them. In this section, you will learn how to use your Web site to get the right people to call or email you… and then sign up for lessons!
  • Master Your Lead Generation: The basis for a high tuition rate, control over your time, and the ability to be picky about your students is a strong flow of leads. I’ll show you the equation that can propel private teachers or music schools to a new level of students.
  • Start A High-Value Group Program: You don’t need a large studio space or lots of expensive equipment to start a high-value group program. I’ll share with you the 3 critical components to having a successful, no-stress group program… even if you don’t have a large space.

Master these three areas and you will launch yourself into the top 1% of incomes in the piano teaching profession.

Featured Bonus: Download a permanent ebook version of this post. Additionally, I have created 5 additional pages of BONUS content that is not in this post. It is an action checksheet that will rapidly propel you to a more efficient, more profitable studio. (Click Here to Download )
Let’s get started!

Tell An Effective Story With Your Website

Imagine yourself as a parent who is researching piano lessons. They Google the words “piano teacher near me” or “piano lessons.” They look through all of the Web sites that come up. What do they see? Honestly, they see a lot of the same thing. Policies, rates, location… boring, dry information. I covered this in great detail in my in-depth post on communicating to families who are checking out your studio. You need to show the value of what you do from a new parent’s point of view. Here’s how:

Step 1: Run A Survey to Read Parents’ Minds

Until you know what people want, you don’t know what to say.form-animation We teachers get in trouble when we think we know what parents want. I wrote about this in depth in my recent post on telling parents what they want to hear. The only way to really be sure is to actually ask the families in your studio! Block out a morning and create a survey to send to all the families in your studio. Use a simple form builder like Google Forms, Typeform, or Polldaddy. Send the survey. For small studios, insist that everyone fill it out. For studios over 100 students, even a 50% participation rate will suffice. You might have to mail the link several times to get the participation rate you desire. Ask the following questions:

    • Why did you choose my studio?

 

    • What was your biggest fear or concern about piano lessons before you started lessons?

 

    • Why did you want your child to have piano lessons?

 

    • Before you began, what did you think lessons would be like?

 

    • Are you currently experiencing any problems with piano lessons?

 

You are going to learn a lot. An added bonus is that you are subtly showing your current families that you care about them. You care about what they think. Now that you have this information, you are ready for the next step:

Step 2: Overhaul Your Site: Don’t Bore Parents With Useless Information

You only need 5 pages on your Web site:

    1. A home page

 

    1. A page describing your lesson program

 

    1. A page describing you and (for music schools your other teachers)

 

    1. A testimonials page

 

    1. A contact page (the most important page)

 

Now, if you want to get fancy, or you are super savvy at marketing… by all means, add more. Here is what you don’t need. In fact, the more of this you have… the less likely it is that someone will contact you! You don’t need:

    1. Your schedule

 

    1. Your policies

 

    1. Your rates

 

    1. A detailed bio and resume

 

    1. Inspirational quotes about music or music instruction

 

    1. Conceptual ideas about what piano can do for kids’ academics or self-esteem

 

    1. Vague promises about how great your lessons are (that almost all teachers have on their sites)

 

Your site only has one goal: to get people to contact you. The more “junk” and information on your Web site, the less likely it is that someone will contact you. Unbounce wrote a great article that dives deep on this concept. Now that you’ve pared your site down, what do we actually write on it?

Step 3: Optimize Your Site For Contacting You

We are minimizing confusing messages. We are maximizing messages that tell parents information that they want to hear. If we do this, parents will subconsciously feel trust. They will want to get in touch with you. So, each page on your piano teaching website should have a brief 300-500 word description of that page’s topic. The page should end with a strong call to action. Most sites only have one contact form on a hard-to-find page. Or – worse yet – they just put a non-clickable email address at the bottom of one page, along with their street address. This is not user-friendly. Here’s an example of something that is user-friendly: overland_park__lenexa__shawnee__olathe_-_music_instruction_-_music_teachers All of the contact links are clickable. They take you to a nice page that allows you to send a message to the music school. If you reduce the number of steps, obstacles, and barriers between you and your customer… you will get more customers! Soon, you’ll be teaching piano to more kids than you know what to do with! Here are some ways to reduce barriers and get more people to contact you:

    1. At the bottom of each page, you will place a button that instructs people to GET IN TOUCH NOW.

 

    1. Put your phone number and a “Contact” button in your website’s header

 

    1. Create a page specifically for a “free trial lesson” offer.

 

    1. More Advanced: Create a sidebar that is optimized to get clicks and form fills. Brandon Gaille wrote a world-class guide to creating an amazing sidebar for your site or blog. This is easy to do if your site run’s on WordPress or other user-friendly platform.

 

This overhaul of your Web marketing will take time. That’s ok. When you finish, you will have an incredible asset that is designed to excite, educate, and entice. You will get more contacts. Now that you’ve completed this project, you can move on to…

Master Your Lead Generation

To get your studio to a $10,000 / month income from teaching piano, you are going to either need more students or higher rates (more on this in section 3). In either case, you are going to need to increase the number of people who actually find your studio. It doesn’t do you much good to have an awesome studio that no one can find! You need to have 3 pieces in place to effectively promote your studio.

#1 Understand the Math of Getting New Students

You want about 10 people per month contacting you for every 100 students that you want to have enrolled. In other words, if you want a studio with 100 enrollments, you need at least 10 calls or emails per month, every month. Now, marketing experts consider it a win if you can get 2% of the people you meet to show interest in your piano teaching business. So, if you want 10 people to contact you through your Web site or to give you a call… you are going to need to get 500 people to see your ads or visit your Web site every month. If you want 20 people to contact your studio… you need 1000 quality eyeballs on your marketing each month. Does that seem like a lot? Read on, because there are some simple methods to do just that.

#2 Pick A Traffic Source

If you need traffic to your site, I have great news for you. It’s cheaper than ever to reach people. Earlier this year, I wrote a detailed post on the best way to get new piano students in 2016. In that post, I showed that traditional advertising methods are often 6x – 10x more expensive than using digital advertising. table Because of this, I switched all my marketing and all marketing for the studios I advise. We are completely digital now. There are many options out there, but my favorites in 2016 are: 1) AdWords. Still the best deal on the planet if you want to get new piano students. 2) Facebook Ads. Underpriced for the amount of “reach” you get. These types of ads require more creativity than AdWords… but isn’t that what we left-brained people do? 3) Influencer marketing. Find a local parent who has a blog or a large following (at least 1000 people in your target market). These should be people who have a blog or business or are in local government – not just a parent who has a lot followers. Pay them to promote your studio on Instagram or Snapchat. You would be surprised by how many influencers are open to this sort of deal. Forbes had a great write up about how this is going to be the next evolution in advertising – and I couldn’t agree more. You can pay them with cash or (better yet) with a special deal to begin their child for free. It makes the whole experience more authentic! 4) FREE social marketing. I wrote about this in my piano teacher’s Facebook guide. Find 20-50 Facebook groups that are unique to your area. They typically have your city, county, local area’s name in the title. Focus on parent support groups, buy / sell / trade groups, online auction, online garage sale, neighborhood watch groups, etc. social-icons Approach the owners of these groups and ask if it’s ok if you put up one post per month offering a free lesson at your piano studio. Experience has shown me that 95% will say yes. If you get 30 groups, you can do 1 post per day.

#3 Master That Traffic Source

If you are serious about making significant income teaching piano, your final step is to master that traffic source. You have two options here: The #1 obstacle that I see is that most teachers and studios pick an advertising channel (let’s say AdWords or Facebook ads), throw $50 – $500 at it over the course of a few days or weeks, and then decide it “doesn’t work” when they don’t get new students. I see posts like this almost weekly on the piano teacher Facebook groups. I have had the opportunity to advise after these disappointing experiences. In almost all cases, I’ve found major problems with how the ad accounts were structured, the ads themselves, or the Web site to which the ads were pointing. If they had stuck with it a little longer or hired a halfway decent ads specialist… their results would have been much better! It took over six months for me to see a significant response when I began AdWords. I had to tinker with the ads and my site to find that “sweet spot” where people were contacting me like clockwork. I just shake my head in disappointment when people try for 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks and then throw in the towel. digging-diamonds My advice? Don’t “try” ads. COMMIT to mastering them and then stick with it. What’s so ironic about this whole situation is that if anyone in the world should realize that it takes time to become good at something… it’s a teacher! Becoming good at studio marketing... teachers should know that excellence takes time! Click To Tweet I know that I didn’t play Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G Minor my first month of piano. Did you?

Begin Teaching Piano In High-Value Groups

pianoexpressgrouplessonsUnless you are a traveling teacher, there is absolutely no reason you cannot start an effective group program. I have created or helped to create piano teaching curriculum for several different group formats: 24 students at once, 12 students at once, 3-6 students at once. These formats used a variety of structures: single teacher, teacher with assistants, multiple teachers. These formats used a variety of core principles: groups that move as a unit, and groups with students making progress at their own pace. There are other group concepts that can work for studios: off-bench time, group instructional sessions, online group sessions, or using pre-recorded instruction to leverage your time. Any of these could be potentially substituted for the advice I’m about to give. While I have my own preferences, I have found that success with any of these formats boils down to the following:

1) Set The Foundation With Good Equipment and Administrative Systems

Yawn, this might the most boring step in this entire system. But, if you intend to see 4 or 5 students at a time, you are going to need to be organized. Here’s what you will need for getting started in a group format:

    • A digital piano for each student. I do not recommend teaching piano in groups with just one instrument. Students cannot progress as quickly. That’s not good for them OR you.

 

    • 2 sets of headphones per student. Connect both sets of headphones to the piano using a splitter. One for you, one for them.

 

 

 

2) Choose Your Curriculum (HINT: Don’t Overthink This)

Next, you must decide how you are going to organize your groups. There are a variety of methods that are available to teachers:

    • Traditional group piano methods like Mayron Cole or Alfred Group

 

 

kidzrock-1-1200x370

    • Programs that use technology and apps like the forthcoming Piano Express curriculum

 

    • Retro-fitting popular methods like Faber, Alfred, or Piano Pronto

 

Whether you are a large music school or small- to mid-size private studio, my recommendation is to start with the 1-on-4 group piano model. You want to give yourself time to adjust to this new format. When selecting a curriculum, it needs to meet these 4 criteria:

    1. You must be comfortable with and understand the curriculum. You need to be able to deliver great results with the curriculum, or parents are going to abandon ship.

 

    1. It must be scalable. It should work just as well for a studio with 50 or 500 students. This insures that you are able to grow.

 

    1. It must be something you can start NOW. There’s no point in starting with a curriculum that requires 12 pianos if you have neither the space, staff, or budget for that.

 

    1. It must be something that you can confidently promote to parents. If you are more traditional, you can wax eloquent on the time-tested Mayron Cole method. If you are an “edgy” teacher, you can brag to your families that you will be teaching their kids how to play in a rock band with KidzRock.

 

I like to keep it simple. I have been teaching piano in my studio with Faber for the past 8 years. My students are getting through in an average of about 2.5 years. Faber is not a group method, but that doesn’t matter. Each person is moving at their own pace. It’s scalable, and I’m delivering terrific results to parents. My students are all scoring in the various Honors categories in the Royal Conservatory program. Keep it simple! There’s no need to stress yourself out over how to structure your program.

3) Get Parents On Board with Persuasive Marketing

I help teachers and music schools start group programs or improve their existing programs. By far, the most common issue I hear from teachers and owners is: “I have tried to start or want to teach piano in groups… but parents don’t seem interested in the group program!” Of course they don’t. Humans are irrational. They have a fear of the unknown. Humans assume that they understand things – even when they don’t. If you need proof, just open Facebook and look at your news feed. You probably have at least a few friends who spout half-baked opinions on matters of politics, government, history, human psychology, finance, law, foreign policy, parenting, nutrition, and national defense. The same is true of the parents in your studio. You are asking them to do something that is still somewhat outside the norm (fortunately, this is becoming less true). the-one-permanent-emotion-of-the-inferior-man-is-fear-fear-of-the-unknown-the-complex-the-inexplicable-what-he-wants-above-everything-else-is-safety Make a mental note of what I’m about to say… You will never convince a parent to switch from private lessons to group lessons using logic, threats, or rewards. People want to do the “safe” thing, the familiar. To get people on board, you must be strategic, persuasive, and convincing using tools of influence like social proof and generosity. Thus, you have to get in touch with what your parents truly want… deep down. Appeal to their greatest dreams and aspirations for their kids. Help them see what their child’s life will look like when you’ve activated and developed their love for music. Paint the picture. Conversely, help them see what will happen if their child is frustrated with lessons. Help them see what life is like for their child without music. Now… connect all this to group lessons! Here’s a specific example: If parents are saying that they can’t get their child to practice at home… the solution is the group! Listen to this pitch below: “Many, many parents don’t know why they can’t get their students to practice at home. I’ve figured it out. You see, when kids get home each week, they’ve only had a chance to work with me for a short time in their traditional lesson. We’ve been able to briefly look over several new songs. This isn’t true in my “Accelerator” after-school program! Kids don’t just get a quick fly-by of the music… they have the time to actually learn all of their songs in the lesson itself! That translates to a happy student at home who is not afraid to go to the piano!” Do you see how much more effective THAT would be than just announcing a boring list of features of your “new group program”? I use a variation of that exact phrasing… and I’ve helped (literally) hundreds of parents make the choice to go to group lessons. They’re excited and enthused that I’ve created something that no one else has created.

Featured Bonus: Download a permanent ebook version of this post. Additionally, I have created 5 additional pages of BONUS content that is not in this post. It is an action checksheet that will rapidly propel you to a more efficient, more profitable studio. (Click Here to Download )

Conclusion: What’s Next?

This was a 50,000 foot flyover of how to grow your studio to the $10,000 per month mark.

Let me be blunt:

If you have 20 hours available to teach each week and a 12 x 12 room, this could be a reality for you.

The simplest way to get there is to:

  1. Learn how to effectively communicate your value
  2. Amplify that effective message using marketing
  3. Increase your student capacity WITHOUT working more hours or needing a huge teaching space or staff

How do you get started?

There are 9 distinct steps that I discussed in this article. The first is simple: run a survey to your families. Anyone can do this.

I challenge you to start down this path.

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Daniel Patterson is a private teacher, writer, and marketing consultant for music schools. He began teaching in 2004. He co-founded and led marketing operations for a summer music camp that sees over 200 children each summer.

How Do You Want to Grow Your Studio?

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51 Comments
  1. Barbara

    Bravo! These are fabulous ideas and resources. I’m thinking ahead for summer’s program, website major overhaul and next year’s program and its just what I need to get going. Thank you for taking tons of time and effort to put this together for us.

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Barbara, glad this was a help to you. Good luck with the overhaul.

      Reply
  2. Amy

    Wow! This is such a wealth of information! I definitely want to put many of these ideas into action!

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Amy, is there anything in particular that REALLY stands out as something that you need to do?

      Reply
  3. Emma

    Thanks for all this information! In a group lesson setting, it seems there would always be some kids who pick up the concepts quickly and some who don’t. How do you help the students that are really struggling with the basics in a group class?

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      It’s a great question. Not to be evasive, but I’m going to be dealing with that in a future post – within the next few weeks.

      The short answer is… I don’t worry about it. My group program does not hold fast kids back. Everyone moves at their own pace.

      Again, it will make more sense when I write about it in the near future.

      Reply
  4. Doreen

    Thanks Daniel, Great info.

    Reply
  5. Eden Casteel

    Thanks again Daniel. After you wrote back to me and asked me some questions about group lessons, I started thinking about how to structure/restructure my own small piano studio to make it work better for me and my students. I’m primarily a voice teacher but I find all of this very useful for both disciplines.
    Aaaaaand I sent out the parent survey just now, again, to generate more responses.
    Aaaaaand I changed the call to action buttons on my website. 😉
    Aaaaaand I’m going to refine my AdWords yet again. Each month I get the report and each month I get more confident.
    Teachers, just keep grooving!

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      This is the perfect attitude.

      ALL CHANGE HAPPENS OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. If you are in pain, then you are growing as a person, as a professional, and as a teacher.

      Reply
  6. Alla

    Are group piano lessons only for very beginners? I can’t imagine teaching anything even intermediate in this setting. If this is for beginners only, what do you do with your students who now need individual lessons, but there is not enough hours in a day to teach them all one on one?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Alla- great question.

      I pull students out of the group once they finish Faber. The needs of the learner begin to change at that level.

      I balance my time between groups and intermediate to advanced students.

      The great thing is that the group helps to weed kids out who aren’t serious. Eliminates a common problem for teachers. Namely, students who you invest time in for six months or a year or a year and a half… and then they quit just as they start to get into interesting material.

      This reserves your precious 1-on-1 time for students who are committed.

      Reply
  7. Sarah

    Hi and thanks for the great post! I’ve been interested in getting into group teaching…do you have a post or any other resources on how your run the group lessons? How long are they? Do you group them by level? Do you offer group instruction first and then spend a little time with each child…or how do you manage to get to everyone? I love your approach of teaching the kids the songs at the lessons so they can go home feeling confident…but how do you have the time to do that in a lesson (how many can you get to)? Just heard your podcast on Tim Topham…was great! If you’re willing to share any of your details and secrets, I’d love it! Thanks from Austin, TX!

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Sarah, great great questions and thank you so much for your comments about my guest appearance on Tim Topham!

      I have a training called “Successful Group Lessons”… it is currently going on, but will be soon! It answers all of the questions you’ve brought up here.

      You can learn more about it here:

      http://growyourmusicstudio.com/fill-group-lessons

      Reply
  8. Lusi

    Hi

    Your information is very useful. I want to open a private piano studio, I am wondering if I open my own studio, do I need official teaching certification or do I must have music education degree so that to be qualified to be the owner of the piano studio? What kind of license do I need to open a piano studio as business. Many thanks

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      I don’t think you need official teaching certification…. there are many teachers who studied performance or composition.

      On the other hand, I would recommend first familiarizing yourself with the process of teaching. Read books. Ask another teacher if you can observe their studio. Join MTNA.

      Regarding a license to run a business… that depends on where you live and your local government regulations.

      Reply
  9. Marlene

    How do you prepare elementary students for recitals or exams, duets when they are being taught in a group format?

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      The same way as in a private lesson. If you’re concerned about their readiness, just start them earlier.

      I prepped 30 kids for the RCM assessment this year in the context of a group format. Some of them I started only 8 weeks before the exam… and they walked out with 90+ scores (highest honors).

      Reply
  10. Jay Kuntal

    good stuff! I have a music studio. we are already doing $13,000 in revenue. i’m doing both traditional and digital marketing to push to $20,000. The best part is that we still offer the same rates since we launched. $30 for half an hour and so on.

    Reply
  11. Lusine

    Hello,

    GREAT article! Thank you so much!! Questions for you:

    1) Most kids get out of school around 3pm. How do you manage to squeeze in all your students in the evening while still having an actual life and a vacation time away from teaching?

    2) Do you purchase health insurance separately?

    3) Can you write off a lot of your teaching supplies and resources on your tax returns?

    Thank you so much for this article. I am currently getting my PhD in a science-related field and I cannot WAIT to get out and do what I actually love – teaching piano! I went the PhD route thinking it would be “impressive” to my family and friends but deep down I really wanted to grow a private studio and teach piano.

    This is my dream and you are making me feel like I can actually make it a reality.

    Best,
    Lusine

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      1. When I was running this group program at its height, I was seeing about 100 kids in 23 hours per week.

      Full-time income. Part time hours.

      2. I’m in a medical sharing program. Meets the ACA requirements and is way cheaper.

      3. I write them all off. I have an accountant who does this for me.

      Glad this helped so much! Reach out to me by email if you’d like help with that dream.

      Reply
  12. Richard Hill

    Hi Daniel, Thanks you for sharing the great info, I will apply it in my studio so that I can have more student to come..:) Thanks again for the mind opener ideas..!

    Reply
  13. Zherin Literte

    Hi Daniel! Thanks for sharing these practical strategies especially when communicating with parents.i like the “paint a picture.” My teaching experiences taught me that at the end of the day parents would like to hear the values and attitudes of their children after investing on lessons. Skills become like a bonus.

    Reply
  14. Glenn

    Hi Daniel. What do you think? I’m 47 years old, I have been playing piano all my life and I am currently working on my RCM exams (working on Grade 4, but play at a Grade 7-8, or higher, level). Is this something that I can likely do myself? Let me know if you need further clarifications (I know that I’m not giving you much to go on).

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Glenn, are you asking if I believe that you can become a piano instructor and do this model? Or are you asking if I think you can continue getting better at the RCM exams?

      Reply
  15. Shoshana

    Thanks for this great post.
    It is helping me with my fine art studio.
    You have stretched here a business plan and a healthy attitude that aide not only with the establishment of a music studio but also with my own discipline.
    I’d appreciate if you write more about Adwords.
    Thanks again.

    Reply
  16. Nadiya K

    WOW. WOW. WOW. While reading this article I just kept thinking how incredibly smart you are. You have given me hope and reason to go on this path by explaining it so well and truly providing value. And unlike many other people, you gave all this value completely free. Be blessed for this a hundred times back!

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Thanks for reaching out! Glad this was helpful for you.

      Reply
  17. Alvin

    Thank you for your super helpful tips. Right now, we’re using Google and delving into Facebook ads to further grow the business 🙂

    Reply
  18. Alexandria Music Academy

    Are these downloads free? If so, thank you very much. We are still trying to grow and can’t afford a lot at this stage, but what you state here gives us hope and we will start to implement your ideas.

    Reply
  19. Larry Jensen

    Daniel, this was quite a find. When I was around 10, I took a few weeks of lessons (don’t remember what stopped that train),then over the years finally taught myself to read. I can make my way through most intermediate pieces, but by the time I’ve learned to play them, I have most of them memorized. I have literally 1000’s of songs in my head from all genres, and can play them all in most any key. I play with passion and finesse. I’ve gotten to play in combos and bands and done a lot of studio recording, etc. Well, that’s fine, and I’m truly grateful for these gifts. But I’ve been wondering, HOW can I translate any of this into a system of teaching others? I’m good at teaching, but wonder about how marketable these skill sets are. I’ve actually had a few private students, young and old, and did a combination of teaching them to read and play by ear, but didn’t have enough time with them to see how they benefitted. I used to be in a city of half a million.
    Now I’m in a fairly small town. Do you have any thoughts as to marketing this, as someone who doesn’t even have a teaching certificate? Sorry for rambling. I’ve even thought of traveling around a few states and visiting schools’ music classes to help inspire and share a few things I’ve learned. Would be considered kind of an oddity or novelty to some, but I believe that if I can share inspiration and a few things I’ve learned, and get paid for it, it makes GREAT sense. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Credentials don’t matter.

      Help kids make music. Make it feel easy. That’s all that matters – it’s the best marketing you can do.

      🙂

      Reply
  20. Annie

    This has been a very enlightening article. I am contemplating opening my studio again once my youngest is in school. So I have 4 more years to research and prepare. I have never been exposed to group lessons, and wonder how you price them compared to private lessons. I primarily taught beginners and they had 30 minutes lessons. Because I was in Utah I only charged $13 per lesson. Now we live in Texas so I should be able to charge more. Are the group lessons longer? I could barely get through the material during a 30 minute private lesson, especially with young beginners and their short attention spans.

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Yes, my group lessons are an hour. And… most other studios that do group lessons (even if they aren’t the way I do them)… they are longer.

      For price… I price a 1-hour group lesson the same as a half-hour private. I do this for convenience sake. There’s no right or wrong way.

      I know some studios that significantly discount their group lessons. I don’t recommend this, but some do it.

      Reply
  21. Andrei

    Hi Daniel,
    Awesome post. Thank you! I’m 53-years-old and considering a career change (I live in Chicago). I finished piano school in Ukraine over 25 years ago and would love to get into teaching (I taught Russian lit for a while after college). What do you suggest is the best way to get into piano teaching and do you recommend any certifications for credibility with parents? Wondering what you’d do if you were in my shoes. I’d appreciate any direction. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      I don’t think “teaching certifications” are all that important to most parents. The most important thing is to actually be able teach and help the child.

      If you can do that and help the child have fun… the sky is the limit!

      As far as getting started… Set up your teaching space, start a website, and check out my Facebook guide.

      Reply
  22. Vern

    Glad I saw your post. I am a music teacher at a home stidio, but struggling with children who don’t want to do Music but parents forcing them.As a result that give lots of trouble. What should I do, dismiss them from my program or bear on?

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      I think that’s a personal decision, depending on the strength of your marketing, your personal goals, or change the program / product to one that makes the students WANT to practice.

      Reply
  23. Corinna

    I offered free introductory singing lessons in the past and I only attracted scrooges that wanted to do a single lesson to prepare for X factor or understand more about singing, or even know if they are tone deaf;even now that it`s not free some book a lesson with me because I am super experienced and qualified with professional singers and use it to have a highly valuable opinion, then once they know my fees they run to a competitor. In England where I live there is often a misconception that you either have a voice or not and lessons are useless. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Lori

      I would offer a trial lesson at a lower fee, instead of for free. It will attract parents willing to pay for your expertise and they will be the kind of parents willing to spend more once they commit. And you can goal to get them to commit the day of their trial lesson.

      Reply
  24. Stefanie

    Hi Daniel. I truly enjoyed your article. I am a piano teacher that has been teaching 20 years. I teach 30 minute lessons at a Recreation Center 2 evenings per week, 2-1/2 hours on Tuesday and 2 hours on Thursday, in the format you call group self-paced. I have 21 students and I use the Alfred Method. However, because I’m getting older, the pace of teaching 2-3 students in 30 minutes is starting to wear me out. I charge $84 for 6 lessons, which works out to be $14 per lesson. ‘ve maintained a high retention rate so most of my students stay with me all year. The Rec /enter also advertises for me and I have a 70/30 split for my fee charged. I am now interested in making $10,000 per month by doing 2 new things…teaching piano online through Skype and also creating a piano lesson product (CD or DVD) that anyone can buy to give me passive income. I have a laptop and tablet, but I need advice on what else to buy (microphone, boom stand, cameras for multiple angles). What equipment do you recommend? To build my lead generation, should I offer free lessons via YouTube? Currently, I only have a keyboard…will this affect my credibility online? I have a website, but it’s parked right now because I haven’t had a need for it in the past. Can you advise me on revamping my website so I can connect my Skype lessons and piano lesson products to it? A lot of questions at one time….

    Reply
  25. Daniel

    $10,000 a month is a nice and catchy title but it doesn’t seem realistic when I crunched the numbers from my area. I’d have to teach over 70 students a week. I do agree on the use of digital advertising; that is a must! Since I am travel-only right now, groups remain out-of-reach.

    Reply
    • Daniel Patterson

      Daniel- thanks for your comment… a question, can you tell me why 70 students a week seem unrealistic? Are you in a rural area?

      Reply

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