Making money as a musician is difficult. And, after several years of teaching, gigging, and the occasional concert, it can become demoralizing to think that your financial situation will always be so limited.
I want to share with you a solution to this problem. It is a way to make money from teaching online, and unlike one to one lessons, you can maintain the schedule you want and grow your online audience to thousands.
This solution is not for everyone, and it may not be for you either.
3 Important Questions Before We Start
- Do you already have experience teaching your instrument?
- Do you have patience and the temperament to work online with heavy computer use?
- Do you have a passion for teaching?
If you answered yes to all three questions above, then I think you are in for an exciting ride with online teaching. This could change your life and open up some possibilities you hadn’t even thought of.
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, this may not be for you. Let me explain:
Firstly, to teach online using multimedia as your communication tool, you will need to have experience with teaching music. Experience will bring you the ability to address questions before they are asked. Experience will teach you how to work with a wide range of learning styles. Experience will teach you a whole range of skills that you should not deny your online students.
Patience and perseverance? You are going to need these in bucketloads. Online education is a marathon, not a sprint, and you are going to be relying heavily on technology. So, I suggest that you are amenable to that, or even better, you enjoy working with computers and technology.
Finally, I want to say that all the patience and perseverance in the world won’t be enough if you don’t actually have a passion for teaching. Just as your passion for music carried you through thousands of hours of practice, so too will it carry you though teaching music online.
Ok, for those of you still with us. You are in for an adventure.
What it can do for you financially
In the grand scheme of things, this is not the most important aspect, but I think it might be what interests you right now.
Online teaching has a few different models that you can use, but they all are better than the one you are probably using right now. One on one teaching essentially trades time for money. You provide the student with an hour of your time and you receive money for the lesson.
There are only so many hours in the day and even fewer where you can teach with focus and energy. This business model is limited and it has no room for scale. It also has the regular trappings of a locked schedule (that is normally dictated by the students or their parents rather than you), and geographic limitation.
Teaching online allows you to leverage your teaching to reach hundreds, thousands of students. It frees up your time because you are not repeating yourself to each individual student, and it can bring in a lot of money.
The money you can earn teaching music online directly correlates to how many people you can help. If you are teaching ten students online, you will have a nice supplement to pay rent. If you are teaching one hundred, then you can free up time for practice by dropping bad students or quitting that barista job. If you are teaching more than one hundred, you are starting to look at a full time income, while still remaining in control of your time.
The financial rewards from teaching music online can be wonderful, they can change your life. But there are more things to come.
What it can do for you artistically
More time means more art.
One of the many guitar jokes out there goes like this:
A guitarist wins the lottery and is asked by a local reporter what she is going to do? She replies: I’ll keep gigging till the money runs out!
After leaving music school, you and I faced a stark reality about the “real world”. There are some nice gigs around, but it doesn’t support a family or pay for health insurance. Furthermore, the gigs that bring in money are rarely gigs that bring artistic fulfillment. They bring wallet fulfillment.
As sad as it is to admit being a musician is a financial drain, its true. Teaching music online can support your art, it can give you the most precious of gifts that only gains value after music school : time.
What it can do for you as a teacher
Teaching music online will impact a large group of people. You can help hundreds of people around the world bring music into their life, you can give inspiration to thousands! It sounds cheesy, almost like a lie, but it is one of the most rewarding aspects about teaching online. More than the money, the sense of purpose and direction will improve your life.
I have had a lot of success with online teaching and I get asked on a regular basis how I did it. Well, here is the answer, it is for you and anyone else who is interested. After all of the success I have enjoyed I feel it is almost an obligation for me to pass on the knowledge.
What I have to offer you is a book. It is called Teach Your Passion : A Guide For Creative People Who Want To Teach Online
It is free, and you can download it here
If you have any questions or comments please write them below.