For those of you musicians out there, I know first-hand the painstaking effort we go through learning to play an instrument. The early stages of buzzes and excitement quickly turn in to frustration and at that moment we either decide to suck it up and carry on, or simply quit.
If you though you have managed to master the playing of a musical instrument and could see yourself as a teacher, you could make a nice freelance income providing lessons online. In this post we’ll go through the steps on how to provide online music lessons and earn extra money.
Although you have managed to learn to play you instrument like a pro, there will be thousands of people picking up the instrument for the first time, looking for ways to master it just like you.
There are lots of articles, books and even YouTube videos available and although these can be of help to a beginner, what they lack is that interaction. For a student to be able to ask a teacher a question and get one on one feedback on their playing and how to improve.
Once you’ve mastered the technique it’s really easy to forget how many people today are starting off just as you did. By providing online lessons you not only manage to expand your potential customer reach across the UK, but also internationally!
You could easily earn between £20-£30 an hour as a starting point and can get started relatively quickly.
What do I need to become an online music teacher and give lessons?
Without stating the obvious you’ll need your instrument of course and a good grasp of the playing fundamentals! But aside from this there are just a few more things to consider:
A large monitor
you will need to be able to clearly see your student and be able to watch them closely and be able to clearly see their playing ability and technique. It’s no good thinking you’ll be able to provide this service on a mobile phone or tablet. A laptop or PC screen may be ok, or if you are providing a lesson using a laptop you could think of investing in a high definition external monitor. A 24-inch HD monitor for your laptop are available at Amazon, Argos, PC World etc… and would cost around £100.
Although your laptop’s microphone may be suitable for Zoom and Microsoft Team video calls the audio quality your client needs to hear needs to be clear and crisp. Especially when they need to listen for playing styles, sounds etc…
You can’t do much about the student’s PC equipment, but you can make the sound clearer for them with a decent microphone. To start with you shouldn’t need to consider one costing more than £100.
Camera Quality and Lighting
A high definition camera is a must. As well as providing the lesson you need to be professional. Fortunately, most recent PC and laptops do come with a HD camera.
If though the quality of camera your is lacking, it’s possible to pick up a good HD external camera for around £5-£60 on Amazon.
Lighting is also key. Your student needs to be able to see you. You don’t though have to spend a fortune on expensive lighting. Two desk lamps at around £10 each, either side of your PC or laptop should suffice.
With a decent camera and some lighting, your student should be able to see you clearly.
If you get everything else right, don’t allow a cluttered and messy background (i.e. what’s behind you in the online video stream your student will see). Dirty socks hanging over the back of the sofa in the background is certainly not the way to give off a professional image.
Make sure your background is clear and uncluttered. You could even setup your laptop and stage and design the background behind you.
If you think good HD quality videos and great backgrounds on YouTube influencer videos happen by chance, then think again.
An Online Music Lesson Teaching Plan
Although this is last on the list it is probably the most important. You can’t just set up an online lesson and make it up as you go. Nothing will look organised; the lesson won’t flow and you could end up confusing your student.
Instead plan your lessons upfront. What will you teach in lesson 1, what in lesson 2 etc… – how will you plan the lesson so it lasts exactly the length it’s booked for.
Also, you need to consider your students will be at different levels. They will know certain topics but need help in others. Although it will be near impossible to create a tailored lesson for every student, you need to be able to flow between the modules of your online course to create lessons suitable for every student.
How do I get started?
Well if you have ticked off each of the items above, the good news is you can start today.
Obviously the first step is getting students. As these will be online lessons it makes sense to start looking at online methods to market your new services.
Here are a list of websites to help you get started:
Fiverr is the online service providing marketplaces covering a wide variety of subjects, including online music lessons. It looks a little light at the moment, but you could find students across the world and average earnings are around £20 per hour.
Fiverr will not charge you a set-up fee but will charge you 20% commission of your earnings through them, so for every £20 you make you will pay Fiverr £4.
Website: Fiverr Online Music Lessons
Music Tutors has 800+ tutors on their books with 10,000+ students and so far through the site they have given 80,000 online lessons.
The tutors of Music Tutors can sign up to give lessons face to face or online.
Website: Music Tutors – Tutor Sign Up Page
Build Your Own Website and Advertise on Google
Or if you would prefer to keep all your income, and no pay a marketplace a commission, you could decide to build your own website (or have one built for you) and market your own services through a combination of social media, social media paid advertising and Google Ads.
If you’re unsure where to start you could sign up for a low-cost course explaining everything you need to know to get started.