Music is a fundamental part of the human psyche, one of the most ancient forms of art that we have ever created. You were born with music in your soul and a feeling that your purpose in life is to share it with as many people as you can. Aside from making beautiful melodies on your instrument of choice, have you ever considered opening your own company to teach music?
Credentials and Qualifications
It might seem like knowing about music from firsthand experience should be enough, but the truth is that potential clients want to see what kind of credentials and certifications you’ve got under your belt. It’s more than something to frame and hang on the wall; a degree shows clients that you take your craft seriously enough to have studied it professionally and obtained a certification to prove that you know your stuff.
While a teaching degree might not be something you consider essential, prospective parents might feel more comfortable sending their kids to someone with a masters in music education as opposed to somebody with no degree. It’s more than just being educated on the topic and understanding it — people who have been through teaching and education courses have also likely undergone a background check and/or fingerprinting. Working in the education industry (no matter what area of study you choose) can be an understandably finicky thing with parents.
A Place To Hang Your Guitar
No matter what kind of instrument you play, a dedicated space to teach music is essential. After years in the field you might already know what is the best kind of area to work with instruments and acoustics, but some places are better than others. When you’re looking at prospective pieces of real estate for your business to call home, think about what kind of practice space is the most ideal for teaching and learning:
- Instruments, stands, sheet music and chairs are all within reach and easy to access. You don’t want a mad scramble whenever students enter your room thanks to a lack of decent equipment.
- While you’re working with students, getting sucked into the clock can happen all too easily. Instead of clock-watching or risk going over the designated hours, outfit the practice area with a timer. You don’t want distractions; all you want is the ability for all parties to focus on nothing but their music.
- Creature comforts are real: Is the room comfortable? How’s the temperature, the atmosphere? Is there enough light? Is it an inspiring place to practice or does it make your students feel like they’re stuck in a dungeon?
Another consideration: Neighbors. You have every intention of polishing your students into the brightest diamonds possible, but remember that learning to play an instrument beautifully also can cause an awful lot of racket. Choose a place that either has no other tenants or soundproof your practice rooms adequately. You don’t want to be the most hated small business owner on the block.
Marketing and New Clientele
Once you’ve established your studio and have gotten your business owner’s license, now it’s the time to start marketing. How can you draw in new clients? Paper marketing like good-old-fashioned flyers and brochures can certainly do the job, but remember what the primary platform is these days when you’re advertising a small business: The internet.
Becoming part of social media for business is a smart and easy way to get the public’s attention. As of 2019, 50 million small businesses utilized Facebook to help them advertise and 71% of customers who had a good social media experience with a company were more likely to recommend that company to someone else. One cool trick is to create a hashtag unique to your business so that when users see it elsewhere, it's easy to trace back to you, and also to see how many other people are talking about your business on their own pages.
Of course, it almost goes without saying that a website is essential to be recognized by consumers too. The first question you will hear from many prospective clients will be “do you have a website?” so make sure that your answer is a swift YES! Make it easy to navigate and clearly label each section. Don’t forget two of the most important features: An About section to introduce yourself and share your story as well as contact information. Don’t forget an email address, telephone number and any social media handles you use.
Starting any business isn’t easy, but a niche such as teaching music can seem especially difficult to get settled into. Start small and work your way up, following the processes as you go.