Side Hustle Idea: Teach Music Lessons

Your Next Gold Mine or Too Burdensome?

A side hustle can be about anything. Surveys, writing, translating, working in a coffee shop, and many more. So, why wouldn’t teach music be part of an idea when many people are actually earning quite the money with it? 

If you are someone who plays ANY instrument, you should have considered the option of making some cash with your skills since some people are unable to assist to official lessons or pay for the usual schools and institutions. 

And even if you don’t play an instrument, do you have a good ear and knowledge to share? Or maybe a good voice that was developed over the years? Anything related to the industry can be used as your next money-making method. 

Now, it is true that starting in this side hustle isn’t that simple, and you will find many competitors on the way that are aiming for more than a few bucks every week. 

But we still want you to remember this: it is profitable, and you could definitely get a lot from it if you know where, when, and how to start. 

Thus, if you are truly interested in using your musical senses and skills to teach music lessons, what about going over the details and information we have to share? We promise they will be quite useful for you to generate the so needed income. 

Become a Teacher: What Do You Need to Start?

The side hustle is very straightforward in what it is about, and there’s no need for an explanation, especially about our quick mentions in the last few paragraphs. 

However, we do find it necessary to go over some aspects and factors you cannot omit with this option. 

  • You need to have either talent or learn something to make it profitable. 

It is clear that this side hustle isn’t for anyone who doesn’t have anything to do with music, but it doesn’t mean the only people who can make money teaching lessons are those with a talent for it. 

You can take the time to start your own classes and go over the instrument of your choice or the specific lessons you decided to take. 

Once you have been taking them for a while and know more than the basics but rather defend yourself, you can start offering the music lessons. 

This means you can start when you have been a few months in the industry, but make sure your knowledge so far is actually worth money and will be useful for other people to learn through your lessons.

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  • If you can, add some curriculum. 

We know you want to make money ASAP, but some people will be wary of hiring you for the lessons unless you have some experience teaching. 

Remember, learning and playing aren’t the same as teaching someone else, so being able to work with an instrument or with music doesn’t mean you’re qualified for teaching. 

We can recommend you to volunteer and give some lessons during your free time before jumping to the paid option. 

Some students help beginners in their communities and people who are going to the same school or institution as you. This will help you build your confidence, know how to handle, and even have that beautiful experience everyone seems to be too worried about. 

Of course, if you get the chance to start with people who are willing to pay you right away, don’t lose your opportunity. 

  • Take notes of your classes or other people’s teaching lessons.

Not sure about where to start or how to teach others? You can have a closer look at how you’re learning or watch other music teachers. 

It isn’t cheating to see other people’s methods of teaching music as long as you aren’t exactly copying them but rather having a better idea of how to design your future lessons. 

We recommend going over YouTube videos and see what they include in their materials and content to know how to approach the side hustle and lesson plan to have classes in a fun way. 

Some tips we can give you with this and have a successful teaching career are choosing their favorite songs so they can enjoy playing, focusing on all classes as if they were the first lesson, and adding music theory, not only the usual try and play.

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  • Have an extra instrument or equipment. 

Some people will try to hire your services and take the lessons, but many won’t even have the instrument or what is needed to start. 

You could easily have some extras saved (if you can afford it) to include them in the lesson and get some extra cash for it. 

Of course, you shouldn’t try to give them but just use them while they are taking your lessons. 

  • Choose whether they will be online or offline. 

With technology, you have the option to rely on the online classes everyone is going over today, so you will need to decide if you will choose the traditional method of teaching locally or bet for a wider audience by going online. 

In our opinion, everything depends on what you prefer and your current budget to get started. 

When going online, you will need a good video cam and microphone for the lessons to be performed well, while the traditional option is only you as always. Still, it does limit your reach and possibilities of more students. 

We will dive a bit deeper into this when discussing the costs and investment. 

What Is Better Online or Offline?

This part is going to take us quite a while, even when we just mentioned it briefly. 

It is important to go over this properly because some people feel the online option tends to be more profitable but involves more work. In contrast, others consider the usual method to be less troublesome and with the same profitability. 

So, we want to clear a few things with this, but we can’t do it without setting our opinion straight: we recommend the online alternative. 

Going for teaching private music lessons offline is quite profitable if you know lots of people who would be willing to take your classes, have a space to receive them, and can dedicate enough time. 

In all honesty, people want to go to a place where they can take just sit and have their lessons without having to bring the teacher to their homes, which is what will happen if you decide to teach out of nowhere because, well, you either put your house for it or rent a space. 

Logistically, offline lessons can take more details and even investment in the long run, even as side hustles, so you need to consider if this is truly the approach you want to give it. 

It is, indeed, possible to start with yourself, the instrument, or your voice, but if you decide to take it a bit far or earn more money, more elements will be required.

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On the other hand, live online lessons give you the opportunity to: 

  • Work from home or any other place. 
  • Have live or recorded lessons. 
  • Reach more people and get more students. 
  • You don’t need to worry about meeting others or having space for receiving your students. 
  • You have different channels available to earn money teaching music. 

For beginners, offline classes can be a bit more comfortable despite what we just said. Why? Because they can take it easy and have one or two students to make a few bucks every week. 

However, the online approach can level this side hustle to more income, but you need the initial investment for it. 

Let’s Talk About Costs – How Much Do You Need?

If you are going for the offline option as a short-time money-maker option, you don’t need much, but just some music sheets, equipment your students could be missing, but you should have, and handle transport or the space where you will teach them. 

For the place where you will teach, you have two options: 

  • You use an empty room in your home. 
  • Go to your students’ homes to teach them. 

As for the costs of the previous elements, you shouldn’t need to invest more than $50 in some music sheets and transport depending on how frequent the lessons are. 

The transportation cost should be covered by how much you share for the lessons, so this isn’t really part of the initial investment. 

What happens if you don’t have your own instrument or need to add some extra equipment? Then, you need to consider those expenses. This is without any doubts or exceptions.

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Next, what about the online option? 

Although a camera and microphone will be needed to record or have live lessons, you can use your smartphone or current laptop with a webcam to handle this. 

The setup doesn’t need to be perfect, especially when you’re just starting, so a huge investment isn’t required unless you want to take it to the next level. 

In that case, you will certainly need to buy a better mic and cam, which range from $20 to $100 and $300+ respectively. 

We suggest you teach music lessons with your phone and computer. After all, the Internet connection will be the most important part, and if you have a decent or good one, the rest can be handled. 

In short, the online option doesn’t really require additional investment if you have the basic instrument, microphone, and additional elements like software and more, depending on how you structure the lessons and services. 

Making Money: Is It Worth the Effort? 

Believe it or not, this side hustle is quite profitable, even for those who are just starting. 

First, you can choose two options: charge per hour or set a price per lesson. 

Choosing one of them will depend on certain factors, so it isn’t like one is better than the other but rather adjust what you will do depending on: 

  • Your skills and experience with the instrument or using your voice. After all, people won’t pay much if you are just someone with a certain level of knowledge. 
  • If it is online or offline. The latter can allow you to set a higher rate. 
  • Additional elements or material included for your students. 
  • The instrument or specific music lesson you offer. 

We recommend setting a price per lesson if you are a professional or have been around the music world for a while, like playing/singing for years or since you were a kid. 

The average rate per lesson is set at $55, and it tends to last about an hour or an hour and a half, sometimes even less. 

To gain some students, some people set the rate at $20-30 and start increasing it based on their curriculum. 

For those without much experience or having a hard time finding people who would pay the previous rates for your music lessons, you can choose to set an hourly rate. 

The average hourly rate is set at $15+, and it goes high while you grow in the industry.

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Finally, what did we mean with the instrument and lesson you teach? 

Some students are willing to pay more based on the lesson you are offering. 

For example, people don’t mind paying an average of $65 for a piano lesson that lasts between 30 to 60 minutes. 

As popular as the instrument is, guitar lessons are less expensive and usually set at $35 per lesson. 

The list continues in that way based on your music lesson, so you can have quick research about how much you can search based on all the details so far. 

However, on average, you can earn between $250-700 per month with the lessons, which is quite a lot for a side hustle, and if you can opt for piano lessons, you kind of know how much you can earn. 

Where to Find Your Students

Usually, people would divide the approach based on the online or offline option. For us and based on our own experience, it is possible to work with the same alternatives to find students. 

First, you can just use your social media to promote your music lessons and find close friends or people you know who might be interested. 

But with the right marketing strategy, you can use social media like any other business and have a wider reach as long as you set boundaries and how you offer the lessons. 

Now, for the online music lessons, you do have more alternatives. 

Suppose you decide to give classes using platforms like LessonFace, Wyzant, TakeLessons, and LiveMusicTutor, which charge a fee for each lesson given using them. In that case, you can follow the usual social media method. 

However, when you opt for creating YouTube channels for recorded lessons, build your own website, use Discord, or find a more independent method, you can advertise with PPC (pay-per-click) ads, work around content marketing to bring more students or buyers to your lessons, and finance the side hustle in other ways. 

There’s a lot you can do, and finding the students will depend on what you end up choosing. 

For us, it would be better to start with the basics: social media and create a blog, if possible, to build your online presence as well. 

You can rely on networking and get recommendations from people you know from the niche, especially if you are attending classes or still going to a conservatory or music institution to have schedule lessons every week.

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Just go through the plan you have for the side hustle carefully and decide what you can afford and do better. 

Once you’re done, move with the action and start teaching, and we’re sure you’ll be able to make this option profitable while becoming an amazing teacher.

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Written by Dame Cash

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