What You Need to Start Teaching Private Music Lessons


You have always loved playing your violin and decided it’s time to make money from it. But starting your private music lesson business might sound very daunting. So here are some tips on what you need to know to prepare yourself.

Know Your Instrument 

It doesn’t help if you see a growing need in your community for a cello teacher, but you don’t know anything about the cello. You need to know the instrument you want to teach, what the names of particular sections are, how to tune the instrument, restring it, hold it, etc. 

It all plays a part in building your credibility. If you are not 100% sure about the names, YouTube a few videos to brush up on your knowledge before you start taking on students.

Basic Knowledge

A big plus point is that you don’t need a music degree to give private music lessons. But you do need the basic knowledge in theory and reading music sheets. Learning to play an instrument by ear doesn’t require a teacher. 

Unless you are teaching drums (which at the beginners level does not require sheet music), you need to know how to read sheet music. But know your limits. If you only have limited knowledge of theory and sheet music reading, ensure that the students you take on don’t overreach your capability.

Administrative Skills

You are now a self-employed business owner. As such, the tiering work of admin is the flipside to it all. Administrative responsibilities such as:

  • Billing
  • Bookkeeping 
  • Lesson planning and preparing – every student is different. They require various means to stay interested in the instrument they are learning.
  • Coordinating activities like recitals and entering students into exams and music festivals
  • Taxes 

If you are not up to do some of these tasks, instead get yourself an accountant that will handle bookkeeping, billing and taxes for you. 


Music is one of the talents that doesn’t have an age limit. Small children from 4 up to senior citizens can start learning to play an instrument. But you have to decide which age group you feel more comfortable with teaching. The younger age groups do require more patience than age groups 8 and up. Bear in mind; you will need high-level credentials if you think about taking on high-level students. 

Where to teach 

There are different ways and places you can do your private music lessons. If you have a spare bedroom or study, you can convert it into a music room. You can also offer to travel to the student’s houses. This is an excellent idea if the students are from around the neighborhood. Although due to the pandemic, it might not always be possible to teach in person. Virtual options are available; you just need to know how to teach music online

Advertising is the final and easy step. You can either put up posters at your local businesses or even blast the happy news on all your social media pages. With the student’s consent (or their parents if they are minors), you can even take pictures while doing your lessons and posting them on your Facebook page. If your students give you positive reviews, that will also boost your clientele.