Can you make money teaching music lessons? Absolutely.

Most people think that guitar teachers, piano teachers or any type of musician has to be poor. Unfortunately, most musicians do not make a decent living because they do not have the business foundation or basics to really make their business successful.

One of the biggest things holding private lesson teachers back from making money teaching music lessons is their lack of belief that it can actually be done.

In this article, I'm going to show you a few different ways that you can make a sizable income ($75,000-$100,000) teaching music.

The Happiness Tipping Point

Not long ago, a Princeton study suggested that $75,000 was the 'happiness tipping point'. This meant that earning more than $75,000/year didn't really produce much more 'happiness' than earning saying $96,000/year. Other studies have suggested that making at least $50,000/year can show significant differences in quality of life.

Today, the number has been updated to about $83,000 for the happiness tipping point and about $55,000 for quality of life. While I believe earning as much money as possible helps create security, I'm going to show you how possible it is to make $84,000/year teaching music. 

How To Make $84,000/year Teaching Music

Whenever I create big goals for myself, I like to break them down into the steps I need to take to get there. Big goals can being overwhelming for a lot of people, so throwing a number out without a plan for how to get there can actually cause paralysis, not action. Let's break this big yet doable goal into it's smaller pieces.

Example assumes you teach 30 hours each week.

1.) There are 12 months in a year. To make $84,000/year you need to make $7,000/month ($84,000/12)

2.) There are 4.33 weeks in a month. To make $7,000/month you need to earn $1,616.63/week ($7,000/4.33)

3.) There are 30 hours in a week. To make $1,616.63/week you need to charge $53.89/hr ($1,616,63/30)

So to make $84,000 you need to teach 30 hours a week charging $54/hr. That's:

  • 60 30-minute lessons

  • 40 45-minute lessons

  • 30 60-minute lessons


Let me express to you how POSSIBLE this is. $54/hr is very doable even in rural areas where cost of living is much lower. 

But Lauren, I can’t charge $54/hr where I live. OK, let’s say you can’t. Maybe you live in a rural area where cost of living is really low, so instead of needing $84,000/year you only need $48,000/year. I know some private teacher friends in rural area who do just that and are very happy. Oh, by the way, that’s only $30.78/hr.


What If I Want To Take Vacation?

While there are techniques and strategies I could teach you to get paid even when you are on vacation, let's assume that you are just going to take 4 weeks off each year.

Example assumes you teach 30 hours each week with 4 weeks vacation each year.

1.) You still need to earn $7,000/month.

2.) Now there are 4 week in each month. So you would have to earn $1,750/week ($7,000/4).

3.) This means you would have to charge $58.34/hr.

So to make $84,000 with 4 weeks vacation you need to teach 30 hours a week charging only $59/hr! 

Again, let me express how doable this is. You CAN make money teaching music lessons.


Now, doing the math is one thing. Getting there and taking the right action is another. I see a large number of mistakes that my own employees make with their students and I have to train them on the do's and dont's of retaining students. Retention (keeping the students you already have) is the biggest part of this equation. Your teaching business needs to stop becoming a revolving door of students. 

By retaining students, you can create demand for yourself and charge prices that are way higher than your competition. If you live in big cities, it should be very easy to charge $100/hr for your services. (If you do that math, you can make $100,000/year teaching 21 hours a week charging $100/hr with 4 weeks vacation.)  

Not only do you have to retain students, you have to provide value that none of your other competitors provide as well. I use a number of things to provide extra value to my clients that they don't get elsewhere. I know they don't get it because I've worked with a number of local teachers here and know how the 'average' music teacher teaches their lessons. Most private lesson instructors do not understand this and then wonder why their business isn't growing the way they hoped it would. They blame the customer when, in reality, a few tweaks in their business model is all that's needed.

If you are serious about building a successful teaching business and want to learn how you can retain your clients longer and make yourself more valuable, Contact Me or check out my Business Bootcamp page.

I can help you start your business or even restructure your business and get you building the right foundation for creating success.