May 06, 2009

How to Establish yourself as a Music Teacher

Many people who put their heart into music, put their business into music teaching. There are many fields of music education and if you are proficient in one or more you will surely find work. The first thing that a music teacher has to do is choose what he or she will focus on, be it an instrument, voice coaching, music theory or even music history. Next comes the time to assess your own knowledge on the topic. If you have a degree of Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education or Master of Music, you are probably comfortable enough teaching at any level. However if your learning did no go that far, you should be teaching at a more basic level. In any case, be sure you are qualified and are honest about your qualifications with your clients.

Consider also who you want to teach. Maybe you would love to help young children take their first steps in music. Or maybe you want to work with older kids or adults on continuing or just starting their education. Be sure you adapt your teachings and, if you need to, talk to pedagogues so you know how to deal with a child. The planning of the classes can be tricky and do not think for a second that only adults can spot if you did not prepare the lesson. A kid will notice and can get bored and even give up if they feel you are not making an effort.

Scheduling can also be difficult. Whatever you do, do not book more than one student for a time slot and try not to extend the lesson pass its designated time. It just screams that you are unprofessional. Remember during which hours kids are in school and are not available. Moreover, keep in mind that a 6 year-old attention span is not the same as a 16 year-old's so the time which lesson takes depends very much on the student. It also depends on you personally and on your teaching method.

On that topic, there are a lot of different music teaching methods out there. One of the most popular is the Suzuki Method, but others include the Dalcroze Method and the Yamaha Method. Even if you choose not to follow any of these, it is very interesting to learn a bit about each. It will open your eyes and you will see your work under a whole new prism. In the end, you probably will take some directions from these methods, even if subconsciously.

These are the basics you should take into account when setting up as a private music teacher. Others are simple, practical choices like the place you want to teach, the prices you will charge and how to keep your financial books. However, most of it comes from practice and time. You are a music teacher, so you know that everything

For more great music teacher resources, visit the Music Teacher's Helper blog.

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