Why do you teach?
There are so many different motivations for classical musicians to add teaching to their list of skills and offerings. No matter your reasons for starting to teach private lessons, it is essential to approach your new private lesson studio with clear goals and a plan for success that aligns with your values.
When I first started teaching, I kind of "fell" into it. I started my studio very small, and it grew... slowly. It took me a few years before it grew to a size that I liked, and only then did I start to think about why I was teaching and what I wanted to get out of it, and how it aligned with my values and goals. Since then, my studio has grown as large as I want it to possibly be, and I am actually having to turn away students.
You can be there, too- now. You deserve to make as much money as you want from your private lesson teaching. You are an incredible musician and educator and have so much to give to the world. Think big, and reach toward your highest self as a music educator. You deserve success.
No matter where you are in your private lesson teaching journey, the first step to reaching success is to realize your goals. Try this 60 Minute Goal Setting Exercise:
At the top of a blank piece of paper write down “values” and then spend 10 to 15 minutes writing down everything that you value. These do not have to be solely music-related values.
Underneath your values, write down “lifetime goals.” This is where you dream. Don't hold back! For example, places you would like to visit, the kind of house you want to live in, etc. There are no rules to this brainstorming – simply make a list.
Then, write down your ideal teaching situation. What does it look like? How many students do you have each week? Are you teaching in-person or online, or both? How much do you charge? What level and ages of students do you have? What is your yearly income from teaching? Think big!
Finally, think about steps you can take today that will lead to your lifetime goals and your ideal teaching situation, and write them down. Remember, you didn't learn your instrument in a day, so don't expect to reach your lifetime goals in a day, either. By taking small, actionable steps every single week, nothing will hold you back.
This total goal-setting exercise will only take an hour or less. An hour spent clarifying your goals can save you hundreds of hours wasted by teaching in ways that don't align with your values, charging less than your worth, and working in ways you don't want to. Take this time to care for yourself and your future by setting goals for your private lesson teaching career.