It is now second nature to turn to search engines like Google and Bing to find just about anything. Guess what? Your potential students (and their parents) are searching for a music teacher online right this minute. There are over 1 million music-learning-related searches every month on Google alone!
There’s a growing wave of music teachers benefiting from this trend by moving their studios online: teaching students across the globe, filling slow hours with students from other time zones, building their rosters…and earning more income!
Is it for me? Can I actually do this?
You’re already a great teacher and that’s the most important thing! Here’s a checklist of considerations to begin teaching music online:
* Have you used your webcam for Skyping or other video chat applications? This is your fundamental communication tool. Setup for live online music lessons is easy and generally just requires a laptop with a built in webcam. Here are some ideas on how to set up your online teaching studio.
* Do you have adequate high speed Internet? Great video quality needs at least 1 Mbps of ‘upload’ speed (test your connection speed here: www.speedtest.net). If you consider that each online student spends at least $60 per month on lessons, upgrading your internet connection is well worth the investment.
* Are you active online? Kudos to you if you’re already spending time building your online presence with a website, a blog, YouTube channel, or by participating in forums. Check out these 4 simple ways to build your online presence.
Does it really work?
Most emphatically, yes! Many teachers report that students exhibit higher levels of concentration and faster progress when focused on a screen. Wayne Land, a saxophone teacher with 40+ years experience had this to say of online music instruction:
There’s no guarantee that any method of taking lessons will work unless the student is committed to practicing. That commitment needs to come from a profound desire to learn. When one has that kind of internal need to make music, the practice time is something the student looks forward to and enjoys. Likewise, the lesson time should be something looked forward to and enjoyed. With everything in music learning, lesson time and practice time, I strongly believe that if you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing you aren’t improving. Conversely, if you are enjoying your effort you “are” improving. It makes little difference whether the teacher is sitting in the room next to you or speaking to you via online video chat unless there is a difference in the level of enjoyment. Considering the advantages of taking your lessons right in the comfort of your own home, the online experience may actually improve the level of enjoyment and that is a very good thing indeed.
Yes, it works. In fact, if the student has a more enjoyable experience, is less apprehensive and more enthusiastic, it can and will work “better” than in person.
How do I get started?
So you’re ready to start building your online teaching studio. Now what? The web is a massive space and…chock full of great ways to waste your money and valuable time!
If you plan on going it alone on a platform like Skype, you’ll need to split your time between teaching and marketing. That’s a tall order when you consider that a website, blog, ads, and a Facebook page (among others) are essential to getting the word out about your service.
If that sounds like too much of a distraction from the teaching itself, consider joining an online music lessons platform like The ZOEN. Let the professionals make a daily habit of using their marketing tools to attract students so you can focus on what you makes you special and valuable: teaching music!
However you choose to slice it, online music lessons are a great opportunity for teachers, and the possibilities for online music instruction are endless.
Phil Amalong is a teacher, composer, performer, entrepreneur and VP of Community and Content at The ZOEN. For more insights into online music teaching and best practices, visit Phil’s Blog. To start teaching for The ZOEN, apply now.
The ZOEN is our newest advertiser here on Music Matters Blog and we are grateful for their support of the online music education community! If you are interested in finding out more about how you can promote your company, event, or product, just send me an e-mail and I’ll let you know about our advertising packages.