Teaching Music Online (Setup, Apps, Finding Students, Tips)
Online music teaching can be a rewarding activity. You can help people develop their skills without having to worry about transport and teaching locations.
It allows you to enlarge your base of students, letting you reach people outside of your local area, potentially increasing your income.
There are two main ways you could employ to teach music online. You could give live individual or group lessons via Skype, Zoom, or any other video call app. Alternatively, you could sell pre-recorded lessons.
In this article, we will go through some basics to get your online music teaching career started.
Live online lessons
With the first option, you are transferring your regular teaching activity onto the web.
To embark on this endeavor, you’ll need to choose a platform to use. You will also need to recruit students who will tune in and follow you.
Think about live online lessons as regular in-person lessons. If you already teach music, you may work in a school or give private lessons either in your home or your students’ home. Choosing a platform for your online live teaching is just like selecting the physical space for in-person lessons.
The apps available right now are numerous and often free.
Most people still choose Skype, among the first video call apps to appear on the market, but your choice is not limited to it.
For example, Zoom, an online video conference platform, is reported to have slightly better quality.
Google Hangouts is another great option, as it doesn’t even require you to download it on your PC, and you can use the app with your Google account credentials.
Another creative way to teach lessons online could be through Facebook. This tool is particularly useful if you have multiple students in one class, as you can create a private group where to host live streaming sessions and add any educational material in a fun and engaging way.
With this second option, you could turn your teaching into a passive income stream. The idea is to prepare lessons to sell either on your website or e-learning platforms (such as Udemy).
You can shoot a few video lessons on a specific subject and offer extra material, such as PDFs and backing tracks.
With this kind of learning, lessons on specific topics are more successful than generic courses. For example: “100 Guitar Blues Licks for Beginners” is more specific than a general “Blues Guitar” course. Bonus point: you can prepare different courses and sell them to different audiences, enlarging your client base even further.
What equipment will I need?
You may wonder what kind of technical equipment you’ll need to start teaching online. The short answer is: you just need a smartphone!
With your smartphone, you can: shoot videos, create documents, record audio tracks, and live stream. That’s all you need!
However, if you want some more professional equipment, you can achieve great results even with a cheap camera, a microphone, and an audio interface. To live stream from your PC, with your camera and a microphone and audio interface connected, you can use free software items such as OBS (which is great for both streaming and recording).
If you decided to offer online live lessons, then you should start gathering ideas on how to find students.
As with everything else, social media are a great marketing tool. Start building a brand associated with your teaching activity and try to reach new potential clients by keeping your followers engaged. Any good social media marketing plan involves a sort of content calendar. Maybe you could share tips on how to play your instrument through some fun videos, infographics, and pictures. Perhaps you could start a blog and use it to bring traffic to your website.
Make it very easy for people to contact you. Make sure clients are clear about how to get in touch with you. Is there a specific form on your website? Have you shared your email address and asked potential clients to contact you?
Enhancing your social media presence works wonders if you are trying to sell your pre-recorded lessons from your website too. In this case, you may want to implement a complete sales process, through a funneling technique.
First of all, prepare your lessons and make them available on your website. In the meantime, create some regular content to engage your audience on your social platforms.
When you are ready to launch your course, create a compelling offer giving out what marketers call a “lead magnet.” It could be the first video lesson of your course or a free e-book with tips and tricks to play your instrument like a pro. Consider it a sort of welcome gift for potential buyers.
To give out the lead magnet, remember to ask for an email address in exchange. This way, you will have a way to get in touch with your prospects, inviting them to join your course.
If you decided to upload your class to an e-learning platform, such as Udemy, make sure to regularly share a link to it on your social media and with your contacts.
Useful apps for your students
Lastly, there are quite a lot of apps that could help your students with their musical efforts.
There are also a ton of apps to help students with guitar and piano playing (such as Real Guitar or Yousician‘s Piano). There are some available for other instruments too.
Most importantly, remember that without some real-life contact, students can feel confused and discouraged. Make sure to be always available for them, making it easy for them to reach you out in case they need you.