Should I Teach from Home?

Grand piano in a spacious room with a green plant behind it near a window

If you have the space available to teach from home, then this is a great starting point to get your business off the ground. Having a dedicated space or room for teaching purposes provides a quality experience for your students. Some tutors even hire out a local studio so that they can have this dedicated space.

Have everything you need

Make sure that all lesson materials, instruments, accessories, etc. are close to hand. A computer with your teaching materials on ready to print is a fantastic resource.

Should I Travel to Students?

Man driving a car

Do you drive or rely on public transport? Initially to be able to serve more people, it’s tempting to offer as much as possible, including travelling to students even if you don’t drive. This is of course fine; you just have to work out the logistics and whether or not it’s going to be feasible as you get busier.

Learning to drive, if you don’t already, is so freeing and opens up your schedule if you currently travel out to people’s houses.

Tip: It probably seems obvious, but grouping your students by location so you can see them all in one day one after another can save so much travelling time.

Work out the cost

The best thing to do is work out how much extra you would need to charge your students for travelling out to them. Factor in the time it’ll take you to get there and back, petrol or transport tickets, wear & tear on the vehicle, etc.

You could also vary the cost depending on how far you travel. Having a realistic maximum travel distance is also advised, because when it comes to it, travelling 25 miles to see a student for an hour’s lesson is not as attractive as travelling only 3 miles. This does, of course, depend upon your pricing. You have to make it worth it for you. Travelling far can also take a lot of time out of your day, which could be used more effectively to see more students.

Peak times

The typical peak times for giving lessons are in the evening after work/school and at weekends. If you have students who you can see during the day then that will definitely make it easier for you. This is something to consider when travelling to students. You only have so many hours in an evening, which restricts how many students you can take on, especially if you’re spending time travelling.

Should I Give Online Lessons?

Man playing guitar with a laptop on his lap

Online lessons are a fantastic way of reaching a massive marketplace, without the typical restrictions of time and location. Once setup, it’s quite a convenient way to see many students throughout each day.

A few things to consider would be your internet connection speed and using a quality microphone, webcam and software. Typical software includes Skype or Google Hangouts, which also enable you to share your screen with students.

Internet speed requirements

Using Skype as an example, the minimum download/upload speed for HD video calling is 1.2Mbps and the recommended is 1.5Mbps. For groups of 7+ people the recommended is 8Mbps download with 512kbps upload. You can check your current internet speed here.

Do I need to have a DBS check?

While DBS checks aren’t legally mandatory, as a professional private tutor, you would be best to have one done. The level of check required for this type of work is Enhanced. This is for when you are working with children and vulnerable adults, especially in their own home or yours. This offers peace of mind to your clients when they initially book lessons with you.

If you have applied to work at a school or similar organisation, then they would normally do an Enhanced DBS check with you upon application. The check that they do is the same check that any organisation would do so it doesn’t matter who does it with you. You will receive a certificate in the post with the result of your background check.

If you sign up to become a tutor at MJP Music Tuition, you can upload a photo of your existing DBS certificate, which will be approved by an admin. If you don’t yet have one and would like to begin an application, then we offer this service to all of our tutors. Currently, you have to go through an organisation in order to attain a DBS check, as you are unable to do so as an individual. The current cost to acquire an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the DBS through us is £59.

How Much Should I Charge for My Lessons?

Four 20 pound notes on a black background

Prices for lessons can vary dramatically and is something that you have to consider carefully. Compare an hour lesson that costs £10 with one that costs £90. What do you think validates the cost of a £90 lesson? What differences in service would you expect? As a client, you would definitely expect a difference in service at these price points.


The more expensive lesson would be from someone who is incredibly experienced and at the top of their game and maybe even famous to some degree. Celebrity status can add to the price as there is likely to be more demand for lessons from this particular person. Fans would definitely be willing to pay more if they can have a private lesson with one of their idols.

Many famous instrumentalists, who still teach, will put on workshops and group lessons so they can reach a greater number of learners in a shorter space of time. This may also bring the cost of lessons down for each student who attends.

Add more value

There are many ways to add more value to your lessons, without that much extra effort on your part. For example, you could offer to record your students and give them a recording studio experience if you have the facilities available, or you could give them free complementary books, PDFs, MP3s, etc. You might have a website, which could offer exclusive content to your students who create an account. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to see the possibilities for your business. Make it uniquely valuable and people will come to you for that uniqueness.

Make sure you deliver

Whatever you charge, make sure you deliver on your promises. Ensure that your students get the full value from your lessons. Otherwise you may find it difficult to keep students over the long term or find yourself having to lower your prices.

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Mike Pearson

MJP Music Tuition

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