Make Money Your Buddy as a Music Teacher

Do you struggle with your mindset around money? Do you feel like you don’t have a good grasp over your finances as a music teacher, or you never quite seem to make enough money from teaching lessons?

⬆️ Listen to the podcast above or keep on reading, whichever fits your style. ↙️

It’s not surprising many music teachers struggle to make enough money and end up taking on day jobs to pay the bills. And that’s not because teaching music is inherently unprofitable.

It’s because we don’t talk about money.

We don’t face it head-on and say, “Hey, money, wanna be my friend?” 😍

So. Why not? Why do so many of us avoid even thinking about our finances?

I believe there are three biases which might be making you think of money as your enemy. 

  1. You’re an artist.
  2. You’re on a mission.
  3. You’re female.

Even just one of those things means that society has taught you that money should be neither seen nor heard. And if you’re three for three? Well, that’s a tough one and I’ve been there. 

Busting the Biases

None of those things should mean you can’t make a good income, if we stop and think about it.

The gender pay gap is very real, but I don’t think any of us think it’s how things should be. (If you do think women should be paid less for the same work, or you think the jobs women tend to do have a lower value, please just go away. Thanks!)

Having a greater purpose behind our work shouldn’t mean we don’t get paid properly, either. 

We need good people to do good work. In order for those people to have the mental space to do that work, they can’t be worrying about money.

And, finally, we need artists. At the risk of making you blush, humanity needs you to create beautiful things and teach other people to create beautiful things. 

Otherwise, honestly, what is the point of it all anyway? The folks trading on wall street and investing in silicon valley have nothing to play with if artists don’t create.

Ditch the Starving Artist Mentality

So it’s time to ditch this idea of the starving artist, once and for all.

It’s not romantic or authentic to have a knot in your stomach about your credit card debt. You don’t have to be tortured to make art. 

You know that, though, right? 

The hard part is internalising it and believing it every second of the day. So let’s try this as a route to get you there: Focus on your students.

Why your Students Need You to Make Money

You see, your students need you to make money. 

If you made their lessons free, you would have to take on a day job to pay your bills. 

So then you’d only be able to teach a few lessons a week.

And you’d be a lot more tired for those lessons, too, and probably less prepared because you just wouldn’t have the time.

With a choice between those two teachers, which would you choose? I know I’d prefer to have a teacher who was fed, rested and focused. 

Plus, parents who pay properly for lessons tend to support their child better in home practice. They’re already investing money, which makes it more likely (not guaranteed, of course!) that they’ll invest time, too.

The next time you feel icky talking about or thinking about money, remind yourself that this will ultimately serve your students.

If you need help getting your music teaching business in line, we’ve got a page completely devoted to that.

Set a Music Teacher Budget & Goals

If you’re ready to be friends with money, you need to get to know her.

Start by making a budget for your teaching studio and setting some goals for the next year. Look at ways to steady your income and become profitable.

Once you have these things in place, don’t let money become some distant Facebook friend. Stay in touch regularly by keeping your books up-to-date and checking the numbers against your goals and budget. 

This is how you begin to make money your buddy and get over the money mindset issues once and for all.

Your One Thing.

Depending on your current status with money, spend some time this week either setting up a budget or find a way to track one aspect more closely. Make a plan to woo money into a closer relationship and you’ll always be better off.

Have you fallen into any money mindset issues?

Share how you’ve overcome them in the comments below or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook. 🙂

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