#2 What I’ve Learned from Teaching Music: Group Tuition

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It doesn’t take a degree in mathematics to work out that six or more students in a one hour lesson, will remunerate a better rate  than 2 students an hour for one to one lessons at 30 minutes per lesson, but it’s not quite as simple as that.  You could teach in groups from your house if you have tolerant neighbours or if you have a house in the country, but I lived in a flat so I had to seek out business premises, and buy all the instruments etc.

I also attended courses on class instruction given by Yamaha Musical Instruments in Milton Keens which were excellent but they wanted to control more of my set-up than I was prepared to give so once again I was independent and that’s just the way I like it.

The first thing I did was to work out a break-even number of students which is the amount I needed to pay all the bills which was 55 for me, and it took two years before I started to make a profit and it took five years to pay back what I had borrowed. To make this work you need have a good promotion plan that will bring in students regularly. This is only a basic outline of the of the business side of the music school but I did learn so much more about business in general from this project which I must confess has been invaluable in keeping a level head in other areas of the music business.

The Perthshire Music School has been in operation now since the year 2000 with four tutors who were taught by me and learned  through my process of teaching and trained by me before they start to teach students themselves. We teach acoustic guitar, rock guitar, electric guitar, electronic keyboard, pop vocals and piano accordion. All the students can opt-in or out of grade exams for the London College of Music.

The music school is my main source of income, and pays the mortgage, and has put bread on the table for a lot of years. The solid income source has given me the opportunity to finance my creative projects but I will touch on this later.

What I enjoy the most about group tuition is teaching the students from the very beginning about learning to play in a group in the real world and I will go into this in more detail in my next blog.

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