February 22nd, 2018

Make Money Teaching Music Lessons

One of the most common questions that people will ask is, “How much can you actually make teaching music lessons?”. According to the article, How to Make Money at Home – Teach Music Lessons, private music teachers charge between $50 and $100 per lesson. If you do the math (which we’ll do in a moment), it quickly adds up.

In my experience, I’ve met people who have made hardly any money teaching lessons. I’ve also met quite a few that are making more than school music teachers. New York City drum teacher John Riley, is in the low six figures. The private music teachers with the higher incomes all have one thing in common: they are entrepreneurs. By working on their businesses, in addition to teaching and growing their own music skills, they were able to leverage their talents.

Here’s a formula to figure it out how you make money teaching music.

1. What’s Your Current Rate?

Let’s say my current rate is $80 an hour.

2. Can I Raise My Rate?

I think so…maybe in a few months I’ll raise it to $100 an hour.

3. How Many Lessons Per Week?

The key here is to figure out the average number of lessons you teach per week. Factor in potential cancellations, sick days, and holidays. Your percentage of cancellations will vary. To be conservative, I would estimate a general cancellation rate to be 25 percent.

I have 20 students, so my average is 15 lessons per week.

15 Lessons Per Week x $100 = $1,500 Per Week

4. How Many Weeks to Do You Take Off?

I take off about 4 weeks a year.

48 Weeks x $1,500 = $72,000 Per Year

It’s important to keep in mind that this is a conservative estimate. Also remember that I’m figuring 15 hours of actual lesson time per week as an example. So if I add a few more students to my schedule each week, I could be making over $100,000 a year teaching private lessons and not working 40 hours a week.

This sounds like an awesome part-time job for me!

How Much Money Have You Made Teaching Music Lessons?

About Mike Veny

Mike Veny has written 26 articles on this website.

Mike Veny is a professional drummer in New York City. He has been happy playing drums since 1989. He performs with Sean 360x & the universoul spiRitual Ankhestra alongside Ramsey Jones of the Wu-Tang Clan family. Sean 360x is a MySpace chartopping artist & has been #1 on the ReverbNation Electronica/Dance charts for over 16 weeks. He also performs with Kim Oler, an Emmy Award winning composer for ABC’s All My Children, As the World Turns,The Tracey Ullman Show, and The Guiding Light.

  • Sheri Pape

    In a city of $150,000, you cannot make $80 an hour. So what can you charge in a city this size?

    • In a city of $150,000 or 150,000 people?

      What do music teachers charge in your city?


      *P.S. *This email was delivered by Infusionsoft

  • Ms Lori

    Too bad she never replied with what music teachers make in that city. I do have a question for you Mike Veny; Most music teachers I know charge $30 no more than $40 dollars in Birmingham. What would you suggest to charge? I would like to share it with someone that I met who went to school for music and has a passion to teach it.

    • Hi Ms. Lori!

      The key to pricing is simple – it must less than the “perceived value” of the service.
      For example, if I charge $50 an hour, my marketing materials should present me as a $100 an hour music teacher.

      Mike Veny

      Typed with big thumbs on a small phone.

      iPhone. iTypos. iApologize.

  • Sheri Pape

    Mike: How much can you charge if you live in a city of 100,000?

    • Hi Sheri,

      Great question. Whether it’s a city of 100,000 or 1,000,000,000, you want to to know what people are paying for lessons. A simple way to do this is to take an inventory of your competitors with a SWOT Analysis. This will give you a clear idea of where to start and how to differentiate yourself.
      If you’d like to discuss this further, please email me at mikeveny@gmail.com .


  • amandatea

    I charge a bit above $40/hour – I don’t know if i’m undervaluing myself (I teach at a studio, and they *sort of* set the rates, to a degree). I work very hard and give my students 100% attention – as I should (but most teachers I know spend a lot of time on their phones or some other nonsense while teaching) and spend a lot of my free time working on info sheets/worksheets, and on learning how to teach better. I have no idea how to price the value of things. Any suggestions? I WISH I could make $50/hour. That would be a world of difference to me.

    • I think it’s important to keep a list of what other teachers in your area charge. This way you have an idea of what others are paying.

      The other thing that’s important is investing time in improving your sales and marketing skills. Just like learning an instrument, they are simply skills that anyone can develop.

      Mike Veny