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4 Ways You Can Make More Money Teaching Piano in Fewer Hours

By Nicola Cantan | Business and Marketing

Feb 25

Make More Money Teaching Piano

Are you looking to make more money for the same teaching hours? Or teaching fewer hours?

Aren’t we all!

In this article, I want to share 4 ideas with you that could help you do just that.

I talk more about these formats and even more options in the new Make More, Teach Less course inside the Inner Circle. If you’re a member, click here to go to that course.

Read through to the bottom to grab a free download from the new Inner Circle course.

Make More, Teach Less Method 1: Partner Lessons

Partner lessons are a simple no-brainer way to make more out of your teaching time by teaching 2 students at once!

Partner piano lessons can be taught at one piano or two and generally don’t need a bigger teaching space than you already have for your one-on-one lessons.

Most teachers charge about 75% of their regular rate for each piano partner, meaning you make 1.5 x your regular teaching rate for the same time.

Benefits of Partner Lessons

  • No extra equipment required
  • Not too big a leap into the unknown

Drawbacks of Partner Lessons

  • Can be tricky to schedule
  • Partners can end up out of sync/pace with each other

Useful resources if you’re considering partner lessons

Make More, Teach Less Method 2: Buddy Lessons

Buddy lessons are lessons that overlap in the middle, like this:

buddy lessons explained

The amount of time for each portion can vary. The most common setup is either 30 minutes solo + 30 minutes buddy time or 45 minutes solo + 15 minutes overlap. Bear in mind that the more time you spend in the buddy portion of the lesson, the more profitable you will be.

Buddy lessons are easier to schedule than partner lessons because both kids do not need to be at the same level, but it’s best if they’re close in age.

Inner Circle members you can watch an online seminar on innovative lesson formats right now. 

Benefits of Buddy Lessons

  • No extra equipment required
  • Still have some solo time so levelling not an issue

Drawbacks of Buddy Lessons

  • Need extra time to plan in the beginning
  • Not maximising your income – just a little extra

Useful resources if you’re considering buddy lessons

Make More, Teach Less Method 3: Lab Time

Lab time is done directly before or after your student’s lesson, while you’re teaching another student. During this time, students generally work on iPad apps, theory assignments or practice at a keyboard with headphones.

Once your piano lab is set up this doesn’t really alter your teaching style all that much. You’ll still be teaching regular one-on-one lessons, your students will just be adding another component onto their lessons to reinforce their learning.

Benefits of Piano Lab Time

  • Minimal changes to your teaching style
  • No extra scheduling conflicts

Drawbacks of Piano Lab Time

  • Need extra equipment such as iPad, digital piano, computer
  • Parents may not be willing to pay a premium rate for this time
  • Unlikely to work for very young students

Useful resources if you’re considering adding lab time

Make More, Teach Less Method 4: Group Lessons

The best way to really maximise your teaching income and minimise your teaching time is to convert to group lessons.

This isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. But the more students you teach at once, the more earning potential you have.

Benefits of Group Lessons

  • Maximise your income
  • Social lesson environment for students

Drawbacks of Group Lessons

  • May need bigger teaching space and extra instruments
  • Big transition for you and may require more planning time

Useful resources if you’re considering adding group lessons

How will you make more money in your piano studio?

Please share in the comments if one of these ideas inspired you, or if you have another idea to maximise teaching income.

If you need some help with lesson planning, don’t forget to download my 3 Keys to a Comprehensive Piano Lesson Plan. 

Free Download

Enter your details below and grab a free download!

Inner Circle members, you can access the full course in the Academy right now.

If you aren’t a member, sign up here and you too can work through our latest course, Make More, Teach Less with Pairs, Buddies and Labsas well as hundreds of other resources.

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About the Author

Nicola Cantan is a piano teacher, author, blogger and creator of imaginative and engaging teaching resources. Nicola's Vibrant Music Teaching Library is helping teachers all over the world to include more games and off-bench activities in their lessons, so that their students giggle their way through music theory and make faster progress. She also runs a popular blog, Colourful Keys, where she shares creative ideas and teaching strategies.