As music teacher you can either teach privately in your house or in students homes, or you can teach in a music store or school – both have upsides and downsides. If you teach in your home or students homes, the upside is you can keep all of the money you charge to the student. Since you have no expenses like rent, a receptionist or yellow pages advertising you do not have to pay out a percentage to overhead costs. There are also downsides of teaching in your home or your student’s homes. It can be hard to keep your schedule constantly full with new students. Getting a full schedule can be difficult and expensive if you have to run classified ads or small newspaper ads. Even if you are a good, well-liked teacher, it can take a long time for referrals and word of mouth to fill your schedule. If you are driving to student’s houses you also have to factor in the driving time between students which limits the amount of teaching you can actually do.
The other downside of teaching on your own can be the difficulty in enforcing your attendance and payment policies. No one likes being a collection agent. It can be difficult to concentrate on your teaching while trying to keep track of who owes money and to make sure you are paid.
If you are teaching on your own, it can also be difficult to enforce your teaching policies and have your time respected. For example, if a student tells you they are going to Disney World for the next two weeks, it can be difficult to still make them pay for their lesson time. Many students will refuse to pay for those missed lessons because they will think: “I’m not getting my lesson so why should I pay?”