Start your own music school

Turning Your Music Side Hustle into a Thriving Music Education Business in the UK

Kurt GraverBusiness Start-up Guides

Have you been teaching music lessons on the side and dreaming of turning your passion into a full-time career? With dedication and smart planning, you can grow your part-time gig into a thriving music school business in the UK.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the key steps to establishing, promoting, and scaling up your successful music education business.

Introduction: Turning Music Lessons into a Career

I’ve witnessed first-hand how a university student renting out a tiny studio and putting up flyers for “guitar lessons” owned a music school with 9 teachers and over 300 pupils just 5 years after graduation!

Her journey from a side hustle to a professional education business wasn’t easy. Still, she turned her part-time endeavour into a highly profitable enterprise by specializing in certain instruments, investing in the right marketing strategies and focusing on student outcomes.

And you can follow in her footsteps! Whether you’re teaching piano, vocals, guitar or even niche instruments like the harp, this blog post explores how to convert your private music instruction into a rewarding full-time business here in the UK.

Step 1: Get Organised with Music School Software

First, you must track your existing students and lessons in an organized system. Investing in proper music school management software can help schedule classes, manage attendance, invoice students and keep records as you grow.

Software like Music School Manager allows you to know exactly who is taking which lesson and when. This gives your business reliability, helps ensure student satisfaction, and provides necessary records if you hire more teachers later.

Step 2: Choose a Profitable Niche

Rather than being a generic music education provider, it pays dividends to specialize and build a reputation for excellence in instruments like guitar, piano, drums, harp, ukelele, and more.

Choose instruments in which you have genuine talent and formal training. Develop speciality curriculum and song lists tailored to student needs—delight pupils by catering lessons directly to their musical passions and abilities. Stand out by offering niche focus areas matched to market demand.

To protect yourself from financial risk as a music educator, legally set up your school as a company structure like a Limited Company. Consult an accountant to ensure compliance with UK regulations around reporting taxes, paying National Insurance contributions for staff you hire, and more.

You should also open a separate business bank account, register for VAT if eligible and get insured to safeguard against accidents or property damage.

Step 4: Secure Suitable Premises

Renting appropriate premises near your target locations allows rapid business growth versus home lessons. Look for spaces near residential catchment areas, parking availability, acoustic treatment availability, etc.

Build proper demo rooms for one-on-one lessons and larger spaces to rent out for band practices, rehearsals and even live performances. Invest in soundproofing and safety features and obtain necessary music licenses.

Step 5: Stock Up on Equipment

Purchase quality musical instruments, amps, audio gear and other hardware students must regularly practice and perform. Manage an organized inventory of assets to rent out equipment to pupils for added income.

Also, retail supporting gear like guitars, strings, drumsticks, microphone stands, and more are available for spontaneous purchases during lessons.

Step 6: Launch Marketing Campaigns

Actively promote your classes and music offerings through social media, YouTube, pamphlets, community partnerships and events. Here are some effective marketing activities:

  • Create engaging website content around your niche, faculty and programme offerings
  • Print eye-catching brochures for neighbourhood letterbox drops
  • Partner with local UK schools and retailers for cross-promotion
  • Host open house events and recitals to drive community engagement
  • Run Facebook/Google ads targeted at music students in your postcode
  • Reward referrals from existing students with discounts/credits

Step 7: Recruit Qualified Music Teachers

Carefully vet your facility’s talented performers and music educators across instruments and styles. Ensure their teaching approach aligns with your target niche and brand values.

Offer them fair pay negotiated per student lesson or set hourly wages. Get them to document lesson plans and curriculum. Keep them motivated through bonuses and profit share initiatives.

Step 8: Provide Engaging Learning Experiences

Go beyond just weekly lessons to accelerate beginner outcomes. Set up public performances, targeted external music exams, formed student bands, facilitated joint rehearsals, and more.

These ‘moments of glory’ inspire loyalty while differentiated services compared to individual coaches. Offer tiered rewards like free credits, discounts, or merchandise for pupils promoting your school.

Step 9: Diversify Revenue Streams

Expand income vectors beyond just lessons:

  • Generate cash from studio/space hires for band practices
  • Host own student concerts and musical events
  • Set up affiliate commission structures from related products
  • Sell musical instruments, gear and accessories
  • Offer downloads of lesson notes or online learning options

Cater to adult learning for singing, piano, guitar and even DJ/production classes nights/weekends.

Step 10: Track Growth and Feedback

Set tangible goals on student enrollment, lesson delivery targets, income milestones and marketing metrics. Rigorously measure progress using business intelligence software.

Pay attention to teacher ratings and student feedback surveys for improvement areas. Ensure actual financial KPIs reconcile against projections. Provide regular progress reports to involved parents.

Step 11: Refresh Music Course Offerings

Sustain interest after the beginner curriculum by enhancing the programme scope. Introduce graded learning pathways, new contemporary song lists, guest faculty workshops, regular recitals and demos by teacher bands featuring emerging student talent.

Conclusion: Realize Your Music Education Vision

By following these 11 steps, I’ve seen how you can convert a part-time music coaching gig into a highly successful school – becoming the favourite destination for students and communities looking to learn exciting instruments or singing styles.

Stay agile to ever-evolving trends and music tastes while cementing your reputation locally as the top choice for enrichment. Streamline operations as you expand territory to maximize profitability. And focus on delighting both parents and pupils with memorable learning experiences.