If you’re a student, you may feel limited in opportunities to build your studio while you’re still in school. Maybe you go to college in one city and spend summers at home in another city so teaching seems impossible. Or maybe you just can’t fit one more thing in during the school year.

Whatever your situation may be, if you’re willing to be creative, there are a number of things you can do that will generate some income for you now (say NO to student loans!) and set you up for a successful teaching career right out of college.

1. Start teaching

The sooner you start teaching, the more time you will have to build your studio by word-of-mouth referrals before you graduate. And you’ll have experience to boot!

If you go to school in one city and spend summers in another, consider teaching in your college city and offering Skype lessons over the summer.

You can also offer your services as a substitute teacher for full-time teachers who are traveling or on maternity leave and don’t want their students to miss lessons.

2. Hold music summer camps

Partner with a local school teacher (doesn’t have to be a music teacher) or someone who has a large network of kids and families. Choose a theme that uses both of your interests (music and…math, science, history, art, dance, theater, animals, storytelling, you get the idea…) to make it a unique experience.

While you’re in college, camps can be a nice source of summer income. And when you’re ready to start teaching, you’ll already have a group of fans!

3. Teach early childhood classes

Offering classes like Kindermusik or Music Together are a great way to connect with families of kids who are too young for private lessons right now. As you progress through college, these kids will age and be ready for private lessons when you graduate! You’ll be a natural choice when they’re ready for lessons because they will already have a relationship with you.

4. Get involved in music teacher organizations on- or off-campus

Look for a local or collegiate chapter of a teacher’s organizations such as Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA) and get involved by attending meetings and helping coordinate events. You’ll learn about the opportunities available for your current and future students and get connected with supportive teachers. When you’re ready to take on more students, let your teacher network know so they can refer students their schedules can’t accommodate.

5. Think beyond teaching

Imagine where you want to be 5-10 years after you graduate. Assume you have a full studio. Is there anything else you want to be doing in your career? Do you want to be performing? Writing? Inventing teaching tools? Composing?

Start building an audience now to facilitate those goals. Depending on the goal, your audience could be a Facebook group, an email list, blog readers, SoundCloud listeners, or Instagram followers.

You’ve Got This

College can be a very busy, and sometimes overwhelming time in life. Especially for music majors! It may feel like you’re constantly working towards a goal that seems far-off and hard to attain. But there are simple, effective things you can do while earning your degree to make the transition from student to teacher smoother and more profitable. By starting your teaching career while still in school, you will be ahead of the game when you graduate!

If you want help brainstorming how you can start building your studio, feel free to reach out!

What other tips do you have for students who want to launch their teaching careers while still in school?

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