CREATED: 04.03.2024UPDATED: 09.03.2024

How to Teach Music Online

How to Teach Music Online

Whether you’re a brand-new music teacher or one who’s used to the classroom setup, these five steps show you how to teach online music lessons.

Music is one of the world’s great connectors, which is likely why millions of people seek out music lessons both in school and when they become adults. But it’s also a tough subject to teach. That’s highlighted by studies of school-age children, one of which suggests that 50% of students drop out of music classes by the time they reach 17.

You want to avoid that happening.

And in the process, you want to take the in-person lessons you’re used to teaching and transform them into online classes that allow you to reach a bigger audience. You just don’t know how to do it, or even what approach you should take to start teaching music online. That ambiguity ends today – read on to discover how to teach music online, bringing your online lessons to the digital realm.

Why Teach Music Online?

Before getting into how to teach music online, it’s important to understand why you should do it in the first place.

It Costs Less (For You and Your Students)

Imagine that you rent a space in which to conduct your music lessons. Immediately, you have a prohibitive business expense– classrooms can cost between $50 and $100 an hour to rent depending on your location. Add printing sheet music and travel costs and you’ll see your outgoings quickly adding up. This usually means that you’ll need pass those costs to the student, which can lose you customers.

The same goes for students. They have to get to your lessons, which means they’re spending more money than the lesson price tag suggests. It’s far better for them to learn from home, which is where the next benefit comes in.

It’s More Convenient

A student who can learn from home doesn’t have to worry about dedicating time or resources to travel. So, they’re more likely to not only show up for their lessons but to actually purchase them in the first place. Plus, teachers benefit from this convenience, too. There’s no traveling to a classroom when you can record lessons from your own home.

It’s More Flexible

Besides saving time, online teaching also allows you a level of flexibility in-person teachers can only dream of.

You can customize your teaching hours to accommodate diverse time zones, making it feasible for students from different parts of the world to attend your lessons. Switch to pre-recorded online courses, and you’ll enjoy even more flexibility.

Let’s say you’re looking into how to teach piano online. Online piano lessons allow you to integrate various multimedia elements into your lesson, enhancing the students’ overall experience. For instance, you can incorporate interactive sheet music, virtual keyboard demonstrations, and engaging ear-training exercises.

With these effective additions, students will flock to your online classes, making them a far superior choice to traditional teaching.

You Access a Wider Audience

With the average music teacher’s salary landing at $43,740, anything you can do to increase the number of independent students you have is putting more money in your bank balance.

Going online can improve your earning potential greatly. Rather than being restricted to students who are local to you, you’re able to make your lessons accessible to a global audience. Teaching more people leads to more money, assuming your online music lessons take off.

It’s More Efficient

No matter how educated, experienced, or skilled you are, unexpected developments can always arise with in-person lessons. Online lessons, on the other hand, allow you to thoroughly prepare and have all the necessary resources at your disposal. If you opt for pre-recorded lessons on platforms like BlurBay, it gets even better, as this is the most consistent and reliable teaching option.

How to Teach Music Online: The Basics

Before discussing how to become an online music teacher, you should first know your options in terms of online classes.

Tutor Individual Students

Are you looking into how to teach music online in order to eliminate the annoying commute, geographical constraints, and rigid scheduling associated with traditional music teaching? If so, you might be satisfied with simply shifting your lessons online. In other words, you’ll still teach music like you always do, just through a virtual platform.

Best of all? You don’t need any specialized platform for this endeavor. Any communications platform, like Skype or Zoom, should do the trick.

Now, this method will undoubtedly help you save time and earn more money. However, these benefits aren’t nearly impressive as the ones you can enjoy by launching your own music studio.


Sure, you might’ve eliminated many constraints by going digital. However, you’re still limited to one student at a time. Even if you opt for group learning and teach several students at once, each of the sessions requires your time, effort, and attention.

Of course, by limiting yourself to live lessons, you also limit your earning potential. So, consider offering live lessons as only a complimentary (and more expensive) service to your online school.

Apply for an Online Music Education Website

Before exploring the perks of launching your own online music studio, let’s introduce another option for those researching how to become an online music teacher. The option in question is specialized online platforms set up precisely for skill teaching and learning.

LessonFace is an excellent example of these platforms in the realm of music.

With LessonFace, you don’t have to worry about any technicalities; you can just teach. You set your own rates and schedule and only need to pay the website a commission per lesson. The commission is 15% for any students you find through the website and 5% for those you bring in yourself.

However, LessonFace (and other similar websites) has a rigorous teacher selection process. To become an online music teacher on this platform, you must have at least two years of teaching experience or five years of professional experience in music.

Also, this option might be more flexible than traditional teaching, but it’s still limiting in terms of lesson structures, curriculum design, and branding.

Launch Your Online Music Studio

By its very nature, music is an incredibly creative and expressive art form. So, you’ll probably want a teaching approach that can keep up. If so, don’t think twice about launching your own online music studio.

With an online music studio, you get the best of both worlds – the freedom to express your unique teaching style (like in private tutoring lessons) and the ability to reach a wider audience (like on an online education website).

This approach allows you to personalize every aspect of your teaching, from overall curriculum design to specific lesson structures. Even better, you get to earn money even if you aren’t sitting in front of a computer. Pre-record high-quality music lessons, and you can earn money 24/7.

In addition, this option opens up additional revenue streams. For instance, let’s say you’re looking at how to teach guitar online. With an online studio, you can offer additional appealing products with the lessons, such as instructional e-books or practice guides.

How to Teach Music Online: A Step-by-Step Guide

With your understanding of why to try holding music lessons online, you can move on to the how. What do you need to do to make your lessons the best that they can be?

Step 1 – Choose What to Teach and How

Before you start developing your online lessons, you have a few basic choices to make.

No. 1 – What will you teach?

If you only play one instrument, you can go ahead and skip this step. However, if you play multiple instruments or have expertise in various aspects of music, consider what you’re most passionate about or what is most in demand. This can be teaching a specific instrument, music theory, composition, or a particular genre.

No. 2 – How will you teach?

Based on the subject(s) you’ll be teaching, you can choose the most suitable option from the abovementioned three – tutor lessons, online music education websites, or a private online music studio. Spoiler alert – the third option reigns supreme in most, if not all, scenarios. You should revisit this decision when choosing your teaching platform.

And No. 3 – Who will you teach?

Is your target audience children or adults? Do you want to work with absolute beginners or more advanced musicians?

This decision is crucial for optimizing your online studio content and marketing it to the right audience. You can cater to various age and skill groups, but having an audience that is too wide can cause some trouble with branding. Unless, of course, you brand yourself as a jack of all trades!

Step 2 – Start With Your Equipment

Once you answer the basic questions about your music teaching, you can move on to the next question – what are you going to use to record or stream your lessons?

It seems like a simple question. And with many types of lessons, the answer would be as simple as the question itself – use your smartphone. That handy little device in your pocket has both a camera and a microphone built-in, as well as the ability to connect to the web, giving you a cost-effective way to record that’s already in your pocket.

There’s just one problem.

Music isn’t like most other subjects because there’s a level of precision involved. A crackle of your voice caused by shoddy equipment wouldn’t be an issue for most types of lessons. But when it comes to music – where pitch, tone, and specific notes are taught – sound issues could be problematic. Similarly, a lack of visual clarity could also lead to students struggling to see how to properly position their hands on their instrument, creating obstacles to learning that don’t need to be there.

Start With Your Equipment

So, your equipment comes down to the types of music lessons you’re teaching.

A smartphone will do the job if you’re primarily teaching music theory or history. Buying a tripod or similar stabilizer is all you’ll need to do to start recording lessons. But as soon as actual music is involved, both playing and listening, it pays to invest in external cameras and microphones, with the latter capturing sound better while the former ensures finger placement is obvious thanks to the higher definition of the image.

Think about what types of lessons you intend to teach and equip yourself accordingly.

Step 3 – Sort Out Your Setup

Once you have your camera and microphone – be they external or inside the recording device you use – your next step is to ensure your setup is conducive for delivering music lessons. In other words, do your recordings look good?

Start with lighting.

Ensure you record in well-lit rooms while avoiding sitting directly in front of bright light sources, such as windows. Having a light behind you obscures your image on the screen because it creates unwanted shadows. That’s a problem if you’re trying to demonstrate finger positioning on an instrument. Ideally, you should either sit directly underneath a light source or have the light shining into your face.

Your environment also plays a role in how effectively you deliver your lessons.

First, the obvious – choose a quiet room. Unwanted background noise, such as traffic sounds, makes it harder for students to hear what you’re playing (and makes it difficult for you to hear what they say and play during a live lesson). The focus should always be on you and the instrument.

Similarly, encourage your students – assuming you carry out live lessons – to search for a similar environment. Even a teacher with the most perfect setup will struggle if they face problems from students that they’re actively trying to avoid when creating their own setups.

Step 4 – Plan Your Lesson

Sure, music is an art form. As such, it shouldn’t be constrained by the structures of traditional lessons. Still, this doesn’t mean your lesson should have no structure. If you turn on your camera and just start talking (or playing) without a clear plan, you’ll create a disjointed learning experience that will be enjoyable to no one.

Instead, before even sitting down to film, set clear objectives of what you want to accomplish during the lesson. Divide the lesson in rough sections and decide on a logical flow between each one. This preparation will help you stay on track with the lesson and provide a more valuable (and coherent) experience for your students.

But you shouldn’t only stop at individual lessons.

If you want your music course to succeed, you should devise a well-thought-out curriculum before even launching it. This will eliminate any repetition and provide a comprehensive journey for your students.

Step 5 – Choose Your Platform

You have your equipment in place and your setup is complete. Now, you have to revisit the big question – how will you deliver your lessons? The two potential answers are “live” or “recorded,” with each influencing the platform you choose to host your music lessons.

Live lessons are the closest to in-person teaching. You’ll interact directly with your class, which helps provide specific tuition to students, but you also place limitations on your lessons’ reach. You can only teach the students who show up for your classes at specific times. Still, If you choose this option, there are several platforms that facilitate these types of lessons:

  • FaceTime – Apple’s video calling software offers exceptional quality and is very easy to use. But it has downsides. Students need to have Apple devices to participate and you can’t record the lessons, meaning you won’t be able to monetize them beyond the initial in-person teaching.
  • Skype – Available for both PCs and Macs, Skype is easily available to most of your students and allows you to record your calls – ideal for using them as lessons for others on a video-sharing platform. Just remember that you need permission from all of your students before you hit the record button.
  • Zoom – The fact that Zoom became the video conferencing platform of choice for schools and workplaces during the pandemic works in your favor here. Most of your students will have it, and it allows you to record. It’s also a great choice for multi-person lessons and arguably easier to use than Skype.

The mention of recording lessons using Skype and Zoom leads nicely to your other delivery option – pre-recorded lessons. Beyond recording sessions with students, you can shoot videos where you cover specific techniques, instruments, or pieces of theory, which go online and are accessible to students all over the world.

Platforms like Facebook and YouTube may be your first thoughts for hosting these sessions. But neither is ideal for monetizing. YouTube requires you to rack up thousands of views before its ad programs will deliver a pittance, while Facebook has even worse video monetization. Far more effective is choosing a video hosting platform that allows you to charge viewers per video.

BlurBay is a great example of one of these platforms. It allows you to upload videos – similar to YouTube – with the difference being that you place these videos behind a paywall. Students can see a portion before the video blurs and they have to purchase to see the rest. It’s also a commission-based platform, with BlurBay only receiving 5% of your earnings from each video, and you won’t have to set up a separate website with a payment platform. BlurBay handles that for you.

Step 6 – Record Your Lesson

After laying all the necessary groundwork, there’s nothing left to do but record your music lesson. Of course, this step only applies to those who choose to host their own music studio.

Now, this step is entirely up to you. After all, it’s your unique teaching style that will have students coming back for more!

All this guide can do is to offer some handy tips to aspiring music teachers with less experience.

  • Start with an engaging introduction. You want to capture the student’s attention from the get-go and keep them engaged throughout.
  • Mix up your teaching methods. Sticking to a single method throughout the lesson won’t do much to keep the student(s) engaged. Break the demonstrations up with some theory, discussions, or practical tips to maintain interest throughout the lesson.
  • Give clear and concise instructions. Remember – you’re teaching music via a pre-recorded lesson. In other words, students can’t ask you any questions. So, make sure to provide clear and comprehensive instructions students of all skill levels will be able to follow.
  • Review and recap. Avoid ending your lesson abruptly, as this might leave students feeling disconnected. Instead, conclude the lesson by summarizing key points and highlighting the main takeaways. You can even use this portion of the lesson to tease or preview your next lesson.

Step 7 – Ensure Students Have Access to Appropriate Materials Before You Teach

Ensure Students Have Access to Appropriate Materials Before You Teach

There are three things a student needs to have before they engage in music lessons:

  • An instrument
  • The right sheet music
  • A lesson plan

You leave the instrument up to the student – it’s their responsibility to ensure they have what they need. Beyond that, you need to provide sheet music (annotated if needed) along with a lesson plan that demonstrates what the student will learn during the lesson.


The sheet music is obvious. If the student doesn’t have the music in front of them, you’re forcing them to play by ear, which most won’t be able to do. As for lesson plans, they’re useful for setting the goals you hope to achieve with each session and building anticipation in the student for what’s to come. Especially keen students can also use lesson plans as guides for their out-of-lesson practice.

Step 8 – Promote Your Music Lessons

Whether you teach live or via recordings, you need to market your music lessons. This is the tough part. The greatest music teacher in the world could go unheard if nobody knows they exist.

The web is your best avenue for promoting online music lessons. Start with social media. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to create ads – tailored to specific audiences – that show up on people’s feeds. But far more effective is social proof that comes from your existing students. Consider creating challenges for your students to undertake, along with a hashtag they can use to share videos of them completing the challenge.

This serves two purposes.

First, the hashtag creates recognizable branding, with each use encouraging your students’ friends and social media connections to check out what they’re doing. Second, once somebody watches your student engaging in the challenge you’ve set, they’ll see the outcome of learning from you first-hand. That’s social proof. A prospective student sees an actual student making progress and sees that you’re capable of teaching your instrument.

Prepare for Teaching Music Online

Prepare for Teaching Music Online

Learning how to teach music online can feel like taking a big step for somebody who’s used to in-person lessons.

You have to acquire equipment and create a teaching setup that works in an online environment. But perhaps most importantly, you need an appropriate platform on which to host your lessons. Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime can all work if you’re trying to emulate in-person lessons online, though going down that route limits your monetization options. Delivering recorded lessons through a platform like BlurBay massively expands your potential audience while delivering accessible lessons to which your marketing can point.

Either way, remember that clarity – in both sound and video – is key. A student can’t learn if they can’t see or hear what their teacher is trying to show them.

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