Diversifying Income Streams for the Freelance Music Teacher: Exploring Options

Diversifying Income Streams for the Freelance Music Teacher: Exploring Options
In today's dynamic landscape, many educators seek alternatives beyond traditional teaching roles to diversify their income and regain control over their lives. For the music teacher juggling a full-time teaching job with parenthood and a desire for autonomy, balancing these responsibilities can be overwhelming. However, there are opportunities beyond the classroom worth exploring.

As a music teacher, passion for nurturing young minds through music is undeniable. While the demands of the public school system are draining, the desire to create a more fulfilling career and lifestyle is achievable -- I've done it!

Whether offering private lessons, workshops, or community collaborations, this venture allows you to set your own schedule and align your work with your values. Transitioning to entrepreneurship requires careful planning and realistic expectations (which we've talked about here and here). You can begin by testing the waters with freelance gigs while maintaining your teaching job if you want to. This gradual approach allows you to build a client base and generate income without risking stability. I preferred to have multiple income streams moving and lined up before I quit my J.O.B.

One misconception about diversifying income streams is that it requires more time and effort. However, by selecting income streams that complement your main source of income — music teaching — instead of random income streams that aren't aligned, you can create synergy and make them all fit together seamlessly. This really depends person-to-person on what they are doing and how it fits best, but I learned how to do this in a way that saves me SO much time from my own business mentor through her signature course.

While the journey may be challenging, the rewards of reclaiming your time and passion for music are worth it. Embrace the possibilities and dare to redefine success on your terms.

If you have multiple income streams going already, what are they?

What Online Systems Do I Use as a Self-Employed Music Teacher?

I get asked all the time what online systems and processes I use as a self-employed music teacher!

Such as... What website host do you use? How do you keep track of all of your students' families? How do you send all of those onboarding emails without forgetting any? How do you give online music lessons? How do you accept payments? And more.

I found that there are some free options that work for some of these functions, but it was really hard to get them to "talk" to each other, and often there were glitches or other frustrating technical issues. Once I found a system that does it all, I realized it was worth paying for so that I didn't waste time on glitches or having to do those onboarding tasks manually. Once I set it all up, it automatically sends emails or adds new students to the appropriate tags so that I send them what they are supposed to receive. It even includes Zoom, so I don't have to pay for that separately!

My all-in-one resource is called AttractWell. It is a CRM, blog, website, landing page system, payment processor, and more all rolled into one, and their customer support has been amazing. I even asked to go "between" their different levels at one point because I didn't need to upgrade yet, and they were so easy to work with. A simple email got me exactly what I was looking for, saved me money, and provided what I needed.

If you're interested in trying out AttractWell, you can try it for $1 for the first month here!

I know that there are other resources out there created specifically for music teachers, but this has worked so well for not only my music teaching business, but other aspects of my other multiple income streams as well, making it a great option if you want to be multi-versed or generate income from multiple places.

Can I teach music without a degree?

Can I teach music without a degree?
Can I teach music without a degree?

This is a great question! The very short answer is YES.

The long answer requires asking some more questions, such as...

  • Are you referring to having no music degree or to having any undergraduate degree?
  • What setting are you wanting to teach in?
  • What kind of music are you wanting to teach?
  • What time of day are you wanting to teach?
  • What type of students are you wanting to teach?
  • What background knowledge to do already have as credentials?
These are some of the first questions you'd need to answer in order to answer the initial question. For example, I teach a few homeschool choirs (which are bursting at the seams, I almost need to start another one to keep up with the demand!). I have a music education degree, but would not need to have a degree in order to conduct these choirs. I do have some experience and great classroom management techniques as well in order to be successful at managing large groups of elementary through high school age singers in a choral context. So depending on your background knowledge and experience, that may be more important than the degree itself in being able to do the work successfully.

What time of day and type of students are you wanting to teach? If you want to teach private lessons and do that full-time, you will likely need to have evening and weekend availability, something that I myself did not want for my family and work rhythms. I only teach a handful of private lessons for this reason, and currently most of my private students are homeschooled so that they are available during the daytime hours for their lessons.


Hopefully considering a few of these factors helps in answering the question, "Can I teach music without a degree?" for you. If this was valuable and you'd like more guidance in considering these options as you want to start a music business, I offer coaching for those wanting to begin in either a part-time or full-time capacity (my own business is part-time hours but the income is full-time level due to how I've structured it). And we have a support group with resources for those interested which you can find here too!

3 Summertime Income Streams for Music Teachers (That are NOT Teaching Lessons)

3 Summertime Income Streams for Music Teachers (That are NOT Teaching Lessons)
I know, I know...

Every music teacher out there asks, 'How can I make extra income during the summer and/or during the school year?' We don't get paid enough, or maybe we're even bored during the summer not making any music (is this possible?!?). Or we just want to make some extra spending money to do fun things with the kids (raises hand -- I just went strawberry picking with my 8mo and it was a blast!).

But maybe you don't like teaching lessons or you don't want to deal with the schedules around vacations and hassle of that, etc...

So, here are 3 income streams (you can start today!) that are NOT teaching private lessons:

#1 Affiliate Marketing -- you can share about stuff that you like and use (teaching related or not!) with your friends and make income from it. Your friends aren't charged more for it; the companies who use affiliate marketing are spending their marketing budget on this instead of on billboards and ads because it WORKS. I learned how to do it well without feeling salesy from my business mentor, you can check out her course all about it here! And it doesn't take much time, you can work it around naptime or other busy schedules of life.

#2 Baby Music Classes! There are SO many moms out there who are looking for cheap & fun things to do with their littles, especially first time moms (haha, that was/is me!) who are looking to meet people. Find a park and teach a baby music class for moms and their littles! Need help with marketing? Happy to help, I've coached people through this process so they get more turn-out for their classes without having to go through community education and plan WAY in advance or charge a LOT because they have fees. Tip? As long as your parks don't have rules around renting space in the summer, you can just find a local park to teach your class and have a rain date if needed!

#3 Coaching/Consulting -- are you an expert in a certain topic (could be music or otherwise) that you could help people with? Maybe you have a hobby that you'd love to teach people how to do. You can walk them through that step by step with a coaching program (live or evergreen or a combo)! This is just a tiny sliver, tip-of-the-iceberg tip from the massive signature program that is HBR (Home Based Revolution), the multiple income stream course & coaching program by my own business mentor. Check it out here (& reach out for a massive discount code if you're interested!).

Hope these 3 options get your creative juices flowing and get you rolling making some cash for summertime fun (or even more)! I could make $1500 in 4 hrs once I structured things correctly. If you'd like help structuring something like this to fit your needs, check out coaching here.

Considering becoming self-employed but you're a planner and want to look at how budgeting and the money side of things might look? I made a tips list that was stuff I wish I'd known before diving into the self-employed world, things I learned myself work best. Check it out here!