Hello, my name is Martyn and I’m a jazz pianist and piano teacher based in the UK.
I have studied jazz piano and classical music, performing at venues throughout the UK, USA and Russia. I’ve also played with some excellent musicians over the years, including members of Jamiroquai, Manfred Mann and the winning choir from NBC’s Clash of the Choirs.
However, my bread and butter comes from piano teaching.
I teach over 50 students a week, some in schools but mostly private lessons in my home in London.
And I’m now in a position where I have to turn away pupils or put them on a waiting list!
How I created a thriving piano teaching business
After finishing a Masters in Piano Performance/Jazz Studies in the US, I returned to the UK in May 2009.
I started looking for music teaching jobs and within a couple months I accepted a position as a classroom music teacher at an independent school.
I spent two years there and then took another position at a school in London. But at this point, I began thinking I needed something different.
Although I enjoyed the experience of music teaching in the classroom, I realised that my passion was to be involved with the piano a lot more.
So I made the switch to become an private piano teacher.
Using a combination of online and offline marketing strategies, I was able to build my studio from scratch very quickly. And after a few months, I reached a full teaching week with around 50 students.
It was hard work and I set aside a period of time every day to promote by business. This helped me to focus on achieving my goal.
But I got there. And now I have a full teaching schedule, with time to do gigs at the weekend.
So if I can do it, you can too!
You just need the right plan.
If first you don’t succeed..
Looking back I realise now I should have made the switch to piano teaching sooner.
But I made up all kinds of excuses why it wasn’t the perfect time to start a piano teaching business. I didn’t have the money, it wasn’t the right time, how would I find students, and so on.
But the fact was, I was really just afraid of failure.
In the years between finishing my degree in the UK and studying in the US, I put off starting my teaching studio full-time because I thought I’d fail.
In fact, my only previous attempt to do some piano teaching was when I was a student.
During my degree in the UK, I had tried to find a few piano pupils, but it didn’t bring in much money. I was travelling by car to their location and I was wasting so much time being stuck in traffic and wasting money on petrol. I really doubted myself and thought earning money from piano teaching was a pipe dream.
So after I finished my course, I took the easy option and decided to work in a bank for a year.
Yes, the safe option.
But it was B-O-R-I-N-G!!
I spent months processing payments working on a computer, and felt my soul being sucked out of me!
I hated it.
The fear of failure really held me back for a long time..
To be honest, it was only once I learnt how to effectively market my business, combined with a strong desire to succeed, that I was able to run a successful music teaching studio.
Why I set up this site
I set up Music Teacher Info as a resource for musicians to learn how to build a successful teaching business.
There are so many choices for musicians to study at universities and colleges, where you can become better composers or performers.
But in terms of learning how to earn a living as a musician, or how to market yourself properly, you are really on your own once you graduate…
These days, teaching music is one of the most stable ways to earn a living as a musician.
But without the right marketing strategy, it can be a real struggle to find students for your studio.
Over the years, I’ve learnt effective methods for promoting a music teaching business, methods which will work on ANY instrument.
And my aim is to help you do the same.
Feel free to look around my site and get in touch if you have questions about music teaching, or if you just want to say ‘Hi”.
Thanks for visiting my site!
– Martyn Croston