A major challenge for the self-employed music teacher is growing a network of relevant contacts.

This article has been written for Rockschool on behalf of MGR Music by Leigh Fuge.

In many industries, networking is the key to success. If you’re a session musician, your sessions come from your contacts. The network of other musicians and agents around you that will vouch for you and put your name forward for various jobs.

In the teaching world, these networks don’t often exist in the same way, but we can still network to help levy our business. Here are my quick tips...

Chances are, you probably know other people in your area that teach the same instrument as you. You may even already be friends with some of them. This is where networking becomes a useful commodity. Speak to other tutors in your area and come to an agreement that you will refer them students you can’t take in return for them doing the same for you.

This give-and-take relationship is a fantastic way to build networks around your local area. Sure, other teachers in the area are your “competition” but there is no reason you can’t recommend them to students who can’t take lessons with you.

Music shops are also a fantastic way to network. If you have music shops close by, visit them and get to know the staff. These are the people dealing with many new players every week. Some shops will gladly recommend teachers or stock advertising materials. You may even be able to speak with the staff at your local shop and arrange to offer a free lesson to anyone who buys a new instrument in return for you recommending their store to all your students.

You would be surprised how much you can achieve with networking. Many people are in the same situation as you. Working for themselves, trying to better their business and improve their visibility. If we can all work together in this crazy music world, we can make it a better place for all of us.

About the Author:

This article has been written for Rockschool on behalf of MGR Music by Leigh Fuge, a professional guitarist, tutor and journalist from Wales in the UK. He has been working in the music industry for over 10 years as a touring and studio musician with various artists, guitar tutor and writer for many high profile guitar publications. Read more of Leigh's pieces relating to Rockschool here...