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Founding a music school – it's incredibly easy: planning, costs, income 2023

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Step 1: Prerequisites | Career paths to your music school

There are several ways to work as a music teacher, you can work as a paid music teacher at a music school and as a self-employed music teacher in your main job. But you can also start as a part-time music teacher, that's not that unusual. Many musicians who otherwise work in their band's projects use this opportunity for a secure income.

Furthermore, of course you can also work as a music teacher in regular schools, but this is subject to completely different rules, because here you are in the state school system. However, given the shortage of teachers, there are also side-entry opportunities here.

Who can call themselves a music teacher and teach music?

In principle, anyone can teach music as long as they have the necessary skills and knowledge. There is no uniform and protected professional title for music teachers in Germany, but there are various diplomas that qualify as qualifications for the profession. These include, for example, studying music at a music school or graduating as a state-recognized music teacher.

However, it is not permitted to trade as “music school” everywhere: The designation is protected in Bavaria and can therefore only be used if the requirements of the Singing and Music Schools Ordinance (SiMuV) are met. According to this, direction must be held by a specialist in music pedagogy and lessons can only be given by teachers with qualifications in music pedagogy.

Career path to becoming a music teacher

A music or music education degree from a university or college is the most common way to become a music teacher (outside of state schools – there is usually a teaching degree). During your studies you not only learn music theory and practice, but also pedagogical skills for giving music lessons.

In addition, many music schools offer courses aimed at training teachers. These courses can last from a few weeks to several years and offer a wide range of courses and classes.

As an experienced musician, you can also offer private music lessons without separate training and further education. There are many students who are interested in music and would like to learn from experienced musicians. But make yourself aware that, in addition to your musical skills, you can also teach and should therefore learn.

Further training and certificates as a music teacher

There are also various certifications you can get as a music teacher.

  • The Federal Association of Free Music Schools (bdfm) offers this Labeled “certified bdfm free music school” TO.
  • THE Suzuki method is a pedagogical method for learning musical instruments that dates back to the Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki. There are various certifications for teachers who want to use this method.
  • THE Kodaly method is a pedagogical method for learning music based on the Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály. There are various certifications for teachers who want to use this method.
  • THE musical garden is an early childhood music education program offered by many music schools and kindergartens in Germany. There are various certifications available for teachers who wish to teach Musikgarten courses.
  • There are also regional solutions: The Association of Musical Artists of Baden-Württemberg has issued a “Certificate of private music lessons” which members of the Tonkünstlerverband can use to prove their qualifications and to contact the school administrations in their region directly with their offers.

Step 2: Concept and preparations for your music school

In preparation, you should think very carefully about the concept you are pursuing with your music school. The answers to the following questions will help you:

  • What kind of music school would you like to open: a classical music school, jazz, pop or a mix of different styles?
  • How do you want to offer your lessons: privately in your customers' home, in a fixed location (e.g. schools also rent their rooms for such offers), in your band's studio or do you want to found a large music school with several teachers and do you need real estate for this?
  • Your target group also determines the location: more in the countryside or in the city, children and young people or adults?
  • What should your resume look like?
  • What subjects should be offered?
  • How should the lesson be structured?
  • Found alone or in a team?
  • How are teachers hired and how are they paid?
  • How high should teacher salaries be?
  • How should students be recruited?
  • How is the music school advertised?
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And this is also important:

  • How should the music school be financed? Will it be backed by private investors or will it be funded by student fees?
  • How are student fees determined? How high should they be and how often should they be paid?
  • What types of tools should be offered? Should they be provided by the school or do students have to bring their own tools?
  • How is the quality of teaching monitored? Are reviews carried out regularly?
  • How will the school remain financially viable in the long run? How can new sources of income be developed?

If you've found the answers to all of these questions, then you're well prepared for the next step. Because this information is the basis of a business plan, which every founder should set up. It describes the start-up project, the market and the competition analyzed and also one financial project (i.e. expenses and expected income divided).

Like you a good one business plan created and which ones business plan tools You can find out how to make things easier for yourself in our step-by-step instructions.

By the way: You don't write a business plan just for yourself. Already at the first bank meeting – and if it were only for the increase of a credit line for your business expenses – he is asked. And if you want to secure your start with a scholarship, then even more so.

Starting a New Company, Acquisition or Franchising: Which Type is Right for Your Music School?

A very important point you need to answer is the type of foundation: do you want to found a music school from scratch or take over an existing school – or maybe use one of the many music school franchise systems?

Establishment of a music school

Your rooms, your name, your logo – all in one to boot you can let off steam according to your ideas. Disadvantage: You really have to think of everything yourself, from the concept of the lesson to the color of the logo and the texts on the website.

Acquisition of a music school

One take over the existing music school, along with existing rooms and customers may also be a possibility. Advantage: You don't start from scratch here, you go into an ongoing business, you earn money right from the start. Disadvantage: the investment costs are high – after all, hardly any company founder gives away his company and you have to take care of the preparatory work (self-portrait, content, offers, etc.) of your predecessor, at least at the beginning. Furthermore, the succession process is not easy – you can find out more in our topic group successor.

If you decide to go this route, you will find the successor exchanges possible companies looking for successors.

Open a music school franchise

There are some Franchise systems for music schools in Germany. Franchise Partners receive support in site selection, school organization, teacher selection, marketing and advertising, teaching materials and methods. However, a degree of entrepreneurial freedom is retained, so that partners have the opportunity to adapt the school to local circumstances and needs.

Well-known franchise systems for music schools

  • THE Yamaha music school it's a proven franchise system for music schools, which operates in approximately 6,000 locations worldwide. The school offers music lessons for children from four years of age and for adults and is based on a special holistic pedagogical method.
  • THE The first musical education she specialized in the early musical education of children from the age of two. Various providers rely on a playful and child-friendly mediation of music such as KlingKlong OR Happy music school.
  • THE Music academy it's a Franchise system for music schoolswhich concerns the mediation of instrumental lessons AND singing lessons specialized for children and adults. The school also offers courses for music production AND songwriting TO.
  • Even the Modern music school offers interested parties the opportunity to open their own music school as a franchise partner. It is now active in many countries around the world and is based in Germany. The school uses one special teaching method, which is based on the teaching of practical skills and learning through experience. Students learn by playing pieces of music and, in groups or with other students, are encouraged to play together and motivate each other.
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Step 3: Fund Your Music School | Merit, cost and promotion

You probably won't get rich as a music teacher. Even if the need for musical education is increasing and parents are paying more than ever for their children to learn an instrument: the limits both in terms of earnings and, above all, in terms of earnings are tight.

How much does a music teacher earn?

THE Salary TO employed music teachers is €48,367, or €3,901 of gross salary (median) for 40 hours per week. THE Hourly rate for music teachers lies in Usually between 20 and 60 euros For lesson, depending on the qualification of the teacher and the region. AS independent music teacher you can set your own prices and make them dependent on the number of students and hours.

In particular, group lessons or workshops are obviously ideal, so you increase your hourly earnings. Depending on the specialization and the instrument, between 35 and 100 euros are possible for one hour of private lessons.

THE Challenge for you insists on revenue side especially as afternoons and evenings are usually booked for courses – during the day most adults are working and the children are at school. Your creativity is particularly important here: what offers could also take place during the day so that your music school does not stay empty here.

Opening a music school – investment and running costs

As a freelance music teacher, there are several costs that need to be considered. These include, for example

  • cost of renting a room,
  • tools and accessories,
  • advertising costs,
  • insurance and taxes.

Your working time should also be taken into account as a cost factor.

What insurance do you need for your school of m usica?

As a self-employed music teacher, you should have one corporate liability insurance to protect yourself from any claims for damages. Professional liability insurance and tool insurance can also be helpful.

Financing a music school: what subsidies are there?

There are various ways to finance a music school. One possibility is to apply for funding from the public sector, for example from the Reconstruction Loan Corporation (KfW) or the European Social Fund (ESF). Private investors or crowdfunding can also be a funding option.

You can find an overview in our Startup Funding Guide | That's how you get the money to get started.

In it we also show you how the financing is done Mini and micro credits works like you start-up contribution required and which KfW loans are available.

Step 3: Setting up a music school – Practical steps

As with any foundation, setting up your own music school involves a number of practical steps. Some are required by law, others are important to your founding process and your external perception.

Set the company name

It's certainly not the most important thing in the founding process, but especially if you want to build your company as a brand, you should put energy into finding a good corporate name. And of course you have to follow a few rules, depending on which legal form you choose: Not all companies can use fictitious names.

You will find more information here: “Naming” – Howto: In 4 steps to a great company name

Open a music school: find location, rooms, address

The location of your music school is also important: Even if you don't rely on passing customers, your customers should be able to reach you easily, there should be sufficient parking spaces, possibly even bicycle parking spaces. And the address should be easy to find. By the way, you can help here by managing your Google Maps entry yourself.

In any case, you should talk to your landlord about the management of your music school and get his approval. In some places you have to get permission from the building authority to use it as a music school.

Choose the legal form of the company

There is a whole range of legal forms that can be considered for your foundation. From sole proprietorships to UGs to GmbHs, a lot is possible. Here is an overview of the options and their advantages and disadvantages. Basics: Which legal form is right for my company?

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Is a music school an association?

A music school can also be run as a non-profit association. This gives you tax benefits and other benefits. However, the requirements and conditions for founding an association are stricter than for a commercial company. Either way, founders should research the different options and choose the one that best fits their goals and plans. More info here: Instructions for founding an association – step by step towards a registered association (eV)

What recordings do I need as a self-employed music teacher?

As a self-employed music teacher you must register with the tax office and apply for a tax number. If music lessons are practiced as a main occupation, a business must also be registered. We'll show you how to register a business here: Company registration – how to register a company correctly (including company registration form)

Am I a freelancer or a trader?

Whether one is considered a freelancer or a trader depends on the business one engages in and the extent to which it is conducted. As a rule, music lessons are considered self-employment, as they are of an artistic nature and do not pursue commercial purposes. The advantage: according to § 18 EStG you do not have to pay any trade tax and the landlord does not have to fulfill any accounting obligations.

However, the operator of a music school is subject to sales tax. Exceptionally it is worth more if it is a small business or if the music school prepares others for a profession or for an exam. However, to be on the safe side, you should ask the tax office and have it checked on a case-by-case basis.

open a corporate account

You should Anyway your separate corporate and private finances. You can find out which business accounts are offered and which ones currently offer the best conditions in our overview business account Comparison 2023: These accounts are suitable for founders and startups

Step 4: Attract students – advertising for your music school

Basically, the basis for your marketing comes from your range of services (tools, group or individual lessons) and your target group:

  • Where do you reach your target group best?
  • How can you best address the target group?
  • What specific problem can you solve for your target audience?

A little self-portrait must also be:

  • What is the focus of your work and your experience?
  • What are you better at than others?
  • What is the advantage of studying with you?

The range of advertising media is huge, from classic business newspapers, which you should have designed in your CI, to local press work, to developing partnerships and network memberships.

Apply to a music school with musical achievements

A music school in particular is also perceived as a place of culture, so the best publicity is concerts by your students and/or teachers, shows and presentations. This can be the music school Christmas concert in a shopping mall or collaboration with other cultural event organizers.

Online presence for the music school

Potential customers will also always look online for offers from music schools in their city. One well designed site by speaking domain it is as important as social channels. But be careful: don't overdo it, especially at the beginning. It is simply impossible to use all channels from Facebook to Instagram to TikTok. Better to focus on one app that you want to feed with material and constantly expand this channel.

It's similar with your website – a huge online offer doesn't necessarily count here. The most important information, clearly presented and designed with a personal touch, is a good start. You should plan your other content carefully, rather less frequently in publications and more regularly. It is far more important that you also use your site for SEO and especially the results of regional search engines, for example with H&W//Brand Experience optimized.

To the discoverability you can also eavesdrop Company Register AND business listings use. For music schools in particular there is www.music-lessons.de/ AND www.piano-lessons.org. You can find more here: Overview of industry portals – worth entering here

Conclusion: open a music school

If you want to start your own business with a music school, you only have a few approval steps ahead of you, but you should create a clear business plan to get off to a good start and also to survive the difficult initial phase.

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