After going through the pros and cons of working for a studio we wanted discuss working independently and why it may or may not be the best option for you. To put it simply if you’re teaching independently you’re basically running your own business, every part of the job is your responsibility which can be both a pro and a con. This is one of many reasons why teaching independently may or may not be the right path but we will go over the rest in the hope it will help you with your decision.

Starting with the slightly more negative aspects of the job, as everything is under your control you will have to handle it all from paperwork to acquiring students. When you are working as part of a studio they will take care of all documentation allowing you to focus on your students however being boss will mean you have to dedicate some of your time to bookkeeping, organising paperwork as well as handling all of your expenses.

You will be in charge of creating schedules, classroom material and keeping track of your students. If this is something you are skilled at then it could most definitely be a positive aspect of the job, many people enjoy having sole responsibility over their classes including when and where they’re held however if it’s something you might struggle with then it’s something to consider when deciding with path to take.

Working as part of a studio means students are allocated to you and you do not have to worry about acquiring them yourself however teaching independently will mean you have to actively go out and find new students. As a relatively new teacher you might struggle to acquire students whereas if you have a long network of musicians and friends in the industry it will be a lot easier, it’s important to keep that in mind but ultimately as long as you’re making the effort to advertise your classes and get your business out there then students will join it’s just a matter of time.

Location is a tricky aspect of the business; it’s neither a pro nor a con it’s simply down to your preference. Studios allow you to have a dedicated classroom to teach from where students will come to you however independent work can mean you working anywhere from the students house to your home studio. The pro with teaching independently is that you can decide where you teach and the con being you might have to do a lot of travelling which adds to your expenses.

As mentioned before independent work allows you to have full control over things like your curriculum and your students, you decide what you teach and how you teach it. This is sometimes the deciding factor when considering whether to work within a studio or independently. You won’t be restricted by the expectations of a studio and you won’t have to follow their specification.

Instead of being allocated any kind of students that come through the studio you are able to decide who you take on, whether you prefer a certain age group or skill set you will have the final say. You also have the authority to cancel lessons if the student isn’t putting the work in or if you feel they are better suited to another teacher.

Another aspect which is both a pro and con is your rate of pay, working independently gives you the ability to decide what you charge however having your own business can be a slippery slope and if your classes begin to drop so will your pay. Studios will give you a bit more security as its likely they have a long list of students however your rate of pay might be lower as they take a percentage of your earnings.

Ultimately there are pros and cons to both teaching independently or as part of a studio but hopefully this will help you determine which will suit you better and what you’re willing to compromise. For our post on working with a studio head over to Gearooz.com.