money Tag

There comes a point in the journey of a musician when it's not just about playing with an instrument and learning, there is a lot of trial and error, boring parts, persistence, necessary rest and a few more battles which sometimes can take a toll on creativity and the natural flow of composition and music making. This burn-out can come in many forms but the most...

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music money

So often, when talking to my music teacher colleagues, we lament how difficult it is to make a living as a music teacher. Teaching during after school hours each week day limits our working hours, and you can’t raise your rates every single year without driving yourself out of business!

So how do we as teachers make sure that we are maximizing our earning potential without exhausting ourselves? Here are some ideas to boost your music teaching salary…

What if you injured your hand and couldn’t play your instrument? What if you developed a chronic illness? What if you were diagnosed with cancer and needed months’ long treatment? These are questions no one wants to face. Especially, small businesses or those who work for themselves. Health insurance is expensive and disability insurance even more so. After all, we think we are invincible. Things like...

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One of the challenges in scheduling piano lessons is that most of my clients are school aged children.  This means that by the time a student gets out of school and over to my home studio it is typically 4:00.  Most school aged children–especially the younger ones I tend to work with–are at their best if their lessons are over by 6:30 or 7.  And since we live in an area where people tend to go camping or skiing on the weekends (myself included), Friday and weekend lessons are not a viable option.  This means that I really only have about 12 hours of weekly teachable time (and income earning potential).

This past year, I’ve tried to get creative by expanding my studio offerings, and I have also observed many fellow studio owners in our area that have done the same.  Here are some ideas from my experience:

At this time of yetaxesar, I have taxes heavily on my mind. Perhaps you, too, are busy preparing your 2011 returns before that dreaded April date, or maybe you’re way ahead of me and have already taken care of everything. While being a self-employed studio owner can be a bit of a pain come tax time, there are also many deductions you should be taking advantage of:
Business Expenses

There are a number of tax deductible business expenses allowed by the IRS. These include money spent on advertising, travel, memberships, licenses, and maintenance. If you put an ad in the paper, purchased a business license or membership for your local teaching organization, attended a conference, provided incentive prizes, had your piano tuned or bought coffee during a business meeting, then you should be reporting these on your tax forms. Studio Helper and Music Teacher’s Helper make recording these things very simple. You simply enter the expense in the Studio Expense portion of the dashboard and toss the receipt into a folder in your filing cabinet so that you have supporting documentation in case you are audited. Be sure to provide specific details when recording the expense so that you know what category it fits into when you are doing your taxes the following year.