This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the April 2016 issue, which is available here.

Teacher’s Forum

Building a Teaching Business

From Breaking Ground to Finding Students


I’ve owned and operated my own teaching school, Jeff Salem’s Music Studio, for eleven years. Prior to that I taught percussion lessons at a local music store for twelve years. When I decided to branch out on my own, the decision was made after being on tour with a band for five months. When I returned home I wanted to start teaching again. My first thought was, “If I was just starting to learn the drums, where would I want to go for lessons”?

Location, Location, Location
My first step was to find a suitable location in an area that was close to a highway exit so that potential students wouldn’t have difficulty finding me. I also had to consider options of renting a commercial space or purchasing a larger house so that I could convert part of it into a teaching studio. My main objective was to offer a comfortable setting for students that felt like a home away from home.

I decided to purchase a larger house with my teaching business being run out of the basement, which has a separate entrance so that students don’t have to walk through my front door and living room to get to the lesson rooms. I looked for property that would allow for ample parking, and I made sure to get proper business insurance that allowed me to teach from home. There are plenty of other schools and stores offering drum lessons in my area, so I went about setting my studio apart from the competition by providing a much more comfortable environment for students and parents.

The mission statement at J.S. Music Studio is: “Teaching the art of music to all ages in an inspirational, motivating setting and style.” The purpose of this mission statement is to send out the message that I want every student who studies at my studio to enjoy his or her lessons as much as any other hobby. I want students to want to take lessons, rather than being told by their parents that they had to take lessons. To achieve that, I focused on making the studio feel as relaxed as possible, and I made sure to use state-of-the-art equipment.

Check out a video tour of Jeff’s teaching studio below.

Jeff Salem
For the complete article, check out the April 2016 issue, which is available here.