Miistro exists to match students young & old with their perfect music teachers.

Here on the blog, we speak into those students but every so often, we want to switch gears to speak into our teachers too!

It’s been an absolutely gorgeous autumn all across Ontario. From Ottawa through Toronto, to Waterloo, Hamilton and London, we’ve seen leaves turn magnificent colours and we’ve seen crops of corn shoot up and be harvested.


It’s a time of growth and maturing, so in step with those themes, today we’re sharing 3 Ways to Grow (For Real) as a Music Teacher.

We asked some Miistro teachers what advice they would give to music teachers trying to grow, and here’s what they had to say!

Know Your Value

You have a unique set of skills. Miistro founder Zach Havens, who cut his teeth teaching piano lessons here in London, Ontario, reminds us that no music teacher has the same background, experience, or musical tastes. This is important to remember!

On tough days, it may seem like teachers for your instrument are all the same and way too common. Don’t get discouraged because this is far from true! You have tastes and musical experiences that qualify you in specialized ways to teach a specific set of students. Once you find your students, they will be thrilled to be learning from someone who “gets” it! And you’ll actually feel fulfilled walking into work.

(By the way, if you need help getting paired up with those perfect students, that’s literally what we do here at Miistro!)

“It’s important,” Havens reminds us, “not to think in terms of what you can get from your students, but instead how you can serve them.” This is critical advice. Once you recognize that you have something of value to share, you’ll be empowered to reach out in confidence, and to genuinely make the world a better place! What makes you different?

Make Sure People Know You Teach

This tip, courtesy of London-based guitar teacher Nate Rundle, actually taps into something pretty deep and sensitive. Our close friends and family likely know that we teach lessons - maybe on the side or for a little extra money. But do we talk openly about it to new acquaintances? Are we eager to share this part of our lives with... everyone?

If you shrink away from dishing about your teaching side hustle, it’s understandable. Not everyone has experienced the profound benefits of music lessons, and some of our relatives just don’t understand that younger generations aren’t fulfilled by the concept of a “traditional” 9-5 job.

But it’s actually critical to share this part of your life as often as you possibly can. With confidence, with earnest enthusiasm. Why? Because nothing gets you students faster than word of mouth. It’s true. When you share with a colleague not only that you’re a teacher but that you love seeing your young students learn and thrive, then you’ll be the first person she thinks of when her cousin, co-worker, or friend mentions wanting to find a teacher for their kid.

Build REAL Relationships

Some of you reading this might love networking. If so, you’re a special, lucky kind of human. The rest of us cringe at the thought because networking is often pretty plastic and painful. Does it even matter how many business cards we exchange if we aren’t really connecting?

Miistro founder Zach Havens also reminds us that when we become friends with other musicians and music teachers in our area, we’ll receive more opportunities to teach than by just posting on Kijiji or Facebook. Yes, word of mouth is still the best form of marketing and it’s even more true for music teachers. Why? Because parents talk to each other. They share the good, the bad and the ugly, and they want to do business with people they can trust with their kids!

If you’re asking yourself how to build those relationships, you’re not alone. It might be uncomfortable at first, but you’ve got to get involved. Go out of your way to meet the prominent musicians in your community. Most people will say yes to a coffee or drink if you’re buying, and once you set a date, just remember to listen, ask questions, and find a way to make their life or job easier. That goes a long way!

One of the beautiful things about teaching music is how flexible it can be. Most of us are scheduling lessons between classes or shifts at our part-time jobs. Some of us may even be touring on weekends and teaching during the week. The flexibility is nice, but all the moving parts make it hard to get organized and harder to stay on a course for growth.

Good thing the tips above have equipped you to keep growing. As a private teacher, you need to offer real value to your community - even if you’re not yet signed up with Miistro! Of course, if you’d like to learn more about what we do, just click here and get to know us.

Until next time, happy teaching and keep growing!

Zach & The Miistro Team

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