Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind”. However, many today do not have a chance to learn this language due to financial burdens and cutbacks in our schools’ budgets. By offering free or affordable music lessons, you open a door for people to alleviate stress, stimulate the mind, and simply enjoy the gifts of playing a musical instrument.
- Recruit teachers. Advertise teaching opportunities to the Music Ministry, Sunday School groups, etc. It is best to recruit teachers with training, teaching experience, and comfort with lesson planning.
- During the planning stage, consider the following questions:
- Intended audience. Will the lessons be offered to all ages or limited to children or adults? Are the classes open only to members of the community?
- Class levels. Will the lessons be limited to beginners or include advanced levels?
- Genre. What kind of music will you teach?
- Curriculum. Will you be teaching only basic chords or general techniques? Will you use textbooks or allow teachers to come up with their curriculums?
- Duration of the classes. How often will you meet, and for how long?
- Location. For string instruments like guitars, you can use Sunday School rooms; for wind instruments like trumpets, clarinets, etc., you will want more space between rehearsal rooms as they will be loud.
- Format of the classes. Will the lessons be one-on-one or in a group setting?
- Budget. Musical instruments and books can be expensive. Will you need to raise funds within your church or seek donations? Will you need to charge the students to cover expenses for the supplies?
- Check with your local music stores for donations, rentals, or discounted rates
- Advertise the classes a month before your start date based on your intended audience. Obtain permission to post flyers at music stores, local grocery stores, or restaurants. If the classes are for children, advertise in local schools. The flyers should include description of classes, location, dates and times, cost, and contact information (to answer questions or to pre-register students).
- Word-of-mouth remains the most effective way to publicize. Pass out flyers to church members to give to someone they think might benefit from the classes.
- Pre-register students to get an estimate of how many students to expect. Get their basic information (name, phone number, address).
- On the first day of class, distribute a basic information sheet for students to pass to their friends, family, and acquaintances who might be interested in the classes.
- Keep an updated list of the students’ contact information. This list allows you to follow up with students who have been absent for a while.
- Be flexible and ready to adapt the curriculum according to the needs of the class.
- Learning music should be fun. Take steps to make sure the lessons are enjoyable.