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5 Things Nobody Tells You About Music Instruction Memberships

by | Nov 3, 2022

I’m about to share my personal experience managing music memberships for over a decade.

Online coaches and business consultants on the internet like to focus on the positive stuff, but you rarely get to hear about the bad and ugly from running online music businesses.

I’m just being realistic. I don’t want to sell you a dream.

Although running an established music instruction membership can be a life-changing experience for you, it’s not all smooth sailing to get there.

Let’s talk about things that nobody tells you about music instruction memberships.

#1 – It’s More Difficult To Sell A Membership

sign up

At the moment, subscription business models are taking over the world.

Everything is a subscription, from Adobe Photoshop to Netflix or freshly roasted coffee.

Just to clarify: when I say music membership, I’m talking about a website where students pay a monthly/quarterly/yearly auto-recurring subscription to access lessons and other members-only content.

What happened in recent years is that people are subscribed to way too many memberships… and everyone is overwhelmed and tired of that.

Just look at your own monthly credit card statement, and see how much you’re spending on subscriptions.

Normally, people are slowly starting to dislike this payment model.

Guess what that means for running a music membership?

You got it right. People are more reserved than ever when signing up for auto-recurring subscriptions.

I’ve seen this in data, and I’ve heard from customers in statements like:
I just don’t like subscriptions.

The truth is that selling a single, paid digital product is way easier than a subscription.

For example, it’s easier to sell a $99 Beginner Guitar Course than a $19 per month Guitar Membership from an online marketing perspective.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be offering vocal lessons membership at all, for example – you should!

Just keep in mind that you’ll need more robust marketing (and all other elements that come into play) when converting visitors to members of your online music instruction program.

Hope this helps you elevate some stress if you started a membership and it’s not going as easy as marketing gurus online were making you believe.

It can work. You just need to level up your marketing and examine your sales funnel to see if you can make it stronger.

Membership is a great business model because you can count on somewhat predictable recurring income monthly.

This brings us to the next thing no one tells you before starting a music membership:

#2 – Hamster Wheel Of Content Production

business report

The main characteristic of music memberships versus just selling digital courses one-off is that you’re adding new content regularly.

The frequency of how often you add new content to your music membership will depend on your offer, but most often, it follows your billing cycle.

So if it’s a monthly membership, with recurring monthly payments being charged to students’ credit cards, you need to give your students a reason to stay.

This is where you get on what I like to call a hamster wheel of content production.

Let’s take a guitar membership as an example, where new guitar lessons are released every month.

This is what the process would look like:

  • The planning phase, where you come up with a new lesson topic
  • Preparation process where you compose the lesson instructional materials
  • Recording preparation: creating backing tracks, writing scripts, etc.
  • Video recording phase,where you shoot everything
  • Editing & Production phase
  • Publishing preparation and upload
  • Hitting the publish button on your website
  • Return to the beginning and start again.

When you create your monthly deliverables, you go back to square one and need to start preparing the next lesson series.

There is often no time to rest in between because you need to support your members inside the membership.

Again, I think this comes as something you just need to do to serve your members, and don’t mind it when you see the progress your students are making (and the number of members increasing every month!).

Just something to prepare for, and now you can’t say nobody told you.

# 3 – You Can Have More Than 1k Students

many members

Most music memberships will have these milestones in their growth:

  • First 100 members
  • First 500 members
  • First 1000 members

But, the truth is nobody tells you that you can have more than 1k students.

I know of memberships with 5k members and even more than 10k members.

It’s clear why this subscription-based model is so attractive in comparison to offering one-on-one music lessons.

You can help more students than you ever had a chance to do by teaching private lessons or working in a music school.

It also works excellently as a scalable online business idea, as the growth is unlimited.

# 4 – It Takes A Team To Manage Established Memberships

team and musical equipment

Most online music instruction memberships start as a side hustle, where the founder does everything.

I mean everything: from administration to building a website and doing video editing of the lessons.

It’s a lot to take on, and to succeed, you need to learn how to wear many hats.

But once your membership is a couple of years old…

Once you have a members base and everything is going in the right direction, you need to consider this:

Hire other people and start a team

This is crucial so that you can scale your business.

While business running costs of a music membership often stay pretty much the same regardless if you have 100 or 500 members, it’s your own work hours that will get depleted.

You need to start hiring others to help you manage your music membership.

It’s scary for a business owner to make the first hire, but if done right – you’ll be able to move the needle and speed things up when it comes to building a healthy business with steady growth.

All established memberships I’ve been involved with had at least one or more team members helping with various tasks.

#5 – Community Is Difficult To Get Going

online community

You might have heard that starting a community is vital for your online music membership.

When they say community, they mean a private Facebook Group, private forum, private chat room, and similar structures where members can freely interact.

It’s a great concept, but there is something to be aware of that nobody tells you:

One thing is to start a community, and the other is to have a thriving and healthy community as part of your membership.

I believe it’s the most challenging element to get right regarding music instruction memberships.

These are signs of a poorly organized music membership community:

  • Forum is a ghost town
  • There are few and in-between interactions
  • Members take a long time to respond to messages, if ever
  • Members just don’t take part in the community

So if you are excited to offer a community as part of your music membership, keep in mind that it might take a lot of work to get going.

A healthy community has many active members participating in discussions and highly engaged with membership community activities.

Did You Like My Truth?

I didn’t write this post to stop you from starting an online music teaching business.

On the contrary, now is the best time for music teachers to do so.

It’s like the last call to get on board.

You should definitely do it, but I feel the responsibility to tell you the truth.

Things to expect on your journey.

And it is a journey.

If running online music memberships was easy – everyone would be doing it.

No, it’s not easy.

It takes a certain kind of person and music teacher to be able to do it successfully.

It’s plain hard. Difficult to succeed.

But is it worth it?

If being an online music instruction website owner is one of the things you have always dreamed about – you should take action now.

Here’s a guide I’ve written specifically for music teachers looking to start their own online business.

Download it here:


Click the button below to get instant access to this printable +70 page guide and transform your teaching NOW!

…and don’t forget to get on my email list to get my weekly emails with valuable tips on how to start your own music-teaching business:

Hope this post has been insightful to you.

What’s the one thing you fear the most when it comes to starting an online music membership? Post in the comments.

All the best,
Founder, MusicTeachingBiz.com