Would you like to be part of an online school?

Tracy Rose - MusicLessonsAnywhere. online piano teacher. Would you like to be part of an online school
Student-side view of me teaching

The idea of starting an online school has been at the back of my mind for the past couple of years, but recently it has come to the front. I have a full teaching timetable now, and am not sure where to go from here. I could certainly stay as I am; I enjoy teaching and I have new projects – I run a summer school, held my second annual concert in March, and have just started a Music Theory Club with students coming together on Google Hangouts for a music theory quiz which I host.

But I would like to expand the business, building on my marketing strategy and web reach as well as the online teaching skills I have built up over the last few years. I regularly get new enquiries from around the world – the last two were from Colombia and Trinidad. I don’t want to start turning students down.

Starting a school seems a logical step, since I have run an after-hours music school before as head of music at St. George’s International School in Málaga, Spain. But this one would be an online school.

What might it look like?

I drew a picture of it when I was out with friends last week – it looked like a house under whose roof were three subjects – Maths, English and Music.

But then come the practicalities:

  • Would I have time to manage it?
  • Would it be a loose grouping of teachers, or a more strongly branded entity?
  • Would it be for children, adults, or both?
  • What does the competition look like?
  • Online teaching fees are already low – where would my profit come from?
  • If I took 10% of each teacher’s fee, would this amount to much, once PayPal have taken their cut?
  • What is to stop teachers poaching students?

In the end I have decided to start small by building on my current piano teaching and focusing initially only on music, perhaps expanding to other subjects later.

But I would love to hear from any teachers out there who might be interested in joining an online school, whatever subject you teach.

Maybe you are having trouble attracting students and would like to be part of an online school, or maybe you are already running one, or thinking of running one, and are looking to collaborate. Or maybe you just think it sounds like an interesting idea.

Wherever you are, whether you are an experienced teacher or just starting out, I would love to hear from you.

Contact me by clicking here or post a comment below.

Please Share this blog post to spread the appeal!


More blog posts by Tracy Rose.

May 14, 2015
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    patricklemarie said on May 15, 2015 11:48 am:

    I read your post with great interest as I am myself developing an online teaching business.

    I would say, through my experience so far, that the most difficult issue is marketing your service, being seen by the students who need your expertise to acquire new skills or to improve their knowledge of a subject.

    The technology is now available and affordable (Skype + addons & Google Hangouts, BigBluebutton …) to be able to provide satisfactory courses and training sessions.

    The big issue is getting the prospects to walk the way to our virtual school!
    What about organising a dedicated Hangout (on air), gathering several teachers/instructors presenting their online teaching services?
    Or maybe just introducing online teaching?

    Feel free to contact me to share your ideas, skype: pat_fr76 International Management Training Courses

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    ladymusic said on May 15, 2015 6:16 pm:

    I’d be interested. I live in a small town Osoyoos, BC and it’s been a struggle to get students. It’s also mostly a tourist destination so people come and go. I teach one of the students I had in Victoria and am teaching him via Skype, so I’ve had some experience. Please keep me informed of your considerations.

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    MusicLessonsAnywhere said on May 15, 2015 9:19 pm:

    Thank you all of you who have got in touch with me directly and for posting here and for your interest. I’ve had a terrific response regarding the blog post about my idea of an online school.

    I’m still very much at the stage of floating out ideas and questions about how certain aspects could be resolved, hence the blog post. But what is so interesting is that so many online teachers from the Online-Teacher-Directory have come forward, contacting me directly and by email.

    Its also interesting that my problem is that I’m at capacity with a full timetable, finding students hasn’t been a problem, when a couple of other online teachers have mentioned that they’ve experienced the opposite problem. This makes the idea of a collaborative online school all the more viable.

    Floating this idea has produced such encouraging feedback. I still need to think hard about how to resolve the problems I foresee, which I’ve outlined in my blog post. Please post comments or contact me directly if you have suggestions about these issues.

    I will follow up on my blog at the Online-Teacher-Directory, if and when I think things can be moved forward.

    In the meantime, please stay in touch, post ideas in comments on my blog or contact me directly.

    Thank you again for your valued input!

  4. otuk said on June 26, 2015 11:41 am:

    I run my own Skype school that specialises in providing British English lessons with UK tutors. I agree with the first poster that making your services visible online is the biggest challenge. I gave up teaching in order to run Online Teachers UK because of the workload involved and the new skills I had to acquire (because the capital wasn’t there to bring in specialists in areas such as HR, management, IT and SEO). Over the past 1.5 years I’ve managed to significantly increase organic traffic to our website by learning about search engine optimisation and how to pen valuable content that attracts visitors interested in our services. You could have the best website in the world but won’t rank well until you get your head around how search engines work…unless you pay someone to do the SEO for you. Your website is like a shop…you want it to be on the High Street…the online equivalent is the 1st page of Google.

  5. carloscap said on June 26, 2015 1:06 pm:

    Me gustaria mucho formar parte de esta escuela online
    Yo soy maestro de musica (de canto y de piano) tambien de manera online desde hace ya bastante tiempo
    no tengo presupuesto para invertior al empezar pero si me interesaria trabajar de alguna manera a porcentaje con uistedeEspero su contestacion
    Desde ya muchas gracias!!
    Carlos Guido

    Admin translation:
    I would very much like to take part in this online school
    I am master of music (singing and piano) also online for quite some time
    I don’t have the budget to invest in a start-up but yes I’m interested in working in some way to share with you. I await your reply
    Thank you in advance!
    Carlos Guido

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