Let’s say that you’re an artist, writer, musician or other creative or performing artist who’s been thinking about teaching a class so as to provide yourself with an additional revenue stream—and also because you think you might enjoy it. How would you begin? Here’s your starting point. Next week we’ll look at top tip # 2!

1. Where?

Even before you decide on the “what” of your class is the question of whether you will teach the class under your own auspices—at your studio, home, or a space you rent—or whether you will teach as a faculty member of a school or as a workshop leader at a workshop center. This is a fundamental choice with lots of moving parts.

If you teach as a faculty member or workshop leader, your class will be publicized in ways that you perhaps can’t publicize it yourself and your basic needs, like the need for a physical space in which to teach, will be taken care of. On the other hand there will be lots of red tape, lots of competition for teaching spots, your class may not be scheduled for a full year from the time you apply, and you may earn considerably less than if you ran the class yourself.

These are among your basic considerations as you think about where to run your class—and there are plenty more as well. Because there are so many considerations, your best procedure is to patiently set aside some real time—a whole weekend day, say—deal with the anxiety that wells up in us when we’re confronted by challenging choices, and try to make up your mind about where you’ll be delivering your class.

Naturally it will make good sense to research some of these possibilities before you begin to make your choice. You may want to see what’s being taught at some of the large workshop centers like Omega, Kripalu, Esalen, Hollyhock, Rowe and the Open Center; at art schools, writing schools, or music schools; at community centers and in extension programs; and so on. But don’t let “researching” become a delaying tactic and a substitute for choosing. All the information in the world is only information. At some point you must decide.

The clearer you get about this “where,” the better are your chances that you will make teaching work for you. Teaching can be exciting, enjoyable, profitable, and even a game-changer, allowing you to live on your art income and your teaching income. It is of course real work, with all of the downsides of real work. But it may also serve you beautifully and amount to your exact next right step. I hope you’ll give it some thought!



My online creativity coaching trainings are coming soon! The Introduction to Creativity Coaching Training and the Advanced Creativity Coaching Training begin in June. Take either or both! More info here:


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