There are a variety of online sources for music lessons and a growing number of webcam services that can be used for independent music teaching but, so far, Bandhappy is the only dedicated platform I've found where any musician can teach online lessons.
Launched in January, Bandhappy was founded by musician Matt Halpern to offer musicians a one-stop shop for scheduling, teaching and billing. They even have a system for offering in-person classes while on tour.
I previously wrote about the growing phenomenon of musicians offering online lessons via Skype. That post included additional platforms for indie teaching and, in the comments, Bandhappy was suggested as a music-focused option.
Bandhappy Teacher Tutorial
Since then I've been keeping an eye out for related news and have discovered a number of options for taking lessons online as well as a directory of teachers for local lessons, LearningMusician. Also worth noting is the recently launched Powhow, a platform for live webcam classes by independent teachers recently profiled at TechCrunch.
However Bandhappy remains the only music-focused teaching platform I've found to date. Having a niche focus means that ideally they can better serve the needs of both teachers and students.
Students pay only the class fee with no additional registration fees. Teachers can set up profiles for free and choose their own price for classes. Bandhappy charges a 15 percent service fee from student payments. Bandhappy handles payment from students and pays teachers once lessons are taught.
Unique details include the ability for teachers to send students documents related to lessons through the site. Teachers can also post a tour schedule and offer in-person classes for groups and individuals at home and on the road. So Bandhappy is designed to offer a complete solution for music teachers.
Bandhappy was recently profiled by Gus G. Sentementes for the Baltimore Sun. Founder Matt Halpern said the idea came from his own experience patching together a solution for teaching online:
"'I was using Skype for the video, Paypal to get paid, email and Facebook for marketing, and a separate calendar for reminders,' said Halpern, who drums for Periphery, a progressive rock band that tours more than six months out of the year. 'It was all very cumbersome and disjointed.'"
Bandhappy was the result and it's off to a good start with almost 500 teacher listings and thousands of students. Halpern is seeking investment funding to continue to improve the service and to market it on a national level.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs about dance at All World Dance. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.