What: TakeLessons is an online marketplace that connects students with people who can teach art, music, foreign languages, performing arts, crafts and other skills

Expected pay: varies widely

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & Fees: graduated, 10% to 40%

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Be over the age of 18; smart phone; bank account; a computer and a webcam, if you want to teach students online. (You have the option of teaching only in person.)

Review: If you are a struggling artist or linguist trying to make bank, you may be able to teach your trade through TakeLessons. The site connects music, art, dance, acting and language teachers with students wanting to learn these skills.

Registration for teachers is free, but TakeLessons will take a big bite of your pay when you book a new student. The site’s commission structure is graduated to take the most — 40% of the teacher’s pay — when you have a new student, who has complete less than 5 lessons with you. However, the site cuts its commission to 30% for that same student’s 6th through 10th lessons; to 20% for the 11th through 15th lesson; and 10% when the same student takes more than 15 lessons. 

Teachers set their own rates, so can at least partially offset this cost by simply charging more. Teachers are also able to adjust their rates, but not for existing students. If a student has signed up for a series of lessons and continues to book sessions, you are obligated to accept the old rate until the student stops taking lessons or stops paying regularly. A student that cancels, but later comes back, he or she comes in at your new rates. 

We like that teachers can charge whatever they want — some were listed at rates of $80 or more per lesson. But the site’s high commission schedule keeps it from getting top ratings on SideHusl. Moreover, where the site does disclose its commission schedule, it hides it in internal help pages, highlighting the lowest commision (10%) in the big print. We think that’s misleading. Teachers also complain that the app is buggy, sometimes failing to send student messages and booking requests to teachers; and customer service is surly.

If you’re a music teacher, also check out LessonFace and tutoring sites, Chelsea International Education and Wyzant.

What their teachers say: (from Glassdoor)

Horrible support help desk. You are treated like a suspect for trying to show your website portfolio to a potential student who is still hesitating and needs to see your work before booking with takelessons. File sharing through email apparently also not allowed – because, again, you are likely to be that dishonest crook who will scoop out a student and bypass their platform. The sad part is the way they handled my complaint about how this policy has almost cost me (and them) 2 new students. I’m still furious about it. 

They are shady thieves!! Starting out with EVERY student they take 40% of your earnings! I get most of my students through word-of-mouth and TakeLessons have never really done much for me. I even had a student who reached out to me personally and I used my BookWithMe link for my student to sign up, because using that link gives the teacher over 90% of the earnings right away.  It’s a good thing I have a flourishing studio without them.

They take 40% commission off the first 5 lessons of EACH and EVERY student that an instructor takes on. It takes teaching of TEN SESSIONS to finally pay a legitimate commission.

Try TakeLessons