TakeLessons connects students with teachers of art, music, performing arts and language

Expected pay: You set private lesson pay; Pay for “live” lessons is a mystery (see review)

Husl$core: $$

Commissions & fees: 10% – 20%

Where: Nationwide (remote)

Requirements: Be over the age of 18; smart phone; bank account; a computer and a webcam, if you want to teach students online.

TakeLessons 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.

How it works

Teachers sign up for free, posting a profile that defines your teaching specialties, schedule and rates. You are not allowed to include your last name, email address or a business web address, however. This is to prevent TakeLesson’s clients from skirting the platform to book lessons directly with you. If the platform finds out that you’re doing this, you’ll get booted.

Registration for teachers is free. TakeLessons only takes a commission when you book a student.

Site commissions

When you book a one-on-one student, TakeLessons will collect payment and deduct its commission from your proceeds.

Commissions here are staggered. You pay 20% on the first 10 lessons with any individual student. If that student continues taking lessons with you, the commission rate for that student will drop to 10%. So, you take home between 80% and 90% of the amount the student pays.

Mystery of “live” and recorded lessons

Although teachers set their own rates for private lessons, there are three ways to teach on this platform — private lessons, “live” lessons and recorded lessons. It is unclear how teachers are paid for the live and recorded lessons — even to teachers who have taught these lessons.

In reviews of the site, teachers maintain they’ve been told that their pay for live lessons is based on a top-secret algorithm that teachers don’t get access to. Ever. They’re only told how much they earned for these lessons in retrospect through the pay platform. This is ludicrous.


Notably, when we first reviewed TakeLessons, the site’s commission was a whopping 40%. That was far and away the biggest complaint from teachers on the platform. Now the big complaint is the mystery payments for live lessons.

TakeLesson’s terms for private lessons are fine. But, given that many of the lessons on this site may be booked through live and taped classes, where the teachers have no pricing control, this site continues to get a substandard Husl$core.

Better places to list art, drama and music lessons include LessonFace, which scores well for both technology and costs, and tutoring giant Wyzant. Wyzant charges more — 25% commissions on bookings– but gets literally millions of students monthly, which makes it well worth considering when you’re trying to build your tutoring business.

What their teachers say: (from Glassdoor):

For private students it’s easy to understand how much you will make. Take Lessons is very straight forward about the percentage they will take from your pay per lesson. But, that are not straight forward about live classes and you have no idea what you are even making. All they will tell you is it’s based on an algorithm that they will not share. It’s also listed on there website that for live classes you get a flat rate even if no students show up but they won’t tell you what that flat rate is either.

Surprise pay

This company hides what their teachers will make per live class, saying it’s based on an algorithm but not offering what that is, or any sort of range of pay. So they want you to work for them, and put all of your time and energy into teaching live classes. But they don’t want you to know what they’ll be paying you for it! What they’ve told me over and over again is that I need to wait until the next MONTH to see what I’ll be paid for all the classes I’ve taught in this current month. This does not seem legal at all. “Work for us, and get a completely surprise pay!”

They won’t tell you how the pay scale works for teaching classes and pay out once a month. Last month I made $8 an hour for teaching professional classes. Rip off. Then they cancelled my classes after I complained I was being harassed by a student who is friends with members of the staff. She video taped my class without permission and was writing threats in the chat to me and other students. Horrible experience.

Can’t share portfolio

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. 

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