Episode 15: Side Hustling while Teaching Full Time with Jennifer Ferguson


Have you been considering starting a side hustle as a way to bring in extra money or as a creative outlet? So many teachers find side hustles to be beneficial to them in a number of ways. If you’re unsure what a side hustle entails or if you’re looking for some insight into how it can work while you’re teaching full time, our guest Jennifer Ferguson, is sharing a glimpse of what side hustling looks like for her!

For so many of us, our outlook and goals changed with the pandemic and remote teaching. For Jennifer, it gave her a chance to start the side hustle she had always wanted to start, though it took a different direction than she initially planned. She is giving us all the details on her background as a music educator, how she got started side hustling, and how she was nudged into her current niche on YouTube.

Jennifer is also sharing her process for creating content, how she sustains her workload and how she knows when to slow down or say no, tips for starting on YouTube, how she got started with her retail shop, and ideas of side hustles for teachers. You are sure to leave this episode feeling inspired and motivated to start the side hustle you’ve been thinking about!

Jennifer Ferguson (she/her) earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Washington. She earned her Master of Music in Conducting from American Band College of Sam Houston State University. She was awarded National Board Certification in 2010 and renewed in 2019. She has been a band director in Washington since 2004, and a paraprofessional music educator from 2000-2004, having worked in the Evergreen, Kelso, Northshore and Edmonds school districts.  She performs with the Southwest Washington Wind Symphony, teaches private flute lessons, and runs a YouTube and retail business.  In her free time she enjoys all things Disney, watching college football (GO HUSKIES!) and spending time with her husband, friends, her two kids and her Greyhound.

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In this episode we cover:

  • Jennifer’s background as a music educator
  • How the pandemic played a major role in starting her side hustles
  • Why she creates the videos she does and how she was nudged in this direction
  • Her process for creating content in terms of planning and production
  • How Jennifer sustains her workload and knows when she needs to slow down 
  • Ways that YouTube channels can generate revenue
  • Tips for those starting out on YouTube
  • How she got started with her retail shop
  • Ideas of side hustles that teachers can do while working full time

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More about The First Six Notes with Classroom Composers

The First Six Notes Podcast with Classroom Composers is for band teachers and string teachers looking for great information from experienced teachers. 

Every other week, we’ll dive into everything about teaching band and string music students. We’re covering everything from pedagogy to fundraising and interviewing successful music teachers, composers, admin, professional private studio teachers, and more to uncover and share their strategies for musical success. 

Classroom Composers is a married team of two music teachers, Kevin Hoff and Jessica Frank. Between the two of us, we have experience teaching K-6 general music, elementary 4/5 band/strings, and middle school band/strings/guitar who want to share our knowledge and experience with other teachers.

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