“I want to be a piano teacher when I grow up” says one of my five year old piano students.
“I want to teach piano part time when I am in university”, says one of my teenage students.
“I want to teach piano from home so I can spend more time with my children”, says one of my adult students.
“I want my son/daughter to be a piano teacher when they grow up”, says one of my student’s parents.
“I want to teach music at primary and high schools”, says one of my ambitious piano students.
Does any of the above relate to you or sound familiar? So how does one become a successful piano teacher ? It goes without saying that to teach piano you should be able to play piano well. However, playing well does not ensure being a good teacher.
To be a successful piano teacher, you need to be able to:
– inspire and motivate students to practise.
– help students overcome emotional, psychological and physical obstacles that prevent them from progressing forward.
– have the foresight and the imagination to help a student reach their full potential, because every student has their own unique personality, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses.
– market piano lessons.
– be creative with your teaching style because it will get boring if you continually teach the same thing in the same way over and over again for the next 50 years.
– find ways to make students laugh. Happy students and parents means a successful piano teaching career!
So how does one become a successful piano teacher?
1. Complete piano examinations up to AMEB Grade 8 and Theory of Music up to Grade 4.
2. Study a Diploma or Bachelor of Music, while teaching piano part time for experience at your local music school.
3. Network… network…. network… because the best marketing tool is word of mouth.
4. Seek a mentor who is a good role model. Your mentor will help you save time and money from costly mistakes along the way.
5. Perform for a church, perform for a local school, perform for your local community, perform for your family, perform whenever, wherever because you need to get your face and your abilities in the public eye.
6. Have a professional looking website.
7. If you would like to teach in a primary or high school setting, you will need to study a Diploma of Education or Masters of Music Performance Teaching after your Bachelor of Music in order to be qualified to teach in a class of 20-30 students.
8. Continue to seek self improvement and study piano with a teacher who has the skills you desire in order to not let those fingers rust.
If there is one thing I would want any aspiring piano teacher to remember from this blog, it is this: be nice, kind, positive, enthusiastic, passionate, empathetic, and creative. Happy students and parents means a successful piano teaching career! Get out there and connect with your students and the general public. On a final note, you need to continually seek out professional development and be innovative. I wish you all the success in your future piano teaching career.
xoxo Lina Chan