Category: successful music teaching

How to teach piano beginners (I)

As piano students and performers, you all know the importance of piano lessons and practice, and how a great teacher can inspire you to the next new level. But as piano teachers, do you know what you have to do in order to be successful in teaching piano students?

In this series of articles , I’d like to share with you some useful ideas on how you as piano teachers to prepare yourselves on taking up this wonderful career of piano teaching.

Teaching piano beginners is a challenging task. Many might think it’s easier than teaching students of more intermediate levels. It’s crucial for piano teachers to nurture their beginner students carefully so that students start well on the merry way of music learning and enjoyment for many years to come.

The following tips are applicable for teaching piano beginners in general.

1. Use piano instruction books effectively

There are a lot of piano method books out there and many of them are quite excellent and fun. But not all of them are suitable for teaching purpose. Piano teachers should identify the books they find that are in line with their own teaching approach and choose wisely. More importantly, the piano method books out there do not teach teachers how to teach their books. So it’s up to the teachers to use the books accordingly. Even if the teachers are professionally trained musically, it doesn’t mean unfortunately that they are trained to teach music, and I know a lot of times they are frustrated with how to communicate in a way that students can understand and learn effectively.

This leads me to the second point..


2. Learn how to teach

I for a while did not understand the importance of learning how to teach. It was not until I took classes in piano pedagogy in graduate school and first-handedly received high-quality piano lessons from master piano teachers, that I understood the surprisingly distinct difference between the old-school mediocre piano teaching and the great piano teaching, which could immensely inspire a student to a great new level in piano playing and music understanding.

After finishing my master’s degree, I continued to learn and dig deeper in the subject of “teaching”. In piano teaching (or instrumental teaching for that matter), there are two main aspects one needs to learn as a teacher: teaching music and teaching in general. And in music teaching, there are piano playing (technique and repertoire) and music rudiments (theory, reading and aural ability, history). To be a successful and well-rounded piano teacher, one must not only acquire knowledge in music and piano but also learn how to teach.

Teaching is not to feed information into students’ brains- it’s rather to inform and guide the students, so that they are well-equipped with data they need to form their own judgment and apply their knowledge accordingly.

High-quality piano teaching does not have to be reserved to music students in prestige graduate schools only. As a matter of fact, children needs great teachers to learn from and be inspired by at early ages, right from the start of their music education journey.

3. Teach students how to practice

It’s important to teach students how to practice. A lot of teachers think the students automatically know that how to practice on their own, and hope that the parents would somehow take that responsibility to teach them or show them how. That cannot be more wrong.

First thing students should know is that practice is crucial for successful piano playing and repetition is important in their piano practice. And repetition does not mean playing a piece twice or the whole piece all the time. There should be guidance on how to practice and what to practice, what goals they set in each practice session and how to achieve those goals accordingly.

In our piano beginner books, we write out step-by-step instructions for students and parents to follow at home during their practice, so that they know what to do and what to pay attention to. In piano lessons, teachers should also spend time to explain to students how to practice certain phrases and what they themselves should pay attention to during their practice at home. Students need to know what they are looking for in their own practice and playing, instead of teachers pointing out their mistakes and them rectifying them afterwards. A lot of self-awareness and attention to details are required in students in their own practice (and playing) to make that practice session effective and productive.

When students know how to practice and what to look for during practice, it’s time to be creative in their practice. Teachers can demonstrate different ways of tackling a problem, whether it be a rhythmic, harmonic or coordination aspect. Teaching students to understand the components and make-up of a music piece would tremendously help them practice more effectively. No one gets far with practice or playing without understanding the musical content of a piece they are learning.

Successful Music Teaching Course

Category: Music Teaching and Teaching Studio Business Course

I want to help you build your music teaching studio.

When I set up my own music teaching studio, I also experienced a difficult period. It took a lot of effort to achieve that dream, but most importantly, it took me a long time to find a real direction to build a successful music teaching studio. After the solid establishment of my music teaching studio, it was very satisfying in many ways. I wish there were someone who could guide me and teach me how to do it, so I wouldn’t have wasted so much time searching for ways to build the studio I really wanted, so that I could focus on music and teaching.

I know that I can help you: the “How to Build a Successful Music Teaching Studio” course is designed to change the way you – and many teachers who are passionate about music and teaching- teach and shape a music teaching career that you have always wanted . I like to take away your frustration and struggle, so that you can focus on contributing your effort to our local music teaching community. We need the best teachers like you to teach the next generation of students.

Note: This only applies to private music teaching; if you want to start a bigger teaching business, please contact us directly for one-on-one business coaching courses.

You can now enroll in this course on our online learning platform.

Wanted: Great Piano/Music Instrument Teachers

It has never been easy to promote yourself, especially when you are a private piano teacher (or whatever kind of music instruments you teach).

People say, “teachers shouldn’t have to sell themselves” , “we are not sales!”, “I just don’t know what to do, so I guess I’ll wait for students to discover me and show up at my door one day”.

I get your frustration. I never thought I had to promote myself as a piano teacher either.

So I waited and waited for too long to take actions.

I wanted to start teaching long time ago when I graduated with my master’s degree in piano performance. I mean, I did start teaching, along with my successful performing career, which I loved and enjoyed. But I always knew inside of me teaching was my true calling. I just wasn’t given the opportunity to use it to the fullest.

Instead of being proactive about teaching, I went to do more study instead. I thought by going back to school and get more degrees would help.

It didn’t.

I loved studying and learning, but studying and learning something that’s not directly related to what I really wanted to do – which was piano teaching – was basically a waste of time for that matter (I still learnt things but they didn’t contribute to what I wanted to do).

So what did I do? I quit. I quit everything and started to focus on piano teaching.

I started with 5 students. I couldn’t even pay rent with that salary.

People called me for performances, I refused. I guess I was being very radical and stubborn, but I also wanted to show myself there was nothing else I could do now but to really build my piano teaching career because I’d burnt that ship- I was at the point of no return.

It really pushed me to build my piano teaching career quickly. I set a deadline yet I achieved it in a much shorter period of time – because why? I needed it to happen. Of course I was working on it almost 24/7 – ok more like 18/7. I devoted time effort heart and soul into building my music teaching business.

Suffice to say, I made it.

But what I wanted to say is, there’s no glamor in working really hard for the career I truly wanted. I had to put A LOT OF EFFORT in building it.

Despite that fact that it was very tough process, lots of heartache, frustration, exhaustion and simply hard work, it was very rewarding and I would always be grateful to have taken that opportunity and run with it. It was my dream to teach in an environment in a way I wanted, to mingle with students I truly enjoyed teaching and making music/playing piano with. Even now when I look back it still puts a smile on my face.

I want you all new music teachers out there, whether you are piano teachers/violin teachers/cello teachers/double bass teachers/singing teachers/windwood teachers/even dance teachers, you can do it too. You just need to have a blueprint, a direction, a program to guide you there. Then you would be able to enjoy the success and joy a great music teaching career brings just like I am.

Interested in building a successful music teaching studio yourself?

 

Do you want to teach music?

“You should give up now – it doesn’t pay well.”

“You should get a real job.”

“You can’t make money being a musician/music teacher.”

“You should just get a teaching job at school or a government job.”

“You can’t make stable income teaching (enter any music instrument name).”

“You should study something else than music.”

 

Have you heard these questions – or insult – before?

I have, many times, directed towards me or towards my teaching staff and music friends.

At one point I thought that’s not working for me either. So I thought of doing something else or doing it differently. But I always came back to it.

I don’t give up easily. When I want something, I make it happen.

So I started playing piano, I studied abroad in piano performance, I worked as a pianist, I taught piano, I started my piano studio, and then piano school. I wrote books about piano teaching and playing. I consulted piano performers and piano teachers and music teaching studio owners online. I ran an online music teacher training platform, etc., etc. The list was endless.

And I made money teaching music and piano while enjoying my work. I love teaching, I have immense passion in helping people, I do.

When I get exciting and joyful feedback from piano students/parents/piano teachers about how much they’ve enjoyed my lessons/courses and how I’ve changed their lives for the better, I become so touched sometimes I would even cry with joy.

But hey, this is not about me, this is about YOU.

Being successful in music teaching requires hard work, in some ways more than having a regular job. Especially when you are teaching freelance or on your own. You don’t have the benefits that most people do: you don’t have the paid holidays, the health benefits, the regular time off (because you perform/teach piano on weekends/holidays). People think it’s so great to have your own work! Yes but they don’t see how hard it is for you to maintain your own students, plan your own work schedule, annual student concerts, piano exams, competitions, lessons, fees, parents, the list goes on and on. Wait, did I say no paid holidays so every time you take a vacation you cringe on how much money you didn’t earn on your trip to Japan/Thailand/Italy? And you can never take the same days off to hang out with your family and friends who have a regular job schedule? Heck, you sometimes even forget it’s public holiday because you are working on that day! And if the weather’s bad and everyone gets to stay in and cheer for the extra time off, you are upset because you don’t get to work and get paid?

Ok, that may have gone a bit too far and too much details – I personally had thought about all of the above and that’s why I can write them out easily in one minute.

But still, I love teaching, whether I am teaching piano students or piano teachers or other music instrument teachers. I simply love sharing knowledge and helping others, from teaching piano students how to play better, to teaching piano teachers how to teach better, then to teaching other music instrument teachers on how to build their music teaching career. It is important for the piano students and piano teachers and other music instrument teachers know how they too can be successful in their piano playing and piano/violin/flute/cello/erhu/singing/guitar teaching.  

When I teach a piano student, I influence one person (and perhaps a little on the family too). But when I teach a piano teacher or double bass teacher, I influence someone who can influence many students of their own. I really like the idea of that.

So if you are out there still thinking about my training program “How to Build a Successful Music Teaching Studio”, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me today. I am giving away a very special offer with some freebies on my online training program. Contact me now and get the gifts already!

Teresa Wong

It’s time to start your music teaching career!

I have been giving this a lot of thought.

I wonder what more there is to help you as a music teacher, no matter you teach piano/violin/double bass/any kind of music instrument.

Trust me, I have been there before.

I had gone through a difficult time trying to build my own teaching studio. It was a lot of effort and hard work to make it happen, but most of all, it took me a long time to find out what I actually needed to work on to build a successful teaching studio.

Believe me, it wasn’t easy at all. At times I wanted to give up. I am sure you feel the same way sometime yourself, feeling like no one really cares about your work.

But obviously I didn’t give up, and that’s why I am writing this and you are reading it right now.

The struggle to build a meaningful and financially rewarding music teaching career is real. But there IS a way to do it, more effectively and efficiently, with great foreseeable result.

For me, it has been an amazing and rewarding experience in many ways. I struggled alone on this journey: I wished I had proper guidance from someone who had built their own studio successfully and showed me the way instead, so that I wouldn’t have wasted so much time looking for the way I wanted to teach.

And that is why I created this new training program for you. I know you are out there looking for that way to make it happen. Let me help you: the training program is designed to do that for you and many other teachers who have so much passion for music and teaching but don’t really know how to change the way they are building their studio/career. I like to take away your frustration and struggle so that you can contribute to our music teaching community.

There are various levels of the program you can join. From whole online program and small courses bundles to single lecture, you can choose whatever packages that suit your need. I do believe you learn best going through the whole program.

You can also opt to do private coaching with me on teaching as well. There I can customize for you the topics you really want to focus on.

I know you have so much to offer. And we need you to teach the students who are eager to have a great teacher just like yourself.

Let me show you the way.

TW

How to Build a Successful Music Teaching Studio

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