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.
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.