Tag: Piano Teaching

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. We are now pre-selling this online course: If you register before October 15, 2018, you will receive a special discount for the entire course – please fill out this form to enroll in the course. The course will begin on November 5, 2018.

Cost of the entire course:

Register before October 15th: HKD $ 4000 / USD $ 530

Registration from October 16th to October 22nd: HKD $ 5000 / USD $ 660

Registration from October 23 to October 30: HKD $ 6000 / USD $ 790

Please fill out the form below to enjoy this offer!

Course Enrolment Form

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

Words of Encouragement for You

I just want to write a quick note for all of you out there, who might be feeling a bit down or frustrated because you didn’t have the better result than you expected in your exam/concert/teaching/building your studio. Please read this:

You didn’t fail.
You tried your best (at that moment) and it wasn’t the result you wanted. (If you didn’t try your best then thats really your fault and you have no one to blame it for.)
You can try again.
But before you take that exam/performance/the next project, think about what went wrong.
Looking into yourself is very important, but most people don’t want to do it. Because it’s hard. It can be embarrassing to see why you made that mistake.
But you are only human.
What you can do now is to think how to move forward and be better next time around. And to reach that goal you need a much better planning this time.
Because most likely, what didn’t work last time will not work next time either. And if you are just going to do the same thing again, you are simply setting yourself up for error and mistake one more time. Who does that? Some people do. You don’t want to be one of them.

Now, get up and tell yourself, you are setting up for success this time. And you are going to do your best you know how for it – this requires very careful and detailed planning and execution of what your plan is.
Stick with your plan is very important, second to having a great plan. But even if you have a great plan, if you don’t do what you plan to do, nothing will work for you, so remember that.

Great reward comes from great effort with persistence and time. Nothing substantial is achieved within a very short period of time. Teaching and playing is building knowledge, that’s very similar to building wealth, no one can do it in one day or even a year. It’s constant work and struggle. I have had my fair share of work and struggle. I get frustrated myself sometimes. But every time I get beat up by life and I get back up faster and faster. Because I know deep inside me there’s no point wasting more time on anything even slightly negative and unproductive, that is not contributing to my growth and success.

So here I encourage you to just step back, relax, take a deep breath, and get back up on your feet. I know you can do this and you have that power within you to make this work.

Stay motivated,
Teresa Wong

Rethinking Piano Teaching

“Teaching is such a noble work!”, a student recently said to me. I never thought about it in that way.

Certainly, when one picked teaching as his or her career, one would not expect to make a fortune out of it. Some might choose it simply because of its stability (if he or she works at a government school), while others did have the desire to teach and educate the next generations, only found later all the extra administration work and personnel issues unrelated to teaching they had to deal with whether they liked it or not.

To be honest, I did not know I wanted to teach when I started. Some of you who have been following me and reading my posts would know, whether from the series of “the Unashamed Piano Teacher”or some other posts about my teaching, that I had some gruesome experience in the past. When I was 17 or 18, I taught for a year “involuntarily” at a tiny piano company in the middle of a municipal building in which there was a wet market inside. The piano room was so tiny that I sat with my back against the wall and could not turn myself around inside it (when I started teaching seriously after I came back from the States I swore I would have a very spacious place for my students to learn in). When I was studying for my first degree, I had a student who did not want to learn so bad he hid every time I went to his place for lessons, and during the last lesson he “fell asleep” and dropped his head on the piano in the middle of his playing. After I graduated from my second degree and was studying for my third, I also had some experience teaching at schools, universities and choirs. While some of these experiences were wonderful in terms of the learning environment and atmosphere, too many factors were out of my control that eventually I decided to set up my own place and teach on my own terms.

Having great teachers later in my life completely changed the way I viewed teaching and education. To me, a real teacher is someone who is thoroughly knowledgeable in the subject s/he teaches. S/he is devoted and caring to every single one of the students s/he has. S/he has a unique and systematic way of teaching but adjusts it to accommodate the different learning style of each student whom s/he tries to understand and has good relationship with in an ongoing basis and with mutual respect. I completely sympathize with those who teach at a school in which s/he has to handle over thirty students in a class at the same time, and on top of that all the extra administrative work and extracurricular activities they have to take care outside the teaching hours. So when I hear some of them telling me about the genuine concern about their students after classes and the frustration with the limited time with them due to overload with administrative matters, I feel there might still be hope in the education system here, that we still have educators who truly cares about their students, our future generations.

Teaching on my own without a framework of a school or an organization is a completely different story. It requires tremendous self-discipline. No one tells you what to do and what not to do; you are completely on your own for your (and your students’!) success and failure. It is all-in-one work, meaning I do everything from administrative work to preparing teaching materials to scheduling students’ classes and monitoring their progress, writing reports, communicating with the students and parents through emails/WhatsApp/SMS/phone calls/meetings, to writing my blog (and now maintaining three websites and one YouTube channel!), and arranging concerts exams performance opportunities competitions etc. Luckily for the last few years I have been having someone to help take care of part of the administrative work so that I could focus more on the teaching part. And now as I expand my studio to become a school with other teachers teaching for me, more administrative and even management work is required and therefore, balance must be made in order that the quality of my teaching is maintained at and always improving to the highest level as much as I can afford to.

Teaching is simultaneously a constant thinking and learning progress. When I teach my students, I always observe how they can learn and play better and in turn, I learn something new on how to instruct them and move them forward. When I teach my teachers, I give them new information and I guide them to see teaching and learning through different perspectives, and during my preparation of each class and through our interaction and discussion I gain some new insights as well.

As I always say, music is communication, and piano is the tool. A successful teacher must help the student understand the language of music in various ways through first basic fundamentals and then creative means. Such understanding of the language facilitates the communication, whether within one self or towards others. A successful teacher must also master the means of verbal and physical (meaning gestures and demonstration) communication in order to maintain an open and effective channel between him/her and the student.

Music learning and teaching is a long-term process, we as teachers must not rush for short-term goals only to sacrifice the current learning of as well as the life-time enjoyment for our students. There must be a balance between near-sighted achievement and life-long pursuit, as in music or in life.

Teresa Wong

Preparing for the next piano pedagogy class.
Preparing for the next piano pedagogy class.

鋼琴教學 《一》

有一個古老的俗話云:「一個不能執行的人才去教學。」此謬誤被過份濫用的程度,令我幾乎都像大多數人一樣信以為真。

我曾經有一個老師,是一個在他早期的演藝生涯中贏了國際大賽首獎、非常著名的鋼琴家。當我剛入讀研究院時,我簡直不敢相信我可以成為他其中一個學生。然而隨著時間過去,我開始感到很大壓力、憂鬱。在課堂中,我沒有得到我想要學的東西,而換來的只是否定與不接納。我感到他對我學習進度的不認真和不注意。還記得有一次我遇到曲目中一段頗困難的段落,不斷練習卻怎樣也彈得不够好。我請教老師如何去處理它,換來的答案郤是:”Practice, practice, practice!” (“練習, 練習, 練習!”) 我感到十分沮喪,並開始覺得他根本不在乎教學及不關心我的進度。於是每次上課前,我都顫顫驚驚, 直到完成課堂後才舒一口氣。這是一個痛苦的過程持續了太久的一年半時間。然後,一位日本研究生向我提到她奇妙的鋼琴老師。於是我去聽她的課堂。這是一個改變生命的時刻。我從來沒有遇到這樣的一位老師。他是那麼活潑,充滿活力,積極和熱愛鋼琴演奏。他的教學,是充滿哲學和智慧的話語。我只是在想:「這就是了,這就是我想要的老師。」切換到另一位老師或鋼琴工作室並不是一件容易的事情(事實上這是一個大大的禁忌,尤其是你仍然想在一個有名的大學校中生存的話)。這是一個可怕的過程,但我知道如果不這樣做的話我可能會從此放棄彈奏,不能完成我的學位,另外亦抱著得到機會向新老師學習的堅持,我最終得到了這機會。 我本身跟隨的老師,雖然是一個了不起的音樂家,但他的教學方法和理念是不適合我或與我的性格兼容的。從那以後,我完全理解到,一個偉大的演奏家可能不是一個好老師。或者對你來說不是一個好老師。因為當它涉及到教學,它不只是那老師如何演奏技巧超凡,而是關於那老師如何教學靈通。它是在於那老師對鋼琴教學如何的充滿熱情,向不同教學方法、應用彈奏技術和細節的不斷探討,對音樂和演奏知識的靈通及豐富,及對哲學深度的追求。所以一個好的老師,不僅是對樂器本身的技術要求、以及鋼琴演奏的專業知識要有見地,也要對廣大的音樂歷史,理論和音樂在世界歷史中如何組成和變化、作曲家和音樂風格如何受社會發展影響等略知一二。再者,一個好老師總是對學生有仁愛之心,作為一個積極和令人鼓舞的榜樣,讓學生進行創造性的思考和運用自己的想法與想像力。簡單地說,一個沒有獨立思考和發揮個人理解的演奏是死枯枯、沒有生命的。

所以在這裡,我向我偉大的老師及鋼琴家練木繁夫致敬,而因為他,我渴望為我的學生同樣成為一個偉大的老師。

Teresa Wong

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