Tag: successful music teaching

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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你想自己的音樂教學工作做得更好嗎?

你想自己的音樂教學工作做得更好嗎? 改善音樂教學工作環境? 收到更理想的學生嗎?

Rethinking Piano Teaching

[:en]”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.
[:zh]

“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 knowledgable 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.
[:]