Should you teach family and friends?
It goes without saying that some of your students will come to you because of people you know or are friendly with—friends of your children or children of co-workers, etc. I have found that this works out fine. I give them the Studio Policy, and they are treated as I would any other student. However, when it comes to teaching piano lessons to family and friends it can be a bit more challenging.
If you do want to teach close friends and family here are some things to consider.
- Will they pay for books and materials?
- Will they pay you?
- When will they have their lessons?
- What will you do if the student doesn’t practice?
These things are important to consider because misunderstandings can arise. Learning to play the piano takes a lot of work on the part of the parent, student, and teacher. Misunderstandings can arise with family and friends just as they can with any other student. The difference is we love and care for our family and friends; the last thing we want is a conflict with the people closest to us.
I have, in the past, taught many children of my family and friends. For me, it has worked out great because my family and friends are wonderful and fair. If you think you would like to do this, give it a whirl. I am still good friends with all of the families whose kids I have taught. Each of these young people is still involved with music in various capacities.
Read the post “Time to Say Goodbye”
Teaching your own kids.
I was never successful with this. Not because of my children, but because I did so much teaching that I found that at the end of the day the last thing I felt like doing was teaching another lesson to my own sons. In my case, I didn’t enjoy being both parent and teacher. I found myself letting things slide with regard to their practice. There were always so many things I had to make sure they got done. Things like homework, school projects, and household chores. At the end of the day, I found I didn’t have the wherewithal to make them practice.
I also wanted them to have the experience of working with their own private teachers. I have such fond memories of my piano teachers (most of them). I feel the student-teacher relationship is very special. I am so thankful to all of my children’s teachers, especially their private music teachers.
I have colleagues who do teach their own children, and it works out very well for them. If you think you would like to teach your own children, I see no reason not to give it a try. Be prepared to switch gears and find a teacher if it is not working well.
If you are thinking about teaching piano lessons to family and friends I see no reason not to give it a try. As long as you are clear about how things will work and keep the lines of communication open things are bound to work out well.
This post is an excerpt from the book,
“The Happiest Piano Teacher in Town” Empowering teachers to inspire students.
Read it at amazon.com