The Happiest Online Piano Teacher in Town
Yep, I am teaching online these days and so are a lot of you. It’s not going too badly, actually, for me it’s going pretty well. Online teaching may have its limitations but there are many good things about it too. Here are the tips I use to be “The Happiest Online Piano Teacher in Town”
Read my book “The Happiest Piano Teacher in Town”
1 Stay positive.
I always remind myself that “Words have power.” I believe this starts with the words we say to ourselves. I remind myself that online teaching is a blessing because I am still working, and I am still able to give the gift of music to my students.
2 Remember that you are still the same teacher whether in person or online.
Approach online teaching the same way you do in person teaching. Online teaching isn’t second best right now it IS the best and you are still the excellent teacher you were before. Maybe even better! I suspect virtual learning is here to stay and it opens up the whole world to piano students. More people have access to your excellent teaching than ever! Remember this and take it to heart.
3 Sell it.
Yes, you can get new students. People are looking for something to do. Parents are looking for an activity their children can do safely. Guess what? You have the answer. People can now take lessons without having to travel anywhere. For busy parents this is a huge plus. I have had many parents tell me that they are loving this option. Busy adult students are also finally feeling like they have the time to learn the piano because time has opened up.
Explore all options when it comes to advertising. Consider signing up with some platforms like takelessons.com or thumbtack.com. Network with friends and family let them know that you are offering piano lessons you may be surprised to find that there are new students out there for you.
4 Harness the power of community
Let’s face it, we are pretty much all in the same boat these days. We also all have our strengths. (notice I didn’t say weaknesses). If you are not sure how to do something, ask a colleague.
Join a Facebook group like Piano Teacher Apprentice and ask questions. People are more than willing to help out.
5 Teach people to treat you well.
Expect the best from your students and parents but be prepared to stand your ground when necessary. Adhere to your studio policy and don’t give discounts. You are still working hard and providing an excellent music education.
6 Get set up.
Invest in the necessary tools of the trade. A good internet connection. A flexible teaching platform. (I use Zoom because of the screen sharing option). I like to use a camera for over the keys in addition my laptop’s camera. I plan to add a headset and microphone so that my students and I can hear each other better. I also recommend a comfortable chair and a good cup of coffee!
7 Plan ahead, take notes and have things ready.
Getting resources to my students is a bit more challenging these days. I have a lot of my student’s music in pdf format which can easily be emailed when necessary, but I make it a practice to take notes so that I know what to send to whom each week.
Shameless plug alert…Check out the hundreds of resources right here at Paloma Piano.
8 Ask for what is needed.
We now have a very enlightening window into our student’s home set up. Don’t be afraid to ask for a piano to be tuned, an adjustable bench, or a better internet connection. We are the “experts” it is our job to educate our students and part of that is making sure they have what is necessary for optimum learning to take place.
9. Remember you are more than a teacher.
You are a musician and that in and of itself is a marketable skill. Can you compose music? Record accompaniment tracks for people? Arrange songs? Create video tutorials? My son Johnny Hall is a singer/guitar player. He has had a steady stream of work in a platform called Fiverr recording songs for people and composing music for videos.
10 Be kind to yourself.
I think we can agree that times are challenging. I sincerely hope that all of you and your families are healthy. I know that many teachers have had students leave, and studios have had to close. The impact of the COVID pandemic cannot be minimized. Do your best to stay positive and treat yourself with respect. This crisis will end at some point and we will get back on out feet.
Please reach out and ask for help if you need it. Feel free to email me if I can be of help or encouragement in any way.