Should you travel or have students come to you?

If you are looking to start teaching, you have to ask yourself what kind of students you will be looking for. It’s difficult. There are days in which I wish my students would come to my studio and there are days in which I enjoy teaching in their home. Therefore, I prefer both. My studio caters to both kinds of students and that makes me happy πŸ™‚ However, if you are looking to figure out which is best for you, please keep reading.

Teaching from home

I’m not going to say that this is my favorite method, but it definitely has its benefits. I don’t like driving all the time because driving from location to location can take some time. It is also beneficial to be able to stack many students into one day. I understand that we are all trying to make money and this would be the best way to do it. There are some downsides to teaching from home though. I’ve found that my students make the piano keys dirty or they pound on my piano. It might not bother you, but it can depreciate the quality of your personal piano. Therefore, it does take some cost and benefits analysis to determine if this is the right method for you.

Traveling to students’ homes

I know that I said this wasn’t one of my favorite methods either, but that is why I have a mix. When you travel to students’ homes, you have to think about the time you are using and how much gas it takes. It’s not ideal, but many families would rather have the teacher come to their home. And you have to understand that many parents can’t leave their other children at home by themselves. On the other hand, I think that these are the most rewarding kind of students. I am able to create a stronger student-teacher bond when I travel to my students. They are happier and a lot more comfortable. I also find it interesting to see what their piano looks like haha The other day, I had a student rip a piano key out of her piano. It was definitely something, but I would never have been able to see that if they were at my studio. I can also create a large vision board of their progress for them if I teach at their home. Whichever method you choose, I wouldn’t recommend one over the other. It’s up to you on how you want to structure your studio πŸ™‚ Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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5 Simple tips on how to improve communication with your piano teacher or the student’s parents

I’m hoping that your communication with your piano teacher is already strong, but if you need extra help, let this blog post be your guide! I’ve always found it quite astounding how some parents and teachers can become hostile towards one another. Your child’s teacher is educating your child and I assume is putting towards a great effort to teach them. Therefore, the communication between both parties should be strong. Let’s jump right into some of these tips:

1. Use text message

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Let’s face it, we all don’t have time to make phone calls. And sometimes, some information can be sent quicker through texts. Text message is one of the handiest forms of communication and it should be heavily utilized. Lesson cancellations and “i’m going to be late” messages are perfect for text messaging.

2. Let parents know ahead of time

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Parents really appreciate it when you let them know what’s going to happen in the future. You should tell them when you plan on going on vacation, what time lessons are going to be next week, or when recitals are. I think that this is another great thing to implement as a teacher. Parents are often juggling many things at once. You have to remind them and let them know in advance. Trust me!

3. Keep an open line of communication about the student’s progress

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This can go both ways. Parents should provide weekly updates on how the child is progressing at home and the teacher should provide weekly updates on how the child is progressing in lessons. Why is this important? Both parties are interested in the success of the child. You both have to work together to make sure the child is always on track. It’s a teamwork.

4. Be really clear about your expectations

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If you want to be paid for each lesson, make sure the parents know. If the teacher is not listening to your child enough, then let them know. You can’t expect for either party to know how the other party is feeling if no one is clear about what they expect. This is difficult. However, there has to be a trust between both parties and that doesn’t just magically appear. It happens when both parties understand what is going on and what the expectations are.

5. Be friendly

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Okay, you must be thinking that I’m joking or something. I’m not. The number one tip that I can recommend is just to be friendly. Hostility and anger is not necessary. When you are friendly, people will like you and want to work with you. Keep in mind that there’s no magic recipe on how to be the best piano parent or best piano teacher. It requires trial and error, but there’s nothing wrong with keeping everything friendly. Be nice and welcoming. And I promise you that it will go a long way!

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What to expect from your child’s teacher

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You may feel like your child’s teacher is not doing enough to prepare your child for success. You may also feel like they are extremely hardworking and you are more than satisfied with the results. Either way, your teacher is an extremely crucial part of your child’s learning. Their teacher is working to instill your child with knowledge and concepts. It takes awhile for this process to happen. I have found that it takes me 1 month to see significant progress from a student. I teach in 30 minute, 45 minute, and 1 hour intervals. If you choose to have lessons for 30 minutes a week, I am able to sufficiently teach your child enough information in that time. How is that possible? For many teachers, 30 minutes is not enough time. It goes by quickly and teachers are often rushing to finish teaching. For me, I spend ALL of the time teaching. I might begin by asking how your child is feeling that day or how they’re doing at school. However, that conversation is short and I jump right into teaching. All of my students know this about me. I am very focused and I cram lots of information into one lesson. I have students practice the music multiple times. I’m not a rigorous teacher either, I just expect accomplishments to be made. I am too nice to my students and I am not good at discipline. However, when we are having lessons, my students progress further. They learn more and they are constantly challenged. Teaching is heavily varied among all teachers. Ask your teacher what their method of teaching is and what kind of timeline/expectations they have for your child. Remember to also be kind to your teacher. They are inevitably putting more hours into teaching than you may think. Cheers, and have a great day!

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