Some people wonder what a day is like as a piano teacher/business owner. Well, I tell you, it is quite possibly the best job ever! I’ve always told people that being a music teacher is awesome. Why? Because I can work as much or as little as I want, I can manage a family and work, and I get to see the best in my students and impact their lives every single week! Most teachers get to have their students for a year, and then pass them to the next teacher, but as a private music and piano teacher, I see my students for many years. The relationships that we build often last a lifetime! Here’s a little sneak peak into what a typical day looks like for me.
After getting my own kids off to school, I usually start my day by answering emails from parents, checking into daily “business”, and looking at music for my private students. Then, it’s off to teach a baby/toddler music class. Moms/Dads//Nannies bring their sweet little ones to enjoy a 30 minute music class. We play with maracas, sticks, bells, and woodblocks to music. The kids love playing instruments and sometimes even show me their dance moves! Caregivers enjoy a little relaxed time with the kids and even learn new songs to take home with them. These classes typically happen in the mornings before nap time. It’s a great way for me to begin my day- seeing their little faces always make me smile!
Private lessons happen after school. My students come for a 30 or 45 minute lesson, depending on their age. They sometimes come grumpy after a hard day of school or they’re stressed out with so much homework to do! But most of the time, they come happy to see me and are eager to unwind at the piano. We usually start with a little small talk: how was your day/week? What’s going on at home? How much practice did you get in? We talk about their last week’s assignment- what did they have a hard time with, or did they breeze through their assignment? We start with some warm-ups, play review pieces, and then look at new pieces. Some students prefer to learn new pieces on their own, while others like to be taught. This usually depends on their age and level, but I almost always like to at least get an introduction of the new repertoire in before they leave. At the end of the lesson, we do a theory/workbook page (or its given for homework if time is up!) Theory work always helps us dive a little deeper, giving us a better understanding of what we are currently mastering at the piano. It’s also a great way to take a break from the piano at the end of each lesson.
Typically, I can fit in 4 to 6 students each afternoon, depending on whether they are coming to me or if I am travelling. Of course, traveling takes up more time, so I schedule in less students on those days. I usually try to finish up my teaching around 7:00, just so that I have a little dinner and family time before it’s time for my own kids to go to bed.
After lessons are done for the day, I write down notes about each lesson and plans for the next week’s lesson. I do see most parents on a weekly basis, but if I don’t see them that week, I send an email or text just to let them know what happened that day.
Being a piano/music teacher requires a lot of communication, preparation, and patience! Sometimes when I get home, I like to just be quiet because I have been making music and talking most of the day! I love the fact that each day is different with new beginnings and new endings. Week after week, it is almost never the same; this keeps me energized and always thinking.
My job is both rewarding and challenging, but most of all incredibly personal. The friendships and relationships I make with parents and students are long-lasting. I want my students, no matter what age, to always remember me and have fond memories of their time with me. What could be more rewarding?