Professional Development

Question: What would your dream piano teacher life look like?

Today, I have a thought experiment to present to you. If you could somehow magically have the life of your dreams, what would your piano teacher life look like?

Let’s get really specific. Feel free to dream big here, folks!

  • What would your schedule look like? On which days would you teach lessons? What time would you start and end your teaching day?
  • What would your teaching space look like? Where would you teach: in-home, or at another location? What would your studio space look like? What piano would you have?
  • How much money would you make? What would you do MORE of and what would you do LESS of, for yourself as a professional and for your clients as your students? Be extravagant!
  • What would your students be like? What skills would they develop under your tutelage? What pitfalls would they avoid under your tutelage? Would you teach one-on-one, partner lessons, or group lessons? How often would you see your students?

Please share in the comment section below. I can’t wait to read your responses and talk about them further with you.

9 thoughts on “Question: What would your dream piano teacher life look like?”

  1. Schedule: I would have 3 students per weekday, 40-minute lessons starting at 4, 5, and 6 PM.

    Teaching space: Exactly what I have now! The only things I would add: a grand Steinway, a really nice adjustable bench (I have one that I don’t love), and an adjustable duet bench.

    Money: I would charge perhaps just a little more than I currently do, to make up for the cost of childcare. And I would have a consistent nanny 3:30-6:45 every teaching day.

    Students: I would have a mix of beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, with a few more advanced students than I currently have. Once a week private lessons.

  2. I love this! I would teach Monday-Friday from 3pm to 8pm.
    I teach in my dream space now I work at an amazing studio with top notch everything including other musicians and artists. The only thing I would add is I’d like 2 pianos in my room.
    I would make $50 per hour. Spend all of my time teaching and creating music and resources for students and teachers.
    My ideal student would be one who does their best to be the best pianist they can with the gifts given them. Someone who likes (if not loves music)

  3. I would own a little building on my property I would call “The Piano Cottage”. I would teach almost the schedule I have now but finish by 6pm. I would teach more home-schooled children and retirees so I could teach more during the day (morning and early afternoon hours). Other-than-that, I am very happy! Thanks for this post Joy!

  4. Wow! I would probably give up on Sundays, taking care only to save at least 3 hours a day for my own study.
    I love teaching at home, having a room only for the piano. I would have a grand piano with no doubt.
    I confess that I do not think much of money, I would like to have enough to survive and to offer the best resources to the students.
    I would offer individual lessons together with a monthly group lesson. The parents of the students would have classes too, and it would be in a group, just the parents…

  5. What a fun little exercise, envisioning our ideals! Here’s mine:

    Schedule: 3pm-7:30pm on weekdays (4 or 5 students each day)

    Teaching space: I’d continue teaching from home, but would have a separate entrance for students OR teach from a little exterior “music house” or “cottage” in the backyard (just like Laura mentioned!). I’d keep my beautiful Baldwin grand but add a second piano for teaching.

    Money: $60/hr, I’d do more prep for each student and perhaps make follow-up videos to help them practice at home.

    Students: I’d love to do some combination of private, partner, group lessons–perhaps still focusing more on private instruction while also incorporating partner/group time once a month or so. I’d love to work with families whose parents are eager to help their children practice at home, who take their kids to concerts and listen to a variety of music all the time at home.

  6. 1. I would have about the same schedule as I have now: Monday through Thursday. I teach until 6:30 on Monday and Tuesday so I can go to my own rehearsals for band and choir, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays I teach until about 8:30. I would like it better, though, if the local schools would dismiss earlier and have less strict requirements in Middle School for their sports and activities…. I lost too many students this year to sports requiring 5 days of rehearsals. I’d also love to do all 45-minute lessons plus more group lessons.

    2. Teaching Space: Oh, ideally I’d love to have a completely separate space on my home property. An attached apartment would be perfect. That way I could work “at home” but it would be more separate for my family’s comfort. I’d love to have a large open studio with enough space for intimate recitals and classes, I’d love a room with a baby grand plus another with about 8 digital pianos for group lessons. I’d also like to have a separate office space. Bathroom, small kitchen, good temperature and humidity controls.

    3. I’d love to make twice what I do now, but I think realistically, I could make about half again what I do now. I am working to raise my rates steadily every year because I think I am undercharging compared to other teachers in my area, but I love my families and don’t want them to leave because of a big tuition hike. It is a delicate balance. I would definitely just do annual tuition paid in quarterly installments. I would continue my current teaching calendar which is 42 weeks per year.

    4. I love my current students and would like to keep them. :) I would like them to practice a little more, though, but they are so overbooked…… I would like to stop taking new individual students, though, and do more partner lessons and group lessons for beginners. I think the mix of individual, partner, and group lessons would be wonderful.

    I have been working hard the last two and a half years to change my studio. In 2015 I was still charging per lesson and now I charge an annual tuition payable in monthly, quarterly, or one annual payment. I’ve gone to no individual makeup lessons and have added a monthly group club and a quarterly group makeup lesson. I’ve started a swap list and am offering online and video lessons. Thanks for this thought process, it is very good for me to write these dreams down! (I will admit, though, that I’ve been dreaming them for a long time….)

  7. My dream schedule would be Monday-Friday from 12:00pm-6:00pm.

    My dream studio space would be… a closed-off room with a separate entrance for students OR a separate studio building on my property that includes a waiting room for parents. I would love to have a Steinway grand and another piano (Yamaha upright or digital piano) to help demonstrate on.

    I would love to make just enough money to support myself and be able to offer my students a good variety of fun resources.

    Oh goodness, for students… I dream of having a studio full of eager learners who are diligent practicers and good listeners. I would teach them in a private, one-on-one lesson each a week.

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