Music teachers, particularly those that have in-home piano studios, have had a tough break since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, rendering in-person lessons unsafe. Piano teachers have had to pivot their way of teaching to adapt in ways that were never utilized before.
One of the most important takeaways from this time, though, is that we must embrace technology. It is the best way to communicate for everyone right now during these uncertain times, so if you are a teacher who hasn’t before, this is an important step to helping you continue to generate and produce income.
Those who have been teaching for a number of years have really been put to the test. Here are some great ways that piano teachers are adapting now to continue teaching so that their businesses can run smoothly.
OFFERING ONLINE LESSONS
Numerous piano instructors pivoted their teaching methods, going to online options in the wake of the pandemic. Because of this industry shift, learning how to play the piano with online lessons has never been more attainable. Though this presents some difficulty with audio delays, you can still effectively teach piano via a video conference. Schools like Music to Your Home, for example, previously went to their students’ homes directly to teach piano, but during the pandemic, they had to pivot solely to online lessons. In-person lessons have recently started to pick up again, but all schools know that this has to be done in the safest way possible.
If you can offer in-person lessons, be sure to put your students and parents at ease by following safety guidelines and necessary sanitizing precautions. You may have to invest in some new equipment for your home, such as masks, shields, and disinfectants.
Moving lessons online allows you to still keep your routine with your students while continuing to help improve their piano development. It also has the added benefit to having a broader outreach, since you aren’t limited to your immediate location. People from across the country can take online lessons with you, which can ultimately increase and grow your business.
There are a few things that can help greatly when teaching piano lessons online, especially if you are new to online teaching. You should have:
- A steady internet connection (consider putting an ethernet cord to your computer or laptop if you can connect it to your modem)
- A decent webcam (you can consider installing an external one for a better picture). This can also help with setting up your piano/keyboard so that your student can see you and the instrument clearly.
- A good microphone for sound (You might consider getting a USB external microphone to ensure more clarity)
- An online application such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet that you can use for your weekly or monthly lessons.
- Set up a Paypal, Venmo, or some other online account system so that payments for classes can be done electronically.
COORDINATING ONLINE WORKSHOPS
There are many people out there that would love to learn how to play the piano. You might want to put together a simple PowerPoint or worksheet for people to learn some beginning techniques, tips, or trades for how to play the piano. You can promote it to your current students, or to potential new ones. Some piano teachers are even collaborating with each other to hold online Masterclasses. Maybe you’re exceptionally good at finger play or chord progression. You can ask and work alongside another teacher to lead in something else, so each instructor takes the lead on a specific aspect of playing piano for your online class.
You can go about setting up workshops in different ways. You can teach others how to play a specific song on the piano, or start with basic fundamentals. You can split up workshops by age or skills. There are multiple possibilities, so let your creativity flow.
HOLDING ONLINE PIANO RECITALS
This also has different options that go with it. Your students will still want to showcase their abilities and skills that they have learned, so it gives a nice morale boost to hold an online performance of some kind. You can do it live on Zoom, or have your students pre-record their performances at home and premiere it on Facebook at a designated time.
This may require you to learn how to do some editing with audio and visual programs. If that seems too much, maybe just doing the “live” version is a better option. But the balance and audio quality of a pre-recorded session can also be better so don’t rule out the possibility, even though it may require some more work on your part to put together.
OTHER DIGITAL MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES
Online music opportunities can present themselves in many ways, and spark creative ideas and innovative ways to still work as a piano teacher online. Here are some other avenues you might consider:
- ONLINE CONCERTS
Some piano instructors play for side income in a band, and with the pandemic, any live concerts or performances have been ceased. You could still coordinate with your group to do online concerts at a specific day/time, pre-selling “tickets” for people to watch and support you.
- ONLINE TUTORIALS
If you want to share your knowledge of the piano with other teachers and have a knack for video and editing, you could create a YouTube channel with insightful “episodes” to do so, and find ways to instill some aid to those other teachers who are struggling right now.
- ONLINE COURSES/CAMPS
Another way to share your piano knowledge is to create some online courses as a way to initiate some passive income, much like a YouTube channel, but more in-depth. You can host an online “camp” for piano students as well.
Consider using a platform you can record videos on directly or create and walk through a PowerPoint of slides. These, like online workshops, can help other teachers or existing and potential students to learn about your business.
Piano instructors are coming to realize that piano studios have had to pivot and find innovative ways to allow lessons. It’s important to think outside the box in terms of how to continue your business – give yourself the opportunity to strategize and come up with new ways of doing things to ensure your success.
Keep in mind that many music programs in schools that have gone virtual have also been cut, and providing music education has many benefits to students. Do your part and help with students’ social development and emotional well being by providing a continued, adapted form of music education.