Piano Lessons in Your Home?

 

Joseph in his piano recital

Joseph in his piano recital

Piano lessons at Home or Teacher’s Studio?

 

 

In the past, my piano practice was at my home studio.  My schedule was back to back in 30 minutes segments starting from 1 pm. I finished at 8 pm.  I had the lessons from Monday to Friday.  For the younger children, parents prefer morning sessions and Saturday sessions. 

Since I am new in the Charlotte area, I am going to try going to the homes of my students and charge a gasoline surcharge on top of my lesson tuition fees.  

My first piano teacher went to my home for 5 years.  When I went to advanced level I had to go to my new teacher’s studio in the university.  The only slot available to this University professor in the Conservatory was at 6:30 am.  So my Dad will drive there and then bring me to 8 am morning class in high school.  

Today will be my first piano lessons with two new kids who had prior piano lesson experience.  I could feel that their mother is very enthusiastic about it.  My first piano teacher and my mother became very good friends.  They consulted each other with regards to my progress in the other academic areas as well.  Eventually, all the kids in the block heard me play constantly in my free time.  All the parents started to inquire about getting piano lessons with my first teacher, Ms. Daisy.  

Some of the neighbor kids will tell Ms. Daisy that she wants to be good like Joy.  Ms. Daisy will proudly tell them that “Joy is an exceptional and bright kid.”  You can’t imagine how proud my mother was in hearing those words.  But, the lesson here is there might be a market in the area where you will be having onsite piano lessons.  Your new parent might refer you to their neighbors and friends.  This will help you maximize your time and make it cost efficient.  

I will tell you more if I can handle the 40 minutes drive.

If you want to know if there is a connection between piano lessons and life skills, read article here:

5  Benefits of Piano Lessons that Parents Should Know

8 Comments

  1. I’m from Greensboro and homeschool so I would suggest letting the homeschool support groups in your area know about your service. I would love for my kids’ teacher to come to my house! Good luck.

  2. It’s tough driving to peoples homes, but sometimes essential when moving to a new area. Good luck with your studio.

  3. You are so sweet to offer to go to students’s homes.

    But don’t sell yourself short! Time is money andthe commuting is a lot of time. I understand your idea of building your stdio through neighborhoods, but a good teacher is hard to find. Build your reputation through outstanding teaching and you will always get calls. The time it takes for you to get tfrom one house to another could be time spent teaching (and earning more money!)

    When I started out and didn’t have a piano I went house to house too. The hardest part was saying goodbye. That always added to the time lost factor.

    Another idea of getting you name out there isto visit the schools and meet the music teachers. Our local school promotes me all the time when parents ask them about music lessons.
    Good luck!

  4. For years I travelled to students’ homes. A real bummer! As long as you do that you will be treated like a servant….or the plumber or the washing machine repairman. It doesn’t matter how much you charge. You will never be given the respect that you would receive teaching in your own studio. When I announced that I was only teaching in my home studio, everything changed, for the better. I have complete control over the environment and my students are more focused and have a better attitude (parents too, an important component!) You may also have better instruments to work with….I have 2 Steinway grands….none of my students have instruments of that quality, but it is so important for them to have the opportunity to know what they can achieve on a really good piano which responds. Then they may upgrade their own instruments. I even receive a small commission from a local Steinway representative for referring students to them, another little income boost. So maybe it is very “sweet” of you to offer to travel to your students’ homes, but you will never achieve your full potential (financial or artistic) as a teacher.

    • I am very fortunate that my experience with this brought me to a “professional piano parent” who respects my time and appreciates my work with her children. She would offer me cookies and water, make sure I am comfortable, give me a clock so I won’t go over with my time, etc. But, I also knew that it will not last because the driving is taking its toll on me. I also get your point about a lesser quality of piano that they use for practice and how it is important for the students to have access to a something similar to STEINWAY. My Baldwin works fine for me but we all practiced and played in STEINWAY as students so we know the powerful performances we have with them.

      The risk in driving is a point to consider too.

      But, knowing me as a person and a piano teacher, there is more than money that drives me to do certain things in my life. I guess, I consider myself lucky for having “professional piano parents” most of the time. I think I can attribute it more because I make it clear to the parents and my students before hand my expectations. Anyway, even if I told my piano parent my “real name”, I wonder why she prefers to call me “Mrs. Treasures”.

  5. You truly are a treasure and yoror music families are e very lucky to have yourou.. But I have to admit, it is soooo nice to teach at home!

  6. As piano teachers with different temperaments, needs, energy levels, practicality levels, ages, etc. etc., we all have different issues which we all work out in our own different ways. It sounds like you are going to be a great teacher! ( I guess you are young and still in the early stages of piano teaching). I’ve been teaching for longer than I care to admit and when I was driving to homes I occasionally had parents who were wonderful to me in terms of trying to make me comfortable. I would sometimes be brought cups of coffee and tea, cookies, and sometimes a complete meal! Then there were other occasions when they would take out all the furniture (leaving the piano) and put down a new rug while I was trying to teach!! I would also have adventures with aggressive dogs and a constant stream of traffic through the room where I was teaching. It would be like teaching in Grand Central Station! Telephones ringing, family arguments, pots and pans rattling, distracting cooking aromas, you name it. Also the occasional problems of driving in heavy traffic or inclement winter weather. I think teaching in your own home is paradise by comparison. I have taught literally hundreds of students over the years, and none achieved as much on the piano as those who travelled to my home studio. For me it is about commitment and respect. When those factors are present I know I can achieve something with that student. And that can be worth more than any financial amelioration. We as piano teachers need respect if we wish to develop our craft of teaching. I have found that my teaching never improved as much as when I joined several professional music teaching organizations. They can be tremendous resources for further developing our teaching skills and spreading our names. One of the best is Music Teachers National Association (www.mtna.org). Maybe you are already a member. If not, I strongly recommend it. All the best to you!

    • Such wealth of information you have brought to the table, Wolfgang. I hope piano teachers contemplating to teach in student’s home will be forewarned.

      As for me, I have always been convinced that teaching at your own studio is the best scenario.

      I also believe in joining industry associations for resources and fellowship.

      Thanks for taking time to write your insightful comments. I hope to see you here often.


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