Can You Really Learn From Online Piano Lessons?

Can You Really Learn From Online Piano Lessons?

It seems as if everything we do has moved online. You can use virtual for just about everything you do. Schedule a visit with your doctor? Have a meeting with your staff? Online works for just about everything. 

Including online piano lessons. 

Are online piano lessons right for you or your child? There are a few things to consider before you sign up. 

Student motivation

Only you can know how you or your child learns best. Are they the type that listens well to instruction? Do they need physical attention to keep their mind on their work? Can they self-regulate their actions with only a few verbal queues? If so, online piano lessons may be the perfect choice for learning. 

More individualized attention

Finding an instructor with your desired goals and objectives in mind isn’t always easy. But if you can search online for your learning style, you can find a specific instructor that helps you play at the level you choose. Whether you want to be the next rock star, or prefer classical instruction, you’ll find an instructor perfectly matched with your desires. 

Engagement 

While in-person instructors rely on physical interaction between student and instructor, a good online piano lesson can include a variety of modalities for learning. From videos, to apps, to group performances, with the world as your learning environment, teachers can get creative with what they include in their lessons. 

Growth

What makes online piano lessons so powerful is that they allow students access to whatever they desire. Get specific about what you want to achieve with your piano lessons. How well do you want to play? What do you choose to do? 

Then go out and find it. With a little search, you can find any kind of lessons to motivate you. 

We are turning into a digital world. While face-to-face has its positives, combining it with online piano lessons will allow you to boost your skills and become the type of piano player you truly want to be. 

Are Piano Lessons Really Worth It?

Are Piano Lessons Really Worth It?

Many of us are rethinking where we spend our time. We’re getting back to simpler times, where we spend more time at home doing things we love. 

Does that include making music? Are you contemplating bringing a piano into your home? Are piano lessons really worth the time and effort? 

Hobbies are what give us inspiration for a life well lived. From cooking to sports to making music, it can be a stress reliever as well as keep us motivated. 

Yes, you can learn piano on your own. But should you? Are piano lessons really worth it? This guide will help you evaluate your options and determine if lessons are the right avenue for you. 

Learning has changed over the years

As adults, many of us were introduced to music at a young age. Your parents may have placed you in piano lessons in grade school, or introduced you to music through your local school band. 

Do you remember playing and practicing prior to the internet? Chances are you visited a home in the neighborhood where someone provided lessons one day a week. You learned based on how well that person played. You didn’t have opportunities to “shop around” for the best instructor. Unless you thoroughly loved making music, and pursued it in school, your hopes and dreams grew or died based on how well that person performed their instruction. 

That’s no longer the case. Thanks to the internet, you have the opportunity to learn in any style that works for you. Want one-on-one instruction? Prefer video challenges? Want group format? Prefer to make a game of it? All of that is possible … and more. 

We also have YouTube. If something challenges you, with a little research, you can find videos that will describe how to overcome your questions in a matter of minutes. You can quite literally improve your playing by learning from the best of the best, all over the world. 

Piano lessons today are all about refinement. They’re about getting you the instruction you need, when you want it, in the format that works best for you. 

Today’s lessons include

Are piano lessons worth it? They are if you want to improvise. Luckily, you can find different lesson types in whatever manner works best for you. 

  • Individual instruction
  • Group format
  • Video lessons
  • In person classes

You can find instruction for free on sites like YouTube. Or you can receive master coaching from some of the best piano players in the world. 

Your first step is deciding now is the time to take up the piano, and make piano playing a bigger part of your life. 

Can You Self-Teach Piano?

Can You Self-Teach Piano?

What comes to mind when you hear the term: self-teach piano?

Do you envision a protege sitting down and playing well with no formal training? They’re a natural …

Or maybe you anticipate plucking out every song you wish to play, listening and learning to play by ear …

There’s more to self-teaching than that. 

You can self-teach piano to yourself by choosing your education on your own. Instead of working with a trained piano, you decide to take control over your learning, and do things your way instead. 

And it’s easier than ever, thanks to today’s technology. 

Start with learning

How do you prefer to learn? Are you a book person? Do you like demonstrations? Do you prefer games to guide you along? You’ll find many different methods of learning if you start searching. Start by purchasing beginner piano music. Google anything – you’ll find videos that can help you through any problem. You can invest in apps and programs that guide you along. 

As you find different learning tools, use them to guide your progress. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and look for other ways to learn. That’s what makes you more proficient in your practice sessions, and turns you into a better piano player. 

Improve your technology

Chances are you use technology for everything in your life. Why not playing the piano? You can store your music on your tablet. You can take lessons with videos. You can even form a band and practice via Zoom. 

With every step you take, it’s important to invest wisely in the technology you bring home. Every hobby begins with having the right tools. A great piano is your starting point. Then let your desires guide you along. If you want to write your own music, you might need specific tools. If you want to sing while you play and record it for YouTube, you’ll need different pieces of equipment. With a quick Google search, you can find everything you need for your next step. 

Follow your instinct

Even the best self-taught piano players have one thing in common – desire. They consistently gave themselves challenges, and moved to the next level through curiosity. 

What’s speaking to you right now? What is important for you to learn? 

Follow your heart, and it will lead you to become a better player. 

How To Find The Right Piano Teacher

How To Find The Right Piano Teacher

Are you searching to find the right piano teacher? Whether you’re trying to find your first, or are looking for specific qualities to build on what you’ve already learned, there’s an art form to finding a piano teacher you’ll resonate with and work well with over time. 

Before you even begin the search, take a few moments and ask yourself a few questions. 

  • What do I hope to accomplish?
  • What are my goals?
  • How do I learn best, group or individual lessons?
  • How much time can I dedicate to lessons? To practice? 
  • How proficient do I hope to become? 
  • Do I want well-rounded instruction, with history and music theory? Or do I just want to play songs? 

Once you become more aware of your goals and desires, you can use that to find the best instruction to suit your needs. While there are a lot of great piano instructors out there, they won’t all necessarily be what’s best for you. Don’t be afraid to interview a variety of them before you settle on the right one for you. 

Consider their experience – when we look for any type of instruction, we first go to experience. But there’s more to experience than how long they’ve been teaching. Look at their approach to playing the piano – when did they start playing, where have they played, what can they bring to the table? If your goal is to play professionally, learning from someone who’s “been there, done that” may far outweigh someone who’s been teaching for twenty years without professional experience. 

Test your communication – what matters most is who you resonate with. By interviewing several instructors, your gut will automatically lean towards one over another. We learn best when we enjoy the process. If you feel you’ll get a lot of help from an instructor, it’s often the best place to start. 

Pay attention to your goals – if a teacher is heavy on classical music, and your goal is to play in a rock and roll band, it might not be the best fit. Once you’ve defined your goals, share them with potential instructors. If they see your vision, they can help you map out a plan to bring you closer to your goals. 

How do you find the right piano instructor to suit your needs? Don’t jump at the first one you find. Pay attention to the teacher that will help you achieve your goals. It’s the best way to ensure you enjoy the process for many years to come. 

Building a New Piano Business? What To Include In a First Piano Lesson

Building a New Piano Business? What To Include In a First Piano Lesson

As you’re building a new piano business, one of the first things you’ll have to plan is a first piano lesson. This can be a trial lesson to get to know your student, or the first lesson after booking a new client. 

This sets the stage for how you’ll work with a client. It’s an important first meeting. It can be a stressful experience for both teacher and student. 

But as a teacher, it’s your job to put your new client at ease. Ready to do it effectively? 

Start by putting the student at ease

Both students and their parents might be a little anxious about starting a new hobby. They’ll have questions and expectations, and it’s up to you to put them at ease. Make the first session more about getting to know them as a person too. Start with questions to get them talking, such as:

  • Do you have a pet? 
  • What’s your favorite band or singer?
  • Why do you want to play the piano?
  • What songs do you listen to?
  • What other hobbies do you have?
  • Can you play anything on the piano?

By finding out a little more about your student, you can use that to build on as you explore music together. 

Do some rhythm activities

Help your student find the beat of a few songs. You can clap out different rhythm patterns to help them get into different songs. A lot of music is opening up awareness to how it’s created. This is a good first step, one they can continue thinking about over the next few weeks. 

Explore the keyboard

It’s important that a student starts defining the keyboard from the moment they sit down and play. Talk about how the white keys intermix between the black keys. Have them play simple songs to learn more about how they fit together. 

Introduce lesson books

Every piano teacher has a preferred lesson book they will be using for each lesson. This is a time to give your new student their very own copy, and discuss the first pages and how you’ll be using them. You should also provide them with lesson plans and music theory books – anything you’ll be using in the coming weeks to help them learn and stay on track. This is your chance to establish how each of your lessons will progress.. 

Give practice instructions

Brand new students have no idea how to create a practice routine. This is your chance to help them set it up correctly. Give very specific practice instructions, and include instructions for both parents and students. This should include things like:

  • How many minutes per day
  • Setup of a good working environment
  • Expectations of the student each week
  • Expectations of how a parent can encourage their child
  • Stress fun at the top of the list

The purpose of every piano lesson should have an emphasis on fun. People learn piano to enjoy making music. It should never become a chore. 

What do you use during your first piano lesson? 

Time Saving Tips If You Run a Busy Piano Studio

Time Saving Tips If You Run a Busy Piano Studio

Life has changed a lot over the past two years. Where we once drove everywhere, scheduling things closely enough to be busy every hour of the day, we’re now looking for ways to stay closer to home. 

It’s also made us realize there’s more to life than being busy. Sometimes it’s about relaxing, and doing things we love. 

Maybe that’s why the arts have suddenly moved forward and are on the top of everyone’s mind again. That’s good news if you run a busy piano studio. 

With a little ingenuity, you can fill your calendar with clients, bringing the joy of music to many more people in your community. 

But before you get overwhelmed with possibilities, start the process out with a few time saving tips. 

Track your time

This is a lesson taught in a variety of productivity classes because it’s the starting point to becoming more efficient. You have to know how you spend your time before you do things to add more time to your days. And that’s important if you hope to run an efficient piano studio. 

Keep paper or your favorite app nearby and track everything you do for a week. This gives you a running look at where your time goes, and can help you make choices for ways to curb time spent on things of little importance. 

Limit social media

As you track your time, do you find a great deal of it goes to checking in on your favorite social media site? It’s an escape for many of us. But if you’re like a lot of people, you also find that a simple check can quickly turn to thirty minutes wasted. It’s also a distraction that holds you back from doing other more important things. 

If you really love social media, possibly using it for your business too, schedule it. Put a time on the calendar where you give yourself permission to check in and surf to your heart’s content. Just be sure to activate a timer with it so you know when your time’s up. 

Organize your to-dos

Have you ever organized your to-dos with sticky notes? The pile grows, they get lost, and there’s no way to manage if you’re truly doing what’s important first. 

Get rid of your sticky note pile, and go with a calendar system instead. You can use something as simple as the calendar system that comes with your phone. Or use a paper calendar if you like a visual that sits by your desk. If you have something that needs completion, write it down. Create lists for your piano studio and your personal life. Then give them priorities, and work items accordingly. 

Batch your tasks

The more detailed your to-do list, the more you start to see related tasks. Batch them together to help get things done faster. You’ll start to see related items that can be combined into one session with possible overlap that shortens your time involved with each project. You’ll see efficiencies in ways you never thought about before. 

Plan your days in blocks

When do you have your most energy? When do certain projects have to be done? 

We all have our own internal clocks that give us peak energy. Are you a morning person, or do you prefer to work late into the night? Taking advantage of your optimal workspace can allow you to get things done quickly. Learn when your peak work times are, and create a block on your calendar where you work on specific projects during that time frame. Block other time wasters out, and you’ll quickly see a boost in your productivity. 

Are you working to create a more efficient piano studio this year? What tips have you used to save time throughout your days?  

How To Find The Right Students For Your Piano Studio

How To Find The Right Students For Your Piano Studio

Building a thriving piano studio takes a lot of hard work. 

Buying a piano and building a studio around it can be the fun part. Seeing your business cards and website for the first time can be rewarding. 

But you can start to question everything if you take on the wrong clientele and don’t enjoy what you do. 

That’s why initial consultations are so important. 

Before you agree to take on any new prospective student, initial consultations with both the student and the family are important to set the ground rules before you begin. Consider adding consultations to:

  • Allow you to meet the student and parents face to face before the lessons start.
  • To learn their goals, assess what they know, and make a plan to begin. 

This also gives both parties a chance to meet and assess if it’s a good fit. Do you see yourself working together long term? This is important from both of your perspectives. 

Consultations will fall into two categories: new students and transfer students. A lot of who you attract depends on what you put out to the world. 

Is your expertise designed around introducing piano to new students? Or do you work better with experienced piano players, helping them refine their goals and techniques? 

When you define your ideal client, you can build your practice around those types of students, and utilize what you learn to help attract more with the same goals and desires. Use this in your marketing and you’ll weed out prospects who don’t meet your standards. 

For your initial consultations, create a system that helps you analyze your prospective clients. Things you can have them bring include:

  • A filled-in questionnaire to help you understand their goals – this gives you a starting point for conversation
  • A piece of music they can play for you
  • A calendar to discuss potential lesson time slots
  • Audio or video of past performances
  • Q&A for you

Tailor this for who your client is. New students might bring in ideas for things they wish to play in the future, while transferring students could share more about past performances and goals for the future. 

Remember, initial consultations are as much for your new students as they are for you.

What do you wish to convey to the students and their parents before you begin working together? Don’t worry if you don’t have this all figured out. As you grow and learn, you can continue to build a more comprehensive consultation to help you bring in the very best students for you. 

Running a Successful Private Piano Practice

Running a Successful Private Piano Practice

Love playing the piano? Want to run a successful private piano practice to help others fall in love with the piano too? 

It takes more than printing a business card and shouting it out on your Facebook newsfeed. Running a successful private piano practice takes time and commitment to build a piano studio people love to do business with. Where do you start?

Start with your teaching statement

Successful businesses start with a plan. You can do that by creating a teaching statement – why do you want to start and grow a private piano practice? What do you hope to accomplish? What do you want to share with your audience? What kind of experience do you hope to create for your students? How can you share that in everything you do? With this in hand, it makes it easier to build your website, your marketing materials, and your studio space. 

Find a teaching space

One of the first things you’ll have to create is your teaching space. Luckily, this can be just about anywhere in today’s world. Are you giving lessons virtually, or meeting students in person? Will you be creating videos, or will it all be one-on-one help? With a quick search online, you can get ideas from other piano practices and use them as guides. Be sure to make your space easy to find, and comfortable to use whenever you need access. If it’s in a school or office building, will you have access to it for weekend lessons or performances? Can you operate from there after school and into the evenings? Be sure the space works with your schedule, and has all the materials you’ll need, including a functional piano. 

Set your rates 

This can be one of the most difficult processes for private piano practices. It’s easy to look at what other instructors around you are charing, lowballing it if you’re new. But that doesn’t give you what you need to run a successful practice, nor does it take into account your expenses. 

First, figure out what your expenses will be. How much income do you need to make this a successful business? With these as your guidelines, you can start building your rates and packages around it. 

Piano instructors usually charge one of two ways: by the hour, or by the month/term. Research both and figure out which gives you a stable income to help you stay in business all year long. 

Create your policies

How many things do you sign a contract for? It’s a part of our daily process. Your piano practice should also have policies set to ensure your students understand how you operate. Include things like make up lessons, cancellations, and scheduling changes. Ensure you both sign and get a copy. Then stick with it to ensure your studio stays on track. 

Build your framework

To create a successful process means establishing systems for everything you do. 

How will you attract new clients? 

How will you manage the clients you have? 

How will you create your lesson plans? 

How will you handle billing? 

While you don’t have to understand every nuance of building a private piano practice upfront, as you discover more aspects of building a business, it’s important to put a framework to it. Systems help with efficiency. And to be someone who gets referrals from the community regularly, the stronger you build your systems, the easier it will be to handle new work. 

How To Teach Piano Virtually

How To Teach Piano Virtually

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we can teach just about anything online. 

Want to move your business online? Want to teach piano virtually? It’s possible, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. 

You don’t need a high-tech studio. Instead, you need a plan and the ability to see, hear, and listen to your students. To support them as they achieve their own goals and learn piano from the comfort of their own homes. 

What you need is:

  • Any device with a built-in camera. While a smartphone will do, upgrading to a tablet or laptop will give you more flexibility in the way you set up your space. 
  • Access to the music your student will be using.
  • A place to set your device, such as a music stand, so you can work with your student efficiently.

As your studio space becomes more sophisticated, you can consider adding things like:

  • Headphones – they can help avoid feedback, and may make the communication clearer between you and your student.
  • External microphone – it can make your communication clearer, especially if you’re working in a group format. 
  • Tripod – if you move or change angles, a tripod can make the process seamless. 
  • Apps and programs – Zoom is a great way to get started. But the more comfortable you get with teaching virtually, the more programs you can incorporate into your lessons. 

Let’s get down to teaching the piano virtually:

When it comes to actually teaching online, it may take a few tries to adapt to a learning style that works best for your needs. 

The first step will be to instruct your student setup formats. Once you have this down, it will be easy to replicate for other students. Consider creating an intro class – you can even video this and provide it as a part of your welcoming packet – where you describe how to set up student space for effective learning. You can provide low or no cost ways to connect virtually, and have guidelines for setting up play space so you can both move throughout the training effectively. 

Because you won’t be sitting near your student, you’ll have to use words to direct your students. Learn to listen to the way they play. Direct a student to change angles if you want to see posture or hand placement. Discover what works best for you to stop them mid-play and teach them improvement techniques. 

Don’t hesitate to demonstrate the skills you’re teaching. But remember, communication will be everything. You’ll have to pay attention to sounds and visual cues to pick up on how your students are managing. 

The key is in booking your first lesson, and moving forward and trying. We’re all on a learning curve. You can modify your classes over time. Teaching virtually is something you’ll perfect as you go. 

How To Return To Piano Lessons After Summer Break

How To Return To Piano Lessons After Summer Break

Summertime. It’s a time for relaxing, playing with your friends, and spending time at the swimming pool. It’s a time for summer vacations, and for leaving your cares behind for at least a little while.

For most families, that also means forgetting normal routines. You can start those up again once structure returns to your daily lives. Push aside piano lessons for a bit, and wait until the school year returns. 

But like everything, if you don’t make something a practice, you start to lose your ability. You forget the individual nuances that made your piano practice routine possible. 

Before you return to your weekly piano lessons, slowly bring the piano back into your lives by doing these few things. 

Start with warm-ups

If your child has taken piano lessons for any length of time, they know warm-ups are part of a normal practice. It gets your fingers and wrists into the game, and your mind on what you hope to accomplish. Let your child do a few things they enjoy. Practice scales. Play easy songs. Play music they enjoy. This will give them a positive reason to get back into the piano practice routine. 

Check posture

Kids can grow almost overnight. When was the last time you ensured their piano stool met their needs? Take a few minutes and see how they sit. Are they correctly placed at the keyboard? Also make sure they are sitting properly on the bench. No slouching. 

Check out new games

Every time you look at the app store, new games pop up, ready to be played. Do a quick search and see what’s new. Are there challenging piano games they might enjoy? This can get them back into the basics, and make them want to jump into playing the piano once again. 

Play with a group

Birds of a feather … Chances are if your child enjoys music, they have friends that enjoy it as well. Why not bring the gang together to make music? You can think beyond piano players – violins, guitars, flutes, even the drums can bring variety to practice sessions and allow your child to explore their creativity. Other parents may also enjoy the process.