Welcome, Piano Teachers!
Teaching piano lessons has to be one of the most rewarding and satisfying jobs around. I’m glad you’re here and I love nothing more than to unite, collaborate and share with my fellow piano teachers.
Whether you’re brand new to this teaching gig or you’ve been at it for years, we all have something to learn from each other and we all have something to share.
I’m curious, a life-long learner and always seeking to find new, better, and different ways to approach teaching the piano.
- I believe that learning piano can have a place in anybody’s life, no matter their age, background or ability.
- I believe that learning piano is a fun, satisfying and rewarding experience that I hope to share with as many people as possible.
- I believe that piano teachers have the capacity to form lasting relationships and have a strong impact on their students and colleagues.
Let’s put our heads together to explore ways to make our piano teaching be the best it can be. Please comment and feel free to share my posts with your studio families or colleagues! I’d love to connect with you on my studio and blog Facebook page.
Keep reading to learning about all of my favorite piano teaching topics.
Technology In The Piano Studio
Using the most up-to-date technology in piano lessons is crucial. It will take your students’ learning to the next level and it will help your business and lesson planning stay organized and efficient. Learning to teach piano using the latest technology is one of my personal favorite topics because it is incredibly relevant to today’s piano students and it can solve so many piano teacher problems.
For example, learning to teach piano lessons online using video chat has become an integral part of my piano teaching business. If you haven’t tried using FaceTime or Skype to teach piano lessons, I highly recommend taking the time to try it out. I’ve been able to maintain long-standing relationships with students both after I moved to a new city and when some of my students have moved away. Video lessons prevent last minute rescheduling when it comes to weather and sickness related cancellations.
My studio is equipped with 2 Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos and 2 Yamaha P-125 Keyboards. (I highly recommend Yamaha P-125 Keyboards for beginning piano students or as a spare instrument for teachers.) I keep 2 tablets on hand in my lessons: an iPad for using all the best apps and a Kindle Fire for listening to music and playing audio accompaniment tracks.
Read all about the best technology that you can include in your piano studio in these posts:
- Tonic Tutor Review: A Music Theory Learning Website For Kids
- Must-Have Tools For the 21st Century Piano Studio
- 9 Awesome Apps For Learning and Practicing Piano
- Teach Piano Online With Video Chat Lessons
- Start Your Own Piano Teacher Blog Today
- Music Teacher’s Helper Review: The Best Online Tool To Organize Your Piano Studio Bookkeeping
- Piano Teacher Life Hacks
- Accessories For Your Keyboard
- The Best Keyboard For Beginning Piano Students
Finding the Most Engaging Music For Piano Students
The heart of our piano teaching job is providing our students with the best music to learn. I believe in finding pedagogically sound music that will help students feel successful at their current level and progress appropriately to the next level. It can be tempting to stick with old method books that we learned from or to print generic sheet music from the Internet, but we owe our students more than that. Keeping up with current music and approaches is a must.
I buy new sheet music for my studio on an almost a weekly basis and you can read about my top 3 places to buy sheet music from here.
Many students, both kids and adults, excel with an RMM or Recreational Music Making approach to piano lessons. The Musical Moments and Way Cool Keyboarding books by Debra Perez and Will Baily are staples in my studio. The music is accessible for beginning learners and the use of background audio files makes the music highly satisfying and engaging.
The Faber’s Piano Adventures method is another go-to in my studio. Students especially enjoy the vast selection of supplemental music that is available with each level. From hymns, to Disney songs and popular music selections, there’s not shortage of music to learn.
When it comes to more advancing students or playing for my own enjoyment, arrangements by Phillip Keveren are my absolute favorite. He has a gift for creating beautiful, pianistic arrangements that the player and listeners love.
Here are some reviews of my favorite music by Philip Keveren:
One of the most commonly requested intermediate piano songs to learn in my studio is River Flows In You by Yiruma. I’ve taught it countless times and it never disappoints. When students finish learning it, they’re always eager to learn more similar music. These are our next picks.
All The Best Piano Teaching Tools And Ideas
I prefer to approach all piano lessons conceptually. This means that rather than learning concepts just because they show up next in the method book, we focus on having a strong grasp on musical concepts away from a book and away from the piano. Then, they are easy to apply to music we are learning on the piano. It’s a natural and effective way to learn music that mirrors the way we acquired our native language.
Conceptual teaching and learning can apply to all aspects of learning music: notation, rhythm, dynamics, expression, scales, chords and more.
Filling your piano studio with helpful tools and teaching aids makes the learning process much more enjoyable and memorable. My top 2 favorite teaching aids are Piano Practice Pads and Iwako erasers. These 2 items get daily use in my studio and there are countless ways to use them. If you can only make a small investment in teaching tools, Piano Practice Pads and Iwako erasers would be the way to go.
Don’t forget that as a piano teacher, our job is not limited to helping student become accomplished at the piano. We also need to help them become well-rounded musicians with a variety of skills. For example, having strong sight-reading skills is definitely important, but so is teaching your students to read, play and jam from a chord chart.
In recent years, I’ve taught myself to play the ukulele this simple skill alone has brought new dimension to my piano studio and given me another skill that I can pass along to my students. If you’re curious about what it takes to learn the ukulele, you can find out all about it here. (Spoiler: it’s not hard!)
Helping Your Piano Students Stay Motivated
As piano teachers, we love celebrating our students successes and victories, but it’s equally importantly to walk with our students through valleys. Every student needs you as their biggest cheerleader. This is where teaching piano gets complicated. It’s one thing to be able to pass along information and teach a skill but it’s a completely different task to try to relate with students, learn what motivates them and push them through their biggest challenges.
This is a topic that I spend a lot of time thinking about. These are my favorite posts that explore student motivation. It’s helpful to pass these posts along with parents to help them get on the same page as you.
- Motivation Medicine: A simple way to make kids want to practice everyday
- The Single Best Practice Technique For Every Piano Student
- Make Your Own Piano Practice Counter With Beads
- Make Your Own Piano Practice Counter – Larger Wooden Version
- Peeling Away The Piano Practice Layers
- Overcoming Piano Recital Disappointment
- #28DaysOfPianoPractice: A fantastic incentive program for long holiday breaks
Helping Kids Get An Early Start To Piano
Teaching piano to students of every age from young children through adults is definitely my passion. However, in recent years, I’ve dedicated myself to educating children ages 0-5 and their parents as well. My own journey into parenthood, combined with the challenges I’ve observed in the first years of piano lessons helped me to understand that music education works best when it’s integrated into the early years of a child’s life.
I started simple with an hope to teach movement-based music classes to young children, including my daughter. I quickly discovered that working with the preschool age group is highly rewarding. These little blossoming musicians are natural little learners. They’re the perfect candidates for future piano students.
Over the years, I’ve developed a knack for creating fun, effective and easy-to-follow preschool music lesson plans. After learning that many other piano teachers have an interest in this age group, but aren’t sure where to start, I created Teach Preschool Music. Teach Preschool Music is a comprehensive online training program for piano teachers who would like to start a movement-based preschool music class in their own piano studio. If you’re curious about how to get started with a preschool music class, this course is for you.
Or, if you already teach preschoolers but have ever found yourself in a lesson planning rut, Preschool Lesson Plan Crash Course is for you. It includes a full year’s worth of lesson plans and it gives you all the tools you need to quickly create your own lesson plans.
You can find all the best preschool-related posts here:
- Songs To Get Kids Moving
- 14 Benefits Of Preschool Music Classes
- Free Preschool Lesson Guide Featuring The Very Busy Spider By Eric Carle
- Make Your Own Musical Sandblocks
- Preschool Music Theme: Numbers and Counting
- Stories About Music For Kids
- Rocking Songs and Lullabies For Young Children