When you start out teaching others how to play the piano, it’s often difficult to nab your first students, especially if there are lots of other piano teachers in your area.
You’ll need to stand out from the competition: by adjusting your fees, your teaching method, enhancing your own experience, your educational know-how, and your class structure (learning the scales, to read music, etc.)
Or, offer courses in an area where there is little or no demand won’t make this easy.
To carve out a place for yourself, you need to make yourself known: be visible, have references, sell yourself. Do some marketing, whatever it takes to give piano lessons.
Are you a virtuoso? Can you play piano Chopin or Schubert? Are you envisioning yourself passing along this knowledge as a piano teacher?
Here are some tips to help you find students for your private piano lessons.
If you’ve taken the steps to become a piano teacher, let the strong links of your musical network know that you’re now a piano teacher and that you’re actively looking for students for your courses.
Mobilize your contacts by word of mouth to let people know about your piano lessons.
In most cases, these people will already know that you’re a musician.
Make sure to collect contact information from everyone who could be interested. At work, at the gym, your friends, friends of friends, etc…
Finding students when you just start out can be a real stumbling block for a private, at-home teacher.
This word-of-mouth approach helps limit these initial challenges, and helps you become more well known without too much effort.
Like with anything, you need to know how to use many different tools to optimize your outreach. This one method, however, can do wonders in terms of launching your teaching career.
Your friends, family, and neighbors will know you’re available to teach others how to play the piano, that you’re a good teacher ready to give classes in their homes.
Showing off your experience as a pianist — the number of years you’ve been playing, the styles of music you’ve learned — and your educational know-how will help you attract, for example, a friend’s child, or a co-worker’s cousin, or your neighbor’s brother, etc…
Send word over email or on social network platforms: announce that you’re a piano teacher in online music forums in your area, or on Facebook, and mention it on pages dedicated to music, or in sub-groups.
As soon as you get going, the parents of your first students will surely talk about you in their own networks, mentioning your effectiveness, your ability to teach the piano quickly, and the enjoyable tone you create for the children you teach.
It’s a good way to meet people you would never have met otherwise.
Online research has all but entirely replaced traditional ways of finding information or services.
Apart from the students you find via word of mouth, you need to be online in order to fill up your teaching schedule.
Create a website or blog for yourself
Buy a domain name and present yourself and what you offer: in-home piano lessons, your teaching method, your profile, your contact information, and your rates.
Creating a website will help you find students.
Putting your piano skills at the forefront will truly advantageous to your business.
Detail your training on the piano and your approach to teaching the musical instrument: how to do you teach the scales, tackle the chords, unravel music theory, address various musical styles (classical, jazz, improvisation), and make reading piano music second nature.
For students who are just starting, explain that that you’ll begin with songs like “Letter for Elise,” “The Turkish March,” or one of Bach’s Preludes.
Stress that you’ll adapt to the needs and skill levels of your potential future students. Teaching music to a child isn’t the same as giving lessons to an adult, but if you’re a good teacher, you’ll know how to teach students of all levels how to play the piano.
Use social network platforms to find students for your piano lessons
It’s important not to ignore the impact of social network platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Instagram. They are now used by a large (and still growing) number of people and represent a powerful form of communication.
Identify yourself as a piano enthusiast on your Twitter and Facebook profiles.
Your students or former students can see these details and share them with their friends, who might be looking for lessons for themselves or their children.
This enables other Internet users to talk about how they were able to read music, learn to play scales, or other abilities like playing songs, all thanks to your help, to your excellent teaching abilities.
And make sure that your contacts share this kind of message with the public.
To become even more visible, it’s good to post on your site that you’ve gotten a new student, or a positive review of your in-home lessons, or when you’ve done something to enhance your credentials as a pianist.
It’s also possible to create your method for learning how to play the piano, that you can introduce online.
Free online ads
You can think about posting free announcements on the Internet.
A number of platforms post announcements, like Superprof, where you benefit from their large collection of services being offered and the eyes that attracts.
Write a short paragraph explaining why you’re the best value. Like on your website, present your experiences, your skill level, types of music you teach, and your teaching approach.
Your fees will undoubtedly be cheaper than those at a music school. If your ad is well crafted, you’ll multiply your chances of getting new customers.
Another canvassing tool: stepping away from the screen and going to meet potential students in person.
Make yourself a profile with a tutoring service. Superprof can help you find students for your piano lessons.
Make your piano lesson fees clear and find your target audience: three year old beginners, tutoring for teenagers, intensive lessons, lessons for adults, introductory courses for all ages, private courses to perfect skills, etc…
Posting fliers in public places can also work for you.
Post fliers for your piano lessons to attract lapsed players.
Your future students could still be enrolled in school. So head into the school campuses to post your fliers in the main gathering areas.
Ask the school officials if you can post them in a more official capacity, as well. It can’t hurt to ask.
Some of these places offer their own piano classes or training, but the teachers might not have the time to help their motivated students individually.
And this where you can step in to become a piano tutor!
Look into musical programs at universities: these places of learning are generally very conducive to musical training, so they’re a good place to find potential students and give private lessons, especially on the piano.
But don’t forget about coffee shops, restaurants, bars, delis, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, train stations, malls, book stores… the kind of places you already see these kinds of fliers. Don’t forget to include your telephone number!
It’s a lot like a fisherman casting his line and waiting for a fish to bite, but it does work!
In every decent sized city in the country, there is likely to be a music school of some kind. Often several. And many medium to large sized cities have cultural and artistic organizations that, as part of their programming, offer music lessons.
Canvass music schools to find students.
Leave your business card in the reception areas of these places.
This approach helps you find students who are not coming to the piano as true beginners, but students who want supplemental classes (perhaps they’re studying how to sing, or the violin, the accordion, the guitar, or even the drums).
Introduce yourself as a piano teacher qualified to help pianists prepare for auditions for entry into conservatories or university programs.
If you’re an independent piano teacher, you might be able to establish a partnership with these institutions you visit. You never know; some of the places might even be looking for private piano teachers to help their students right now!
Furthermore, seeking out students this way offers the opportunity to work with students who are truly motivated.
Just remember one thing: you can find students anywhere!