Becoming a piano teacher is always a fun thing when you are passionate about playing the piano, but are you truly ready and suitable to become a full fledged private home piano teacher in Singapore? Are you really ready for all the difficulties and problems and lifestyle that comes with it? Are you wanting to truly go down this path? Then read on as I share some of the common difficulties that many Singaporean piano teachers face; and if you can overcome them, then it’s perhaps in your life’s destiny to be a piano teacher in Singapore 🙂 Just like how I became one after I became a Singapore PR.
First of all, as a private piano teacher, you are essentially self employed. There are a lot of benefits and advantages as well as disadvantages when it comes to becoming self employed, so let us first target the hardest thing for local Singaporeans to overcome when it comes to becoming self employed first. When you become self employed, you lose income floor and ceiling. This means that for the first time ever (if you haven’t been self employed before), you are truly controlling your entire destiny in your hands. There is no one and nothing you can blame. You are entirely responsible for your life. If you can accept this, and not many people can, then you will be massively successful and at the same time, lead a fulfilling life as a private home piano teacher in Singapore. If you cannot, then do not become one, or you will be stressed out of your mind the first day.
Second of all, as a private piano teacher, you will likely need to work odd hours. This is because most music students in Singapore are school students, with only a few exceptions being adults. This means that most of your lessons will be in the late afternoon onwards till night. This is because that is the timing that most school students are available and at home for their music lessons. If you are the type that absolutely has to drink and hang out with your buddies or you will die or something, then do not become a piano teacher. Waste of time and you will end up poor, unhappy and making no money. This job is for those with a passion for teaching greater than trying to be popular with friends.
Third of all, are you passionate about teaching? Most people who want to become a piano teacher are great at playing the piano. However, as a teacher, teaching skills are equally, if not even more, important than your piano playing skills. As a teacher, you need to be firm and patient at the same time. It is a unique combination which not everyone has the right personality for. If you happen to have one, and are also ok with the top two points I mentioned above, then you may very well do exceedingly amazing as a private piano teacher in Singapore.
Here are some tips for you to survive and thrive as a self employed person in Singapore as a private piano teacher.
- Matching up with a piano teacher agency – you want to match up and register with piano teacher agencies. These agencies will be able to get you many students if you have good timing availability and are willing to travel once in a while. Getting your career kick started as a private music teacher is easy when you connect with a good agency such as SG LEARN PIANO. The initial part of your career as a self employed is the hardest because you do not already have a customer base in which you can leverage for growth and referrals. Therefore, you need all the help you can have in the beginning and in future.
- Having different curriculum for students who prefer flexible learning and for students who want rigid learning – There are students who want a flexible style of learning, and casual style of learning. There are also students who want a regimental style. You can either specialize in one type of teaching style, or cater to both. I recommend you cater to both if you can teach in both ways equally well, so that you can get the best of both worlds and get the most number of students.
- Having a home studio ready in case there are students who prefer to go to their private piano teacher’s house for piano lessons instead. This is a good idea. In fact, as long as you have a piano at your home, you may allow certain students to go to your house to take the lessons. This is ideal if you also want to get students who do not already have a piano at their home, or prefer more privacy and want to go to your house instead of you going to theirs.
- Actively asking for referrals from successful students – this is a business strategy used by many self employed people such as insurance and real estate agents in Singapore. This works very well if you ask referrals from happy and satisfied students. You don’t want to ask for recommendations for referrals from every single student you have. As you get more and more students, you will quickly realize some students are extremely happy with your teaching, and are great customers. You want to ask referrals from students who are like that.
- Advancing to Diploma stage sometime in the future, if not yet already – this is important if you want to truly separate yourself from the pack. This is because every other piano teacher in Singapore has Grade 8 ABRSM qualifications. This means that you have no real way to show your technical expertise is better than these other teachers other than blind claiming. However, with a Diploma cert, you will truly be a level above others, and also be able to teach those who are wanting to learn grade 8 ABRSM proficiency level with ease and they will also have more confidence in you as a teacher. Additionally, you may also be able to charge more as a Diploma qualified private piano teacher in Singapore and command a higher rate.
I hope the above tips will help you out in your journey to becoming a thriving private piano teacher in Singapore!