How To Give Piano Lessons

Wondering how to give piano lessons? It's actually not that difficult once you figure out what you're doing and what piano lessons look like from a teachers perspective. 

This page you'll find:

  •  my step by step approach for how to give an actual piano lesson
  • determining what you should charge 
  • setting up your home studio
  • how to get students (marketing your lessons)
  • how to keep your lessons organized and accepting different types of payments

It'll follow up with a few other tips on teaching piano. 

How To Give Piano Lessons

How To Give A Piano Lesson

This is a general piano lesson outline. I am always willing to change things around depending on the student’s strengths, personality or mood of that day.

1. Warm-up

Usually the warm-up involves scales, triads, or whatever technique the student is working on. Just something to get the fingers moving. It will usually not be new information, I want to start with something they know.

2. Last Week’s Pieces

Hopefully the student’s have practiced and so we can go over the pieces they have been working on.

This is the point where you decide if they’re ready to move on or if they need to continue improving on the piece they already have.

I always want to encourage students and let them know that they’ve done a good job. To me, encouragement is an important part of how to give a piano lesson. 

3. Starting new Pieces

In the middle of the lesson is where I usually will have the student start on a new piece. That way, they’ve had some success with previous things.

I always tell students it’s better to start slowly and simply. Focus on the details so that next week when they come back, they’ll have these things right.

It’s very difficult to “unlearn” something. If the piece is difficult, just assign a portion of it. For some students, learning in blocks is very effective.

Note: some student's will be at a stage where they aren't learning new songs as they are more advanced and their pieces will take longer to learn.

4Theory and Other Activities - Away From The Piano

After everything at the piano, I usually take the student away to a whiteboard or something else. This is where we do some sort of activity to help learning theory or rhythm or notes.

This is also the point where we would do any work from their theory book. If you include this in your plan for how to give piano lessons, I think your students will really benefit.

The main things I focus on for beginners are note naming, notes and values, and rhythm.

I write more about this my teach children piano page. If you're planning on teaching beginners, I go into details about activities I do in lessons on my teaching beginner piano lessons page

This is basically my formula for how to give a piano lesson. There’s lot’s of room for change depending on the student. For example, with older students I may include things like ear training or composing or chords at the end. In general, I just want to start with something they know, do the difficult parts in the middle, and end with something they can be successful with. And that’s how to give piano lessons!

How Much Should You Charge?

A good way to figure out what you should charge is by seeing what others charge in your area. There are two main ways you can do this.

The first is to have a look online at piano teacher listings in your area. If this doesn't tell you what you need to know, ask at a local music store. 

Keep in mind that some teachers will really charge a lot as they would be highly trained and have degrees in music. Most won't be as expensive for students. 

If it seems right for your area, try out charging 1.5 times the minimum wage per half hour lesson. This doesn't quite work where I live at we have a high minimum wage. If people don't sign up with you, you'll also know you're charging too much.

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