Unbeknownst to many outside the piano teaching world, piano teachers don’t start work the moment a student walks through the door. Hours of planning and preparation go into each and every half hour lesson a piano teacher teaches. And yet a piano teacher salary is based solely on teaching hours; prep time is apparently “off the clock”.
Now, as piano teachers, we could sit back and moan and groan about the injustices. Or… we could remember that, unlike other professions, we have 100% control over our income. So, let’s look at 13 ways piano teachers can boost their yearly salary!
Teach Piano to Homeschool Families
Most piano teacher salaries are limited by available teaching hours after school. Take advantage of the flexibility of homeschool families and make more money by teaching piano during the day. Some clever niche marketing and attention to word-of-mouth generating events in your studio are great ways to break into this market.
Teach Group Lessons to Adults
Adults flourish in a group setting and are often available during “off” times for young children. If you can overcome the hurdle of available pianos per adult you could be on your way to serious success.
Profit on Piano Books
If you supply piano books for your students, you should definitely be putting a mark-up on the materials… if only to cover your time driving to and from the music store.
Monthly Piano Master Classes
At least once a month your piano students should have the opportunity to perform in front of other piano students. Master classes provide a venue for performance practice, listening practice, and community bonding plus power of group fees means more money for less time.
Like piano playing, composing is an art in itself that requires time beyond a standard piano lesson. Why not consider offering composing classes as an add-on to your regular piano teaching?
Charge a registration fee
Most piano teachers already do this, but if you don’t, seriously reconsider. A registration fee simply protects your piano teacher salary. If you don’t cover costs for stickers, office supplies, photocopying etc. you are actually losing money.
Keep up with Inflation
Every year the cost of living increases. If your rates have remained stagnant for some time, consider giving yourself a raise. If not, once again, you are simply losing money. If the thought of yearly increases is too scary, consider a slightly higher increase once every two years. Does this stress you out? Here’s our plan for a stress-free rate increase.
The “rock band” concept isn’t as easy for piano teachers as it is for guitar teachers. But instead, try offering “Dynamic Duets” as an add-on program. Kids will love the opportunity to play piano with a friend every other week. Here’s a free duet to get you started!
Teach Piano to Preschoolers
This is along the same vein as teaching piano to homeschoolers; that is, preschoolers have more flexibility in their schedule, which will allow you to teach piano at times when you normally could not have thus increasing your potential for income-earning hours. Our preschool piano program is free to offer giving you the ability to quickly add this program to your studio with no financial risk. Plus… it also allows you to reach a market in your area that may be previously un-touched!
Hire an Accountant
Hiring an accountant will pay for itself and then some. Protect the money you earn with professional help that can recognize ALL of the expenses necessary to run a piano studio.
It certainly isn’t for everyone, but teaching piano lessons in a student’s home affords the opportunity to charge a higher lesson rate. If you are comfortable with this piano teaching format, and you are needing to increase your teaching hours, parents often appreciate the convenience factor and will be more likely to sign up for lessons.
Sing and Play
For those piano teachers who are vocally gifted, consider offering an add-on program to teach your students to accompany themselves as they sing. Students can choose to increase their lesson time by 15 minutes or even add on a second lesson per week. Glee has inspired a new generation of voice students, so go ahead and capitalize on this!
Private School Piano
This opportunity may vary from region to region, but in Canada, private schools often seek out private piano teachers to offer piano lessons to their students on campus. This is a great opportunity to acquire a lot of students FAST!
We’re not done yet!
Andrea and I grew our music school from 30 students to 300 in a little over 3 years, proving it is possible for piano teachers to make a fantastic salary. From our experiences, we have compiled a blueprint that anyone can follow to achieve piano teaching success…