We’ve had several readers submit questions to us about piano teacher burnout. Andrea will tell you, I am the perfect person to answer this question. I am about as “antsy” as they come and if there is nothing novel or exciting happening in my life on a daily basis… you better be sure I’m going to make something happen… and quick!
Let’s Solve Piano Teaching Burnout
If you’re ranking jobs in terms of “Burnout Rate”, I would have to say teaching piano has got to be vying for the top of the charts. The physical and social nature of piano teaching makes it very easy to slip into the “same old, same old”.
Piano teachers sit in the same studio, at the same piano, often teaching the same repertoire, to the same kids, day in and day out, year after year. And because it is a solo profession there is never stimulating conversation among adult coworkers to break up the day… month… or year!
It’s a wonder piano teachers everywhere aren’t losing their minds.
The Key To Our Sanity – Dream Big
I hate to get all philosophical on everyone, but if you want to avoid burnout you need a dream… a goal… something to work towards. And I don’t mean little, measly goals, I mean grand goals on a huge scale.
Personally, I don’t know how I would make it through the day if I didn’t dream big. I am in constant pursuit of creating the “next big thing”, in the piano world or elsewhere. Truth be told, I may never create the “next big thing” but as long as I am working towards it, I always have something to look forward to… something to occupy my mind.
So… What is the Next Big Thing at Your Piano Studio?
Can you come up with a grand dream on a huge scale for your piano teaching studio? If not, let me help you out! If I was on the verge of burnout, I might consider some awesome goals like these (keep in mind, nothing is too far-fetched)…
1. Try to get a famous musician to perform one of your student’s compositions.
I love this dream… in fact… I kind of want to chase it. I mean, how awesome would it be to have a celebrity rock out to a composition created in your studio? This dream may seem far-fetched but with social media making celebrities more accessible and available…you just never know.
2. Raise $10 000 dollars for charity… with your music
There is nothing more rewarding than helping others out. Make raising money for charity with your music your goal for the year. Could you and your students actually raise $10 000 with your music? I think you could!
3. 365 hours of community service
If you have seen the pure joy on the face of patients in extended care when kids come to sing or play the piano, then you know how powerfully music can affect the lives of the elderly. Set up a performance schedule with “old folks” homes in your area and see if you and your students can donate 365 hours of piano performances.
4. Teach Piano Abroad
This is obviously not for everyone but if you and your family are flexible why not move to some exotic location and see if you can build a new career. If you want a personal suggestion, find a cute little farmhouse in Spain’s Basque region… OK, that one is definitely my dream!
5. Sign Up For Music Lessons
Sometimes the teacher must become the student to facilitate rejuvenation. Sign up to learn to play guitar, harp, violin, or tuba. Document your experiences as you learn and then adjust how you teach piano accordingly.
How do you avoid piano teaching burnout? Comment below.