“So, what do you do for work?” Have you been asked this question immediately after telling someone you are a piano teacher? I’m betting you have. The assumption exists that piano teaching is a hobby… and people want to know what you do for your “real job”. Wouldn’t they be surprised to learn that you actually have 10 jobs! (Maybe they’d then understand why you don’t do make-up lessons!…)
I’m A Piano Teacher, But I’m Also…
1. A Counsellor – bring me your school-yard issues, your family troubles, your best friend’s snub, your bruised (or non-existent) self-esteem, your perfectionism, your compulsive tendencies, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, and your broken heart. I’m here for you every single week to lend a caring ear and some helpful words.
2. A Custodian – the health of every student who passes through my door depends on my ability to disinfect, de-germ and polish and shine. Approximately 50 hands (or more!) touch everything in my studio every week. Show me your influenza, your common cold, your pink-eye, chicken pox, and rashes. (And while I hoped you would have kept these to yourself at home in the first place)… I know how to stop whatever current plague threatens my piano studio students.
3. An Early Childhood Educator – Don’t yet know your numbers? Your letters? How to read? Is your fine muscle control less than fine? Do you still say “I seen?” I’ll identify and solidify those vital abilities in our time together each week. I’ll come up with inventive and unique ways to help you attain skills you will use for the rest of your life.
4. A Ring Master – bring me your high energy, high pitched and unruly tendencies. I’ll work until I sweat to somehow keep you still and happy for 30 minutes at a time. I’ll stay up for hours at night inventing ways to interest and motivate you. I’ll provide a calming influence and a safe haven from the reprimands and discipline you face every day in school.
5. A Financial Guru – Show me your post-dated cheques, money orders, cash payments and online transactions. I’ll wrangle them all onto a tidy spreadsheet. I’ll invoice, receipt, remind and collect. I’ll budget and stretch my dollars so that I can continue in this profession because I love it.
6. A Marketing Specialist – I’ll catch your eye through my carefully thought-out advertising strategy. I’ll design, print, photocopy and post. I’ll collaborate, schmooze and network. Most days will find me with a fistful of brochures and a brain full of ideas. I’ll spend hours developing my studio program, intent on getting you to talk about me every chance you get.
7. An Events Coordinator – Give me a room full of children and a solitary piano and I’ll make it an event that is not only enjoyable, but that boosts the confidence and self-esteem of all involved. I’ll make you prouder of your children than you’ve ever been. I’ll bake cookies for 100 people and sweep up the crumbs when they’re gone. I’ll decorate, coordinate, schedule, and scheme to generate events that you’ll talk about for weeks. Bring me your video cameras, iPhones, point and shoots and relatives. I’ll show them all a good time.
8. An Interior Decorator – I can take a simple room and turn it into an enjoyable place to be for 30 minutes every single week. I can organize, craft, and furbish four plain walls into a music-education mecca. I work with a small budget but produce big results. And I welcome each season with a cleverly thought-out adjustments to the decor.
9. A Trend-Spotter – I google, network, search and post. I print, purchase, create and compose. I’m on top of the newest “big thing” for ages 5 to 75. I’m one step ahead and always full of surprises.
10. Oh yeah… and I’m a Piano Teacher.
What other “hats” do YOU wear? Share by commenting below.