While chatting with another piano teacher this past week, I was reminded of my early days as a music instructor.
Way (way) back then, I would drive to my students’ homes. It took a lot of time and I found it a little awkward.
But, it gave me a really good look into the at-home musical lives of my kids.
And let me tell you… it was an eye-opener.
When you teach from a studio or music school, you envision your students practicing at home on beautiful, well-tuned pianos in dedicated spaces for music.
But when you actually visit your students’ homes, the reality is so much different.
With so many teachers temporarily switching to online lessons over the past few months, many are getting the chance to see inside their students’ homes and witness the reality of home piano practice.
And now that you have seen what the “pianos” your students practice on look like and have heard what those “pianos” sound like, you’re probably thinking about reaching out to parents to make a few… adjustments.
So, before another year of lessons begins, you may want to use my letter to parents so that you can nudge them into swapping out that “toy” piano.
Encourage Parents To Upgrade Those “Toy” Pianos
While the introduction to today’s post was intentionally light-hearted, the purpose could not be more serious.
We all want to make a living teaching piano. The easiest way to do this is to make sure your current students stay with you as long as possible.
And one central ingredient for sticking with piano lessons is to own an instrument that is enjoyable to play.
I have never been a teacher that insisted students play only on acoustic pianos. For many families, this simply isn’t an option.
So, this post is not about getting kids off of digital pianos and onto acoustic pianos. In fact, there are many benefits of both acoustic and digital pianos.
However, there are many pianos that are just not suited for… well… anybody. And you would be surprised at how many students are actually playing on these instruments.
If you have students who really need to switch to a better piano, copy the email template at the bottom of the post and send it to your piano families.
And while you’re connecting with your piano families, you may want to encourage parents to get their kids working on our newest piano book series, Andrea And Trevor Dow’s Piano Student Workbooks.
With our two new note reading workbooks, your kids can use these summer months to eliminate note reading struggles.
A Piano Upgrade Email For Your Piano Parents
Hi Beth and Anthony,
What a pleasure it is to be teaching Michael! I know you have noticed the fabulous progress that he’s been making this year. I’m so pleased with his hard work, and I’m excited to continue to delve into even more exciting repertoire with him in the coming months.
Parents often ask me how they can support their children who are showing a keen interest in piano lessons and have reached a certain level of proficiency. Beyond what you are already doing to support Michael in his home practice, I usually suggest that now is the right time to look into some options for upgrading the piano he is using at home.
Michael is now at the point where his home instrument will begin to make quite a difference. An acoustic piano, or a digital piano that has a full-size keyboard, will allow him to access more repertoire. An instrument that has touch-sensitive keys will give him the chance to develop the expression that I hear from him during our piano lessons. A piano with a pedal will provide Michael with the chance to learn that technique and to practice it at home.
We work on many things during his lesson time that he’s picking up on quickly, and if he were to have an instrument at home that responded in a similar way to my studio piano then he’d be able to advance even more than he already has. I know you’re making an investment in his lessons and an upgraded piano will amplify that investment as much as possible.
Please know that I’m absolutely not suggesting an instrument worth thousands of dollars! Don’t worry! There are quite a few different options we can explore together to find something that would work for your family. A larger, upgraded keyboard, a digital piano, or a used acoustic piano are all things we can talk about.
Of course, I’m happy to continue as we are currently if this is not something that’s possible right now. As his teacher, I just wanted to mention it to you and let you know that I’m here to provide some guidance if you’re interested.