Tag: teacher (page 2 of 2)

4 vital steps to learning a keyboard piece

Looking for a sure-fire method to boost your keyboard practice? No problem! Read on…

playing-keyboard (Medium)

Along with teaching piano, I have several pupils learning to play keyboard. By ‘keyboard’ I mean electronic or ‘chord’ keyboard: the type where you play a melody in the right hand, chord shapes in the left and the keyboard takes care of the rest with drums, accompaniment parts, multiple instrument voices, extra harmonies, etc. Most of my pupils use Yamaha keyboards such as the PSR-E343 which I strongly recommend for beginners on a budget. Continue reading

6 great ways to get more music pupils!

About two and a half years ago I left behind my career as a primary school teacher and set out to carve a new business teaching piano and keyboard. Now I have over 40 regular weekly pupils. With teaching, lesson preparation, blog & video posts and the development of an online business (more soon!) I am once again in ‘full-time’ work – and more!

A few years ago my son was in a similar position, starting out as a music teacher. A wealthy businessman friend of ours gave him this advice: “Early to bed, early to rise, practice like hell and ADVERTISE!” Perhaps you’re teaching music privately like me, or perhaps you’re just thinking about it? I’m certainly no business expert or guru, but I’m pleased with my progress so far, so I’m sharing my advertising methods in case they can help you on your way… Continue reading

“Sorry, I can’t make it – again!” (People who cancel their music lessons)

About 10-20% of my regular lessons in a week end up being cancelled or rearranged for one reason or another.  Often my pupils give me plenty of notice, but there are always those who wait until the eleventh hour…

people who cancel their music lessons

photo credit: photosteve101 (licence)

Quite soon after becoming a piano & keyboard teacher, I discovered that when pupils cancel a lesson at the last minute, it is almost impossible fill the slot with another pupil given such short notice.  This results in a loss of income for me, which left unchecked, can build up into a significant amount.   Continue reading

Video: How to play the “Superman” theme tune

Here’s a nice simple one that lots of people will know when you play it.  Easy, step-by-step instructions.  I’ve added the note sheet above the video for those who like things that way, too.

I’ve put a handful of these videos up now – how are you finding them?  Are you able to play the songs I teach?  Is the training too slow, too fast or about right?  Was it any help that I added the note names to this video?  Please let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

Video: How to play the ‘Top Cat’ theme tune

A new video for you today – the theme tune from the cartoon series ‘Top Cat’ – one of my childhood favourites:

Let me know how you get on with it, and feel free to suggest any simple tunes for future videos!

Video: how to play the Flintstones theme tune

Here’s the next video in my step-by-step series, this time it’s the Flintstones!  Follow the notes carefully, and pay particular attention to using the same finger numbers that I use.

Have fun – and get in touch if you need any help or if you have any suggestions to improve the videos.

Do you tip your music teacher?

On a recent coach holiday, I was surprised to find the passengers collecting to ‘tip’ the driver.  I have been driven and entertained by some excellent drivers, but this chap certainly wasn’t one of them.  It got me thinking – why do we tip some people and not others?  For instance, I almost always tip good service in a restaurant, but I’ve never tipped the minister for a good service at church.  I have been known to tip friendly and helpful taxi drivers but I can’t recall tipping the staff at my local music shop, despite the fact that their service is absolutely second to none!

Are there rules for tipping and service charges?  Does it have anything to do with whether people deserve it or not?  Or do we just all follow a pattern established goodness-knows-when by goodness-knows-who?  It seems reasonable to me that we should tip people who go ‘above and beyond’ the job.  Not just because it’s the ‘done thing’?

Does your piano (or other instrumental) teacher fall into that category? Do they arrange exam dates and payments for you outside of the hours you pay them for?  Do they try to accommodate your changing needs when you decide last-minute to go on holiday or send your child on a school trip?  Do they find extra sheet music, worksheets and resources for pupils when they get stuck?  Do they smile when you cancel your lesson at the eleventh hour, despite the fact that they just took a hit to their income?

I hope I do some of those things, if not all.  I hope your teacher does, too. And if he/she does, how about showing your appreciation from time to time?  Christmas?  Easter?  Holiday time?

Teacher tipping – what do you think?  I like the sound of it.  But then I would, wouldn’t I?

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