Piano Teaching Tips on
Scheduling And Admin

Here are some piano teaching tips on scheduling and admin matters.  In my studio, I like to use standard guidelines for all students to be clear and fair to everyone.

Scheduling lessons

Are lessons conducted in months or terms?
Are there any scheduled breaks during the year? Are these chargeable?
How are public holidays treated?

Paying fees

When are fees due? Beginning or end of the month or term?

Rescheduling lessons

Is this allowed?
Must students give notice? How long?

Cancelling lessons

Is this allowed? Is it chargeable?

Terminating lessons

Must students give notice? How long?
If students wish to terminate lessons without notice, is there a fee payable?

Piano Teaching Tips on
Starting lessons with Right Expectations

It is good to chat with parents and students before starting lessons to clarify expectations.

After that, regular, clear and sincere communication with students and parents is very helpful in managing student progress and expectations. Try to understand the student's overall schedule and commitments so you can suggest effective practice methods.

Help students succeed and be a great motivator!

Unrealistic Expectations

It is common in piano teaching to have parents or students with unrealistic expectations. As teachers, we must learn to communicate effectively so that parents and students understand the best way forward.

Skipping grades

When 'skipping grades,' only the exam is skipped. All technical and musical requirements of the current grade still need to be mastered before moving on.

Skipping grades must not be taken lightly. While parents and students may express their desire to skip grades, it is the responsibility of the teacher to assess if this is realistic and attainable.

Skipping a grade may sound impressive but if this decision is made poorly, the student could fail his next exam or lose interest altogether.

My Experience

As a teacher, a clear understanding of the exam standards is essential. Mostly, I only allow committed diligent students who are able to meet the requirements of the current grade to skip exams.

There is an important difference in playing an exam piece and playing an exam piece to exam standards. If exam standards are met comfortably, that exam may be skipped.

Importantly, these need to be considered:

1. Technical ability/dexterity
2. Note reading ability
3. Musical understanding
4. Commitment to practice
5. Level to be achieved for the current/next grade
6. Timeline to next exam
7. Motivation level with and without exams

For piano teaching tips on good studio practices, click here.