When first become a piano teacher, it can be difficult to find your first students, particularly if you are competing with many other piano teachers in your local area.
You need to know how to stand out in a crowded market. This may mean adjusting your teaching method, offering competitive fees, undertaking further training in piano pedagogy or structuring your classes differently.
To carve out your niche in the piano teaching world and find more students who want to learn to play piano, you need to sell yourself; increase your visibility online, gather references, take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing.
No matter what kind of musician you are, whether you play classical piano, jazz, pop, rock... here are all our best tips on finding students for private piano or keyboard lessons.
Become a piano teacher through word-of-mouth
If you want to become a piano teacher, chances are you've had a music education yourself, and probably already have some strong links to a musical community. Let people around you know that you are actively looking for new students and offering lessons to anyone who wants to learn piano.
Finding your first students is the biggest hurdle new private piano teachers like you face when trying to launch their teaching career. The word-of-mouth approach is great for new teachers, as you can raise your profile as a music teacher without needing to invest lots of time and effort into a complicated marketing campaign.
However, like with any marketing approach, there are different ways you can get the most out of word-of-mouth and increase your outreach.
Normally, your musical community will already know you're a musician. Print snappy business cards and hand them out to anyone who may be interested - this could be at your current workplace, within your friend group, at the gym, at your local cafe...
Let your neighbours, friends, family members know that you're available to teach piano and prepared to offer lessons at home.
At family gatherings, the dog park, the cafe... mention your musical experience, genres of music that you love, and any concerts that you may have coming up. And don't forget to mention that you are taking on new students! This may help connect you to a coworker's cousin, a neighbour's brother, a friend's child who may want to learn piano.
You can get the word out via social media or email. You could announce that you have spots available for new students in online music forums, on Instagram or Facebook, or send a group email out to your musical contact.
The great thing about word-of-mouth is that it tends to snowball, as soon as you start teaching your first students, they or their parents will start recommending you to their personal networks. If you do a good job, they will hopefully be mentioning your skill as a piano instructor, effective method, friendly approach and reasonable prices.
Teaching piano and promoting your lessons online
More and more students and their parents are finding teachers through online research.
Word-of-mouth within your social networks is a great way to get started when you first become a piano teacher, but to fill up your teaching schedule you need to promote yourself effectively online.
Create a website for your piano teaching business
First, purchase a personalized domain name and make up a website detailing your skills playing the piano and the where, when, how and why of the lessons you offer. Your website should describe your musical experience, your teaching approach, your prices and how to get in contact.
List your piano skills front and centre for the greatest impact - this means mentioning how long you've been playing and any qualifications you may hold.
Next, describe your approach to teaching piano; how do you make learning scales fun? Are you great at teaching chords to beginners or unravelling music theory? Make sure you mention musical styles you are passionate about and love to teach - are you a total jazz head or more of a refined classical pianist?
To maximise your approachability, mention that you can adapt to the individual skill level and learning needs of any interested students. Teaching beginner piano is very different from guiding an advanced pianist through recital preparation, but a good teacher will know how to tailor their lessons to a range of levels.
Click through to read up on giving better piano lessons!
Leverage your social networks to find new piano students
Make the most of the wide reach of social network platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Mention on your personal social media pages that you are giving piano instruction, and perhaps offer discounted or free first lesson to friends.
Your friends, family, or current students can easily share these posts with friends or family, who could be looking for music lessons for their children or themselves.
Social media is also an excellent place to gather testimonials. Any students who are already learning music from you will be able to leave reviews about how you helped them with their sight-reading, scales, exams, improv, songwriting or other ways you have improved their piano playing.
To really sell yourself as a music teacher, you should be creating your own social media posts as well. You can post photos or videos of lessons with a new student (with permission of course!) or about any new training or masterclasses you've attended to enhance your teaching or playing.
Through sites like Teachable, you can also record and sell online piano lessons.
Advertising piano lessons through free online ads
There are many platforms on the inter that allow you to post free online ads for your private music academy. At Superprof, you benefit from being listed with many other teachers, on a page that attracts students and parents to find a teacher that suits them.
For any online ads, you'll need to input a short paragraph outlining the benefits of learning with you. Just like a personal music teaching website, you'll need to list your skills and experiences as a teacher, the kinds of music you'll be teaching and your teaching method, as well as whether you plan to offer online piano lessons or lessons in-person. A well-crafted ad will boost your chances of picking up new students online.
Superprof is by far the best way to find new students online!
How to teach piano and find students through the classifieds
Superprof is an amazing tool for helping you to find new students who want to learn how to play piano.
Set up your profile with clear information on who you are and your target audience - this could be anything from four-year-old beginners to introductory courses for adults, exam prep for teenagers, master classes for advanced students...
For maximum impact in your local area, you can also try posting paper fliers in public spaces.
Primary and secondary school students make up a huge percentage of music students, so posting your fliers around schools is often a great way to tap into a huge local market. Just ensure you ask permission before you step onto school ground!
You can also ask the school administration if they will print your ad in their newsletter.
Many schools already offer piano classes or music ensembles, but there often aren't enough teachers for each student to have a one-on-one lesson each week. This is where you step in to offer your services as a piano tutor!
You can also try posting fliers at local universities if you are aiming to mentor more advanced players, but anywhere local is good. This means book stores, local newsagents, shopping strips, train stations, bus stops, bars, cafes, delis...
You may need to wait a few weeks for your first students to bite, but don't give up!
Teach piano lessons through local music schools
If you live in a medium to large town or city, there is likely a local music school or conservatorium. These are great places to start looking for work as a piano teacher as they are a hub for eager music students.
You can ask to leave a flyer or business card at your local music centre. This could help you to find students who are already playing music, but who may be looking for supplemental classes.
You can even try applying directly to the music school, music centre or conservatorium. If another teacher is leaving or retiring, you may be offered their shift and pick up ten or twenty students at once! Taking on students through a music institution means your new students are more likely to be truly motivated with their piano practice.
There are so many places to pick up new students and get established as a piano teacher - the trick is knowing where to look! Now you're on your way to establishing a regular roster of students, take a look at our five steps to planning better piano lessons...