Know your motivation
Not every pianist can teach. The old adage of ‘those who can do, and those who cannot, teach’  is often quoted but I hope these days is quoted incorrectly. To teach is a skill that many pianists do not possess but being a pianist is a skill a piano teacher is required to have. Piano teachers require other strengths and skills, and to be aware of their limitations.
A few of those considerations could include;
Communication. The definition of communication in teaching incorporates the concept of effective and clear comprehension, which is essential to a learner's continued progression..
Demonstrative Ability. To demonstrate the ability to play the piece, even slowly, is essential to familiarise the learner with the piece by ear rather than by eye. This takes time and practice which needs to be allocated pre lesson in preparation.
Patience. The educator must understand that the learner may take more time than they consider is required to gain a skill, lose it and find it again. Evidence of frustration on the educator's behalf is detrimental not only to the learner's continued attendance but also to the interpersonal relationship between educator and learner.
Organisation. The educator must exhibit the ability to coordinate skills, lessons, parents, requirements, practice, music supply and exam entry dates while maintaining a professional and approachable manner.
The cost of music lessons by the hour must reflect the social economic capability of the communities around the educator, must be comparable to other similarly qualified educators and considered to be a worthy cause for the learner and the sponsor to achieve their goals. The number of hours that you can spend teaching has to be part of the equation. The ‘would-be’ educator must consider that although the hourly rate for an experienced and qualified piano educator is considered to be good due to the amount of free time that the educator potentially gains and of course, the financial benefits. Accurate assessment of the amount of time a responsible educator must take to ensure that sufficient preparation is undertaken for each lesson should require serious consideration of your motivating factors.
A Business needs a plan
Every business or activity that you want to be successful requires a plan. This plan is fluid however there are some sections that are clearly fixed. This document will represent the journey ahead which will include the concept, the action required to make it happen, and possible variations from the plan. It can be as detailed as you prefer however the more considered in the early stages potentially minimises issues. Professional development is essential for music educators and an acknowledgment of the time commitment must be considered.
Every plan should include short, medium and long term forecasting alongside financial summaries and target points.
Chris Caton-Greasley LLCM(TD) MA (Mus)(Open)
Ethnographic Musicologist, Teacher, Researcher