Bella Payne

Bella Payne

While working on a degree in Sociology with plans to become a Social Worker, I fell into teaching piano lessons as a way to pay my bills. I had no idea I was stumbling into a totally fulfilling, creative and exciting career! Every day, I teach several students in their homes, in my home, and online how to play piano from scratch. Over the last 10 years, I have seen kids and adults go from timid beginner to skilled performers. It's extremely rewarding!! I also manage the Facebook page Facebook.com/GoPlayPiano

sexy-piano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Competition for a good piano teacher is fierce these days. How do you make yourself stand out? Somehow I’ve managed to make a business for myself in the musically congested city of Los Angeles. Here are some of the tricks in my bag:

Use your phone’s video camera.

Most of the time, parents are not around to watch their kid’s piano lessons. Sometimes, they aren’t even home (nannies are there instead). If you have a studio where students come to you, it’s likely the parents don’t sit in the room with you. This means that the very people who hired you never get to see your actual work. You need to show them what you are doing for 2 very important reasons. [···]

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Piano LessonsSome time ago, I realized my students were getting a little bored of the same old routine. I thought they needed some stimulation, so I decided to re-think my rewards system. For a long time, I mostly focused on educational music games at the end of the lessons as being a good enough reward. But it didn’t help with energy levels throughout the lesson. I needed some help.  [···]

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When you perform a song, you know that first note is the most important. It sets the tone for the WHOLE song. If you blow it, the whole song is shot. Same goes for a concert. That opening number sets the tone for the WHOLE show. And what about the dynamics of that first section? Do you start off strong? Or soft and build up from there? Do you want your style to be perceived as contemporary or classical? There are a lot of factors to consider when you think about tone. So what about your teaching? What tone will you set on the first day with a new student? It is very similar to starting a song. The first day says everything about you. Are you strong? Funny? Strict? Laid back? Too laid back? Too strict?

Over the past several years, I have worked on my teaching style and have learned a lot from each new student. Everyone is different, and private instructions require a certain flexibility on the teachers part, but I have now realized that no matter who I am teaching, that first day says everything about me and how I expect the lessons to work. The first thing I must consider in setting tone is what kind of teacher I want to be perceived as. In marketing terms, I guess you would call this your “brand.” There are all kinds of teachers out there, and I have been a lot of them! The fun hippy laid back  [···]

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