Private Piano Lesson Or School In Singapore? Which’s Better?

If you want to learn to play the piano in Singapore, should you take private piano lessons or go to a local music school to do so? What if you are already an adult and are looking for piano classes for Singapore adults instead? Let us discuss the pros and cons of each, and which choice you should make.

If you are a first time learner, and are an adult, here are some things you should consider.

  • Are you working 9-6pm? If you are working an office job or a regular timing job, then you can only take lessons during the weeknights or the weekends. Of course, both schools and private piano teachers do teach during these timings. However, will you feel very tired after your work? Most likely, your answer will be yes. In this case, I generally recommend that you take private piano lessons at your home in Singapore, because that is more convenient, and less travelling required for you as well. You just need to travel home after your work for your lessons, and need not travel anywhere else again. On the other hand, if you are for example an insurance or property agent with flexible hours, you can take lessons at other timings. In this case, both private piano lessons and school lessons will be equally good.
  • Are you the type that can be easily embarrassed? Although there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about learning the piano as an adult, some people in Singapore definitely feel that way. If that is the case, then getting a private piano teacher to your home is definitely a much better option. If you chose to go to a music school instead, you would be needing to travel to the local music school at a shopping mall in Singapore, where you may be seen entering the piano classroom along with many other kids perhaps 20 years younger than you.
  • Perhaps you are a successful businessman or businesswoman or investor who hit it big time and then are now retired and want to pick up a musical skill or two such as playing the piano? Then you may want to get a private piano teacher. You can customize the hours of learning and lessons much more easily with a private piano teacher, since you are so free anyway. This is not the case with schools as they are significantly more rigid relatively.

At the end of the day, you know yourself best. Chances are, you already know what your heart is telling you, and the above criteria I recommended you consider just helped you clarify your own thoughts.

Is Being A Piano Teacher In Singapore A Practical Career?

If you are a local thinking about embarking on a lifelong journey to become a piano teacher in Singapore, chill. I have got you covered with three of the most important considerations you MUST HAVE when it comes to deciding whether you truly want to be a piano teacher in Singapore. They are namely – salary, working hours and job security. I will discuss each and every single one of them relatively in-depth below.

First of all, let us talk about the salary. There are two ways you can be a piano teacher. The first way would be to work as a salaried employee and typical piano teacher at a studio in Singapore such as that as Yamaha or Cristofori. As a salaried piano teacher working under another person and company, you can expect to make between $2500 to $4000 a month. Your salary will increase if you are a Diploma graduate instead of an ABRSM piano grade 8 graduate. Additionally, you will get overtime if applicable. The second way you can work as a piano teacher in Singapore is to become a self-employed private home piano tutor. You will either travel to the student’s houses to teach them music and to play the piano, or you can have the students go to your house. As a self employed piano teacher, most of them make between $1300 to $1800 as a part timer after their full time day job, while the full time ones make between $4000 to $6500 a month. As you can tell,  there is quite a big gap between part timers and full timers, because you can accept many more students if you go into this full time.

Second of all, let us talk about your working hours. When it comes to working hours, it is usually fixed, or it could also be shift work when it comes to public schools such as Yamaha or Cristofori. It depends on what you negotiate with them. However, once negotiated, you will be required to stick to it whether or not you want to change in future. This could be a blessing if your hours provided are perfect for you. However, it will be a disaster if you need to change it in future but cannot, and your only choice is to quit. When it comes to being a private home piano teacher in Singapore, you work random hours. You basically create your own work schedule. If you like to work only on weekends and weekday day time, you can do that. Of course, the more particular you are about timing, the less students you may have. E.g., most students are unavailable during weekday mornings, as they either have school if they are a student, or work if they are an adult learner. You will usually work relatively ‘upside down’ hours to ‘normal 9-6pm’ people in Singapore. However, it is a blessing if you hate working in the early morning hours. Good news? You will never need to try to beat the peak hour traffic on the terrible MRTs anymore because you will not even need to work at those hours!

The third thing you need to consider is the job security. Piano as a musical instrument, and music will probably never disappear for the next 50 to 100 years and beyond. However, piano teacher jobs may evolve. First of all, if you work as a salaried employee at a local piano school in Singapore, you may get fired from the job if the manager does not like you (not likely) or if the centre shuts down due to changing business conditions (more likely in 10-15 years). This means that job security is minimal for fixed salaried employees. The alternative is if you are self employed and a private home piano teacher in Singapore. You will always have a job as a piano tutor, however, your income will be heavily dependent on your ability to market yourself (just join a good piano student-teacher match up agency like sglearnpiano) and may have slight fluctuations from month to month. You will be responsible for your income. The way you teach also affects whether you get more or less students. Here are some tips I wrote in a previous post on how you can be a better piano teacher so you can get more students and referrals. This spells terrible news for those stressed about being self employed, and is happiness for those who yearn for absolute career freedom in a country where things feel stifled a little too often.