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.

What Are The Hidden Fees For Piano Lessons In Singapore?

Did you know that sometimes there are hidden fees when it comes to piano lessons in Singapore? Yes. Therefore, I want to help you avoid these hidden fees as much as possible.

First of all, many schools collect a one time registration fee for all new piano students. The reason for this is unclear, and unethical sounding except in that it is probably to cover their administrative costs. However, this cost is usually not made clearly together with the monthly packages’ prices that they usually show. So do take note about this point about the one time registration fees with public music schools commonly found at shopping centres e.t.c. A way to save on this cost is to select and hire a private piano teacher in Singapore instead. I strongly recommend that you contact a private piano teacher in Singapore instead.

Second of all, music books and scores actually cost money. Other than the required ABRSM piano pieces and scales, leisure sheet music also require money. Music books can cost between $10 to $30 a book and is extra on top of piano lesson fees charged in Singapore (this is the case for both private and school lessons).

Third of all, there is also ABRSM exam application fees. Each attempt will cost you money. Since most music students in Singapore apply for the ABRSM exams, I think this is something you should look out for. Fees range from $150 to $650 depending on the ABRSM exam grade you are applying for. This fee is mandatory regardless of where you take your music lessons, and is necessary as long as you want to be graded through the ABRSM or Trinity College system.

The above are major hidden fees that many first time parents and piano students in Singapore may not be aware of, especially if they do not know anyone else who has taken piano lessons and ABRSM exams  before in Singapore too. I hope that by sharing with you these hidden fees, you will be able to make a more informed decision for yourself or for your child when you or your child decides to learn to play the piano in Singapore.

Also, if you know of any other hidden fees when it comes to piano lessons in Singapore, make sure to let us know in the comment section below too!