Learn How to Teach Online Piano Lessons with this Essential Guide

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How to teach piano lessons online - the guide

Do these questions about how to teach online piano lessons sound familiar?

  • Why is the thought of teaching online piano lessons so scary?
  • What equipment and technology do I need for online piano lessons?
  • How do I set up and use my equipment?
  • I wonder if I can even afford to start teaching online piano lessons?
  • What kind of policies do I need?
  • How do I find online piano students?
  • Which activities can be successful in an online piano lesson?
  • How do I get paid for teaching online piano lessons?
  • Are there specific teaching tips I should use for online lessons?
  • How do I put together an online piano recital?
  • How do I troubleshoot if something goes wrong?
  • I wish I could stop teaching so many makeup lessons.
  • I’m moving soon and I don’t want to leave all of my students behind!
  • I wish I had more students.
  • I need to switch to teaching online lessons right away!
  • I have no idea how to teach online piano lessons. Where do I start?

If you can relate to any of these questions, then How to Teach Online Piano Lessons is exactly what you need to get your online piano studio up and running!

Learn how to teach online piano lessons


How can this “How to Teach Online Piano Lessons” guide help you?

Eliminate the overwhelm, put your fears behind you, and learn to be a successful and confident online piano teacher with the step-by-step information included in my essential quick start guide How to Teach Online Piano Lessons.

Learn what equipment you will need, how to set it up, the pros and cons of online lessons, how to teach an online lesson, tips for teachers & students, and much more in this eBook course. It is divided into topics, chapters, and workbook pages, so it is easy to read only what you have time for or review a chapter that especially interests you.


Contents of the How to Teach Online Piano Lessons guide

  • This Quick Start eBook contains 144 easy-to-read pages in 13 chapters, with hyperlinked pages.
    • Chapter prep pages help prepare your mindset for each chapter.
    • Workbook pages help you navigate and answer your online teaching questions.
    • Use the note-taking pages as you read each chapter to jot down ideas, questions, and more.
    • After you finish reading and implementing the information in this guide, you will know how to teach online piano lessons and build your online piano studio.


Chapter 1: Benefits of Online Lessons

  • It’s important to weigh the benefits of anything we’re thinking of undertaking.If there are no benefits, then why should we spin our wheels and waste our time and energy trying to get a return on an investment that won’t benefit anyone in the end?
  • Rest assured, there are numerous benefits to teaching online, and some of my favorites are:
    • Teaching online can increase our income.
    • Teaching online can dramatically decrease missed lessons.
    • Online lessons provide a tremendous convenience for everyone.
    • And so many more!
  • Transcript of Student Interview


Chapter 2: Tackling the “Less Positives”

  • First of all, the “pros” of teaching online piano lessons greatly outweigh the “cons”.
  • And for whatever cons we happen to experience, don’t worry, they can each be addressed in a variety of ways so you can spend your time having fun working with your students instead of spending piano lesson time solving problems.


Chapter 3: The Basic Setup

  • Do you need a lot of fancy equipment to teach piano lessons online? Absolutely not! In this chapter you’ll learn about the most basic setup for teaching online music lessons with equipment that you probably already own, so you can begin teaching online right away.
  • We’ll cover some basic technology items, software, lighting, and more, that can ease you into the process of teaching online without creating any overwhelm.
  • Sample Setup Handout for Parents


Chapter 4: The Enhanced Setup

  • Do you really need additional equipment? You don’t, unless you want it!Once you’ve got the basics of Chapter 3, everything in Chapter 4 is bonus information to further enhance your online lessons and make them the very best they can be for your students.
  • As you become more comfortable teaching online, you can begin to upgrade your technology and setup to create the best audio and video experience for your students that you can, and to build a fabulous online studio.
  • Transcript of Student Interview


Chapter 5: Building Your Online Piano Studio

  • Before you begin recruiting students, answer these questions:
  • “Why do I want to teach online lessons?”
  • “To whom do I want to offer online lessons?”
  • “Who is my ideal student?”
  • Are you offering online lessons as an alternative for students who need to miss an occasional lesson? Are you offering online lessons as a separate type of lesson altogether?Will this be a temporary change, or a permanent part of your studio?
  • Sample Letter to Parents


Chapter 6: Policies and Payments for Online Piano Lessons

  • You need a solid policy when teaching online just a much as you need one when teaching local students.The more fully and completely you cover each item in your online policy, the better your online lesson experience will be for both you and your students.


Chapter 7: Lesson Preparation for Online Piano Lessons

  • Preparing for online lessons is just as important as creating policies and getting paid. I find that it is a little tricker to “wing it” during online lessons, so taking a few extra minutes to plan ahead is well worth it.


Chapter 8: Recitals for Online Piano Students

  • There are a number of ways to include your online students in your studio recitals, depending on the technology that you have access to. I prefer to have my online students perform live during our live recitals if possible.
  • Sometimes it’s not possible to have a live recital, or to have your online students perform live in your recital, so in this chapter we’ll discuss some easy ideas for hosting different types of live, hybrid, and video recitals with all of your students:
    • Live only
    • Live plus pre-recorded video
    • Pre-recorded video only
    • Pre-recorded virtual ensembles (multiple students performing simultaneously via pre-recorded videos edited into a single video (you’ve probably seen these types of videos of choirs and instrumental ensembles)


Chapter 9: Activities for Online Students

  • I thought it would be really fun and helpful to put together some ideas for distance learning activities that we can use to supplement our online piano lessons.
  • Doing activities during online lessons doesn’t have to be difficult, and I’ll share some ideas for ways to make it happen without too much preparation or time.
  • This chapter includes a variety of options and ideas, and I know you’ll come up with lots more!


Chapter 10: Games for Online Students

  • There are a number of ways we can incorporate both printable and digital games into online piano lessons.
  • Easier said than done? No way! We can do this with minimal effort, and the results are wonderful.
  • My students are HUGE fans of Boom Cards. I’m going to show you what they are, why they’re an important part of our online piano lessons, and how you can get started using them in your studio.


Chapter 11: Worksheets for Online Students

  • There are lots of ways for students to complete worksheets during online lessons, as well as in between online lessons.
  • In this section, I’ll share a few of my favorite ways for online students to complete worksheets, and I’ll even share a few places where you can get high-quality affordable materials for your online (and in-person!) students.
  • Some of my students love color by code activities, some prefer fill in the blank, and others enjoy matching worksheets. I like to keep in mind the kinds of worksheets that engage each of my students most as I’m planning for their lessons.


Chapter 12: Licensed Digital Sheet Music for Online Piano Lessons

  • Using digital sheet music in online piano lessons is very similar to using digital worksheets, as we talked about in the previous section.
  • In this brief section I’ll provide some of my favorite places to purchase digital sheet music, as well as a few of my favorite current composers.
  • You can purchase digital sheet music on my website at www.melodypayne.com/shop so be sure to add my website to your list of favorites!


Chapter 13: Physical Wellness Tips for Online Piano Teachers

  • More and more piano teachers are suffering the painful effects of sitting on a piano bench all day teaching online lessons, when they were accustomed to moving around much more during in-person lessons. Are you one of those teachers?
  • The sitting, twisting, hunching, and overall poor posture is causing a lot of pain and discomfort for a lot of teachers. I’ve definitely had to make some changes to the way I sit at the piano and the way I approach my self-care routines (stretching, etc.).
  • If you’re a teacher who is wondering how to teaching online piano lessons without aches and pains, this chapter is for you!



Learn how to teach online piano lessons


Purchasing How to Teach Online Piano Lessons also gives you FREE access to the videos listed below:

Video tutorials! (See the eBook download for instructions to access the videos)

  • Introduction to my technology setup for online piano lessons
  • Using GoodNotes & Dropbox for online piano lessons
  • How to Use ManyCam’s multiple webcam views
  • Using ManyCam with Zoom to show your iPad to students during a lesson
  • Configuring ManyCam’s multiple camera presets for an optimal viewing experience for your students
  • Screen share and annotate on scores with Kindle app for iPad


More Videos: Modifying your favorite apps to play them in an online piano lesson

  • Flash Note Derby with Zoom Screen Share
  • Chord Recognition with Tenuto & Zoom Screen Share
  • Flash Note Derby with ManyCam
  • Note Rush with Zoom Screen Share
  • Students can annotate in Zoom screen share


Lesson Segments allow you to take a peek into my online piano studio!

  • Get an inside glimpse of how to teach online piano lessons by watching these videos.
    • Working on dynamics & articulation in Zoom
    • Scales & chords in Zoom
    • Teaching a very young student with the GoodNotes app for iPad and Zoom screen share
    • Working on noticing elements in the score with a young student, using the GoodNotes App
    • Preparing to practice: Score study


Learn How to Teach Online Piano Lessons

If you want to be the most forward-thinking piano teacher in town, if you would love to increase your client base, teaching hours, and income, and if you want to offer experiences to students around the world that will help them grow as musicians, then teaching piano lessons online might be just what you’ve been looking for!

Join me as I answer your questions about how to teach online piano lessons, help you gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to start teaching online piano lessons, and help you discover ways to expand your studio offerings, set your studio apart, and take your piano studio to the next level!

Start your online piano lessons journey by purchasing How to Teach Online Piano Lessons. You’ll receive a PDF download of the complete guide.

Learn how to teach online piano lessons



“For any teacher wanting to start teaching online lessons or for helpful suggestions for teachers already teaching with this technology, Melody Payne’s course is chock-full of practical suggestions. I highly recommend it!”
-Dr. Steve Betts, Dean for the College of Humanities, Southern Nazarene University

“The attention to detail and step by step guidance provided was presented in a way that was easily accessible for all who wish to jump into the internet pool and not sink!”
-Takenya Battle

“This course was such a blessing! Before watching it, my family just moved several hours away. I was hoping to keep some of my students, but very nervous about trying online lessons. Melody gave me the encouragement and confidence I needed. My lessons have been a huge success and I’m so grateful!”
-Tracy Selle

“Dr. Melody Payne’s online lesson course is a terrific course for teachers who are thinking about teaching online but have been hesitant to jump in. Melody calms any fears that teachers may be feeling and goes through tips and tricks even including ways to have fun with students online. It is the perfect environment to learn and gain confidence in your online teaching experience.”
-Jennifer Foxx, Music Educator Resources

Learn how to teach online piano lessons


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Melody Payne

Dr. Melody Payne is a pianist, teacher, and educational resource author who believes that all piano students deserve the best musical experiences possible, in every single lesson. Melody self-publishes pedagogical materials for piano students as well as piano teaching articles and professional development courses for piano teachers. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Music with emphases in music education and piano pedagogy and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through the Music Teachers National Association. Melody and her husband Greg live in Marion, Virginia, a small town nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, where she teaches children and adults of all ages and abilities in her online piano studio.


Hi! I’m Melody Payne, a pianist and piano teacher, educational resource author, a fun-loving wife to the most wonderful and talented hubby I could ask for, and a lifelong learner who loves to share. I want to make your life as a music teacher easier by writing and sharing helpful and relevant music teaching articles, and by creating educational resources with your very own students in mind. If you are a parent who wants to enroll your child in piano lessons, I’d love for us to get started building those skills that can give your child a lifetime of musical enjoyment!

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