🎹 Essential Piano Studio Set-Up Guide

Essential Piano Studio Set-Up Guide
I started teaching by traveling to homes or schools. More recently, I have been able to put together a small studio in my three-flat with a home studio and virtual option. 

This is a list of essentials to set up your piano studio. I created three lists: Traveling Piano Teacher, Home-Based Piano Teacher, and Virtual/Hybrid Piano Teacher

I sincerely hope this post helps you if you are just starting out on your piano teaching journey.

Traveling Piano Teacher

If you teach at a school, church, or at students' homes, this is the list of items you will need to own or have available for your use:
  1. Reliable transportation 
    • Public transit or a car
  2. Access to a piano or digital piano 
    • Piano must be tuned and in good working order. It must also have a bench and music stand. A digital piano should not be on a table; an X-stand or furniture stand is necessary. It must have a sustain pedal. 
  3. Private space with a waiting area 
    • Especially if you are using a multi-purpose space, you will need to assert that you and your students need quiet and no interruptions. 
  4. Backpack 
    • Durable and comfortable. Space to keep books from bending.
  5. Onsite Storage (permanent classroom)
    • Plastic box 
    • File box
  6. Method Series 
    • Create a system for knowing which books to take to avoid overstuffing your backpack. 
  7. Repertoire Books 
    • Avoid heavy materials and consider making scans of material that both you and your student own. 
  8. Flashcards 
    • Use an old stationery box to prevent bending. 
  9. Stickers 
    • Organize in a 4"x6" photo album. 
  10. Metronome
    • If you are using an acoustic piano, make sure you have a metronome with you. 
  11. Storage at home
    • There's nothing worse than not having a place for your materials to be safely stored. Whether it's a bookcase or storage boxes, make sure that your paper materials will not get bent. Corral loose items and manipulatives into small boxes. I save boxes from mugs that have been gifted to me.
  12. Curriculum 
  13. Prizes
  14. iPad or comparable tablet
    • Optional, but this is helpful for music apps such as Note Rush, Piano Maestro, Rhythm Cat, Treble Cat, or Bass Cat. It is also useful for emailing lesson notes. 

Home-based Piano Teacher

  1. Piano or digital keyboard and bench
  2. Bookcase
    • Hold all of your books and materials in a bookcase, preferably one with cabinet doors at the bottom to hide most of your materials and scores. Keep the shelves organized by decluttering and organizing often. Don't forget to dust!
  3. Method Series 
    • I have my go to method, Piano Adventures, but I also have methods from Alfred, Bastien, Music Tree and others on hand just in case a student needs supplemental repertoire to reinforce a concept or they have a different learning style. 
  4. Metronome
  5. Repertoire Books 
    • Have a wide variety of music ranging from easy to difficult.
  6. Textbooks 
    • Important for referencing information about music without "Googling it".  
  7. Carpeted Space or Area Rug 
    • This provides a comfortable area to play games. 
  8. Rhythm and Movement Accessories 
    • I purchased nylon scarves from Amazon to help with listening activities. 
  9. Stuffed Animals
    • I will often communicate with antsy preschool aged students by use a stuffed animal as a puppet. 
  10. Curriculum 
  11. Prizes

Virtual/Hybrid Piano Teacher

All of the Home-based piano teacher materials and: 
  1. Tripod 
  2. Camera
    • I use the camera on my phone 
  3. Skype 
    • Skype had the best sound quality when paired with an external microphone when comparing it to other available conferencing software. This platform is free. There are companies that offer subscriptions to low-latency conferencing software specifically for music lessons.


My Gear

  • Yamaha P-255 
  • Adjustable Piano Bench from Amazon
  • Manhasset Music Stand
  • Sauder Bookcase
  • Filing Box
  • Ikea Step Stool
  • MacBook Air
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPhone SE (2nd Generation)
  • Tripod
Thank you for reading my Essential Piano Studio Set-Up Guide. I plan to update the links as I create more blog posts detailing items from these lists. Please let me know in the comments if this post helped you and if there are any items you would like me to expand on in a future post. 

Blessings on your piano teaching journey!

-Jenny

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