Is Being A Piano Teacher In Singapore A Viable Option?

In the expensive city of Singapore, everyone is working hard and smart to achieve financial success, so that they can provide for themselves, and their families. In this case, is being a piano teacher a viable option? Is it sensible and responsible to become a piano teacher instead of something more mainstream such as becoming an accountant or engineer? You will be surprised to know that many private piano teachers in Singapore make much more money than these typical mainstream types of career people.

First of all, when it comes to deciding a career path, there are three key elements you want to consider for the long term. The first will be starting income, the second will be growth, and the third will be freedom in no particular order.

When you become a private piano teacher in Singapore, you are essentially self employed. This means that income starts from zero. Even if you were to compare this to a toilet cleaner who gets around $1000 a month before CPF, you will lose. However, as you can already guess, there are way more things to consider than starting pay.

The second will be growth. If you were to compare to a typical, average engineer or accountant who graduated from either a local Polytechnic or University, they typically increase their income by approximately 5 to 10% a year for estimated 5 years, after which, they will hit a glass ceiling and they must become the next tier to see any further increase – e.g. become a manager. Most typical locals only become managers at the age of 32 to 35. They will then see tiny increases in income for 3-7 years, then they will hit another glass ceiling. Most people never exceed beyond here except perhaps less than 0.1% of the entire population. This means that most Polytechnic and University graduates start at around $2000 to $3500 for their first job, and see an increase up till $4000 to $5500 after around 5 years, and then see and increase up till around $7000 to $8000 as a manger and stagnate there forever. Keep in mind, this is not the only consideration, let us now look at freedom.

The third criteria you should always consider is freedom. As an employee or manager, you will always be working 5 or 6 days a week, and overtime is usually not decided by you but by a boss. Usually this means working around 8 to 12 hours a day, depending on your job. To go on holidays with your family, you will need to apply leave, which you may get around 7 to 14 days a year. If you are sick or late for work, your boss will fire you if he doesn’t quite like you. Office politics also make a lot of Singaporeans fall sick yearly due to unnecessary stress on top of already existing workplace conditions.

Now, so how does all these compare to taking up a career as a private piano teacher in Singapore?

Starting income wise, you will be starting lower than expected. When it comes to growth, it is really dependent on you. If you work hard, willing to work and teach well, actively seek out students instead of relying on students coming to you, or perhaps even join a private piano teacher-student agency such as SG LEARN PIANO, you will be able to grow at 100% per year! You could start at $1500 per month by the end of 6 to 12 months, but then suddenly grow up to $3000 per month, then $6000 and beyond in a very short period of time. This is the exponential effect that only a self employed person can experience, that no employees will be able to match by far. Also, when it comes to freedom, you are free to fire clients. If there is a problematic student, just politely decline them and stop working with them. You will still have more or less the same income. In fact, you will have more income because you can then put the time into getting and teaching a better piano student in Singapore. This is definitely not the case when you have a job. When you have a job, if you fire your boss or your boss fires you, your salary drops to $0 income immediately.

How Much Do Private Piano Teachers Make In Singapore?

Here is a quick summary of how much you can expect to be making as a private piano teacher in Singapore.

First of all, let us talk about the fees that you can be expecting to charge. This is based on an ABRSM grade 8 qualified teacher. If you are a Diploma teacher, you may be able to charge $10 to $30 more per month and still get students. Grade 1 students to Grade 4 students generally get 45 minutes per lesson and once per week. Grade 5 and above students generally get 1 hour per lesson and once per week. The charges start from around $130 for Grade 1 up till around $310 for grade 8. This means that an average student will be able to nett you around $220 per month. 10 students will mean that you will be making $2200 per month, and so on.

Second of all, it really depends if you are doing this part time or full time. When you are a full timer, you will definitely be able to make more than a person working part time. This is definitely the case because you can have students and carry out those lessons in the day time, rather than only on week nights or weekends. As each student will take up approximately 1 hour, and travelling time from one place to another within the similar vicinity in Singapore is around 30 minutes, you will need to portion around 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours for each student. If you work part time, you can generally only have 2 students per weeknight, and around 5-7 on each day of the weekend. If you work full time, you can have around 5-7 students every day. This means that you can have approximately 22 students if you work part time if you take 2 students per weeknight and 6 students per weekend day. This means approximately $4840 per month. If you work full time, you can take around 6 students every day, which translates to 35 students per week. This is equivalent to an estimated $7700 per month!

Third of all, even if you were to work part time or full time, it also depends how much free time you want to have. To be realistic, the above is best case scenario, if you were to work every day. If you want to get that many students, then it is definitely important to be a great teacher, keep asking for referrals, and ideally partner up with a Singapore piano teacher agency so you can find students through them as well as an additional source of students. One of the best and upcoming agencies SG Learn Piano has some part time piano teacher jobs vacancies for you to get.

Piano ABRSM Sight Reading Exam Tips For Singaporean Students

Sight reading is one of the toughest parts of the piano ABRSM examinations, especially for local Singaporean students. This is because many Singaporean students are ‘perfectionists’. This causes many local, Singaporean students to hesitate, worry, or repeat over and over again when it comes to piano sight reading. However, that is exactly what will cause students to fail the sight reading examination!

That’s right. Throw out every ‘perfectionist’ nonsense that the Singapore schools are teaching you if you want to actually be a piano master at sight reading. Although you should try to hit the right notes, the main thing you should be a perfectionist about when it comes to piano sight reading is the rhythm and flow of the entire piece. (If you have stumbled upon the wrong post and actually just want a good private home piano teacher in Singapore, then contact instead.) Otherwise, read on.

First and foremost, always keep going. This is so important when it comes to sight reading. This is literally the golden rule. Stopping and restarting whenever you hit a wrong note is a terrible mistake, and especially common among local students in Singapore. Make sure to keep going forward, and if you find this difficult, read tip number two below.

Second of all, you must always read slightly ahead of whatever you are playing right now. This is so that you are always prepared for the next few notes that you will need to play. Otherwise, you will start panicking at the last minute if you do not look slightly ahead in terms of the piano score.

Third of all, be fast when it comes to reading the notes. In fact, although it is ideal to always hit the right notes, it is not recommended at all to mess up the entire rhythm of the sight reading piano piece just to get one or two notes perfect. The overall rhythm and flow of the piano playing is far more important if you want to score well in the sight reading segment of the Singapore ABRSM piano examinations. Do not take long when it comes to reading and analyzing the notes. Just play it, and if it’s slightly wrong, keep on going forward. Awkward, unnecessary pauses will mess up the rhythm of the entire sight reading piano piece, and will deduct more marks off your paper than playing the wrong notes ever will.

If you want more tips, then make sure to check out the video I have embedded as follows.

Hidden Fees In Piano Lessons – BEWARE!

If this is the first time you are taking piano lessons in Singapore, or the first time you are enrolling your child for private piano lessons, here are some ‘hidden’ costs (or rather, unexpected costs) you may not already know.

First of all,  the following costs are not hidden, they are just usually not known to first time learners of music. While not expensive, there are still costs. For example, your piano lessons will require you to purchase music books. Your teacher will pay in advance for you or your child, but you will then need to reimburse the teacher for the respective books in which you want to use to learn piano. These books usually cost between $15 to $30, and are necessary if you want to take music lessons. Even if you do not wish to buy additional books, you still need to pay for the minimum – which is the ABRSM related books if you want to pass the ABRSM practical examinations.

Exams cost money. This is referring to the ABRSM graded examinations. Both the theory and practical lessons cost money, and it costs around $150 for the lower grades and up till $500 for the higher grades. This is a cost that cannot be avoided whether you go to private piano lessons or schools, as long as you want to get accredited by ABRSM. This is because these costs are charged by the international music body ABRSM.

Last but not least, you are strongly recommended to rent the music studio rooms for practice sessions in preparation for the ABRSM graded practical examinations. Every piano student is strongly recommended to book at least 2 to 3 lessons there if you want to score better in the examinations. This is because every piano feels slightly different, and the examination piano keys are usually more polished and waxed, making it feel slightly slippery compared to your home piano, and you may not feel comfortable with it if you do not practise on it beforehand. Once again, this cost will only happen if you want to be graded officially under the ABRSM music framework. If you are just taking casual piano lessons in Singapore, then this won’t be affecting you at all.

If you want to learn from a private piano teacher in Singapore, then make sure to check out

Getting A Piano Teacher Job In Singapore – Worth It Or Not?

If you have always wanted to become a private piano teacher and provide music lessons to students in Singapore, then read on to find out whether this career choice is worth it or not!

First of all, whether a job is worth it or not is usually based on two things – do you like the ups and can you accept the downs of the job, and how much money do you actually think is enough.

First of all, here are some advantages you gain in your career when you become a private piano teacher in Singapore. You will be able to set your own schedule. Do you dislike working at 5pm on a Friday afternoon? Done. You don’t have to take a student at that timing. Do you love working at 10am on Sunday mornings? Done. You can work during that timing as long as you can find a willing student. You will also be able to set your own rates. Of course, this is still within limits as if you set it too low, you are undercutting yourself, and if you charge way too high, you will find it slightly tougher to get enough students to sustain a reasonable living. You will also be able to select where you want to take your jobs from. Do you stay in Jurong? Then perhaps you want to only teach private piano students in the west part of Singapore so that you can teach more students due to a shorter traveling time. If you prefer working with kids, you can work with kids music lessons. If you like working with adults, you can specialize in teaching adult music students only! You essentially get freedom when you become a freelance private piano teacher in Singapore even if you work under an agency.

Second of all, here are some disadvantages of the job. If you are not capable of getting students by yourself, or refuse to join an agency, then chances are, you will struggle. You are self employed as a piano teacher in Singapore, and no one is going to guarantee your salary at the end of the month unlike that of a fixed pay job. Also, it is your duty to collect the money, teach and provide good customer service to your piano students so that you can keep the students long and keep getting referrals from the agency as they only want to recommend music students to actually good teachers with great reviews.

Third of all, whether becoming a private piano teacher in Singapore is worth it or not is also dependent on how much income you think is reasonable. If you want to buy 10 Lamborghinis, it’s probably the wrong choice to become a piano teacher. However, if making a comfortable $5000 to $6000 a month is good enough for you, then you should definitely become one! You get that kind of nice income while still having a lifestyle freedom due to being self employed!

After reading this article, if you feel like being a piano teacher is your ideal decision, then contact one of Singapore’s best private piano agencies,, for piano lesson gigs in Singapore.

Piano Lesson Finances In Singapore – What You Must Know

Before you enroll yourself or your child for piano lessons in Singapore, is important that you understand the finances of it. Don’t wing it. Learning to play the piano is a hefty financial decision and you should be 100% comfortable throwing yourself into the music industry. Let us not just get our hearts too excited – everything is a financial decision. So let us make sure that your finances are properly in order and taking piano lessons won’t affect you at all. This way, you will be able to enjoy learning the piano lessons when you take them instead of constantly complaining about rising costs.

First and foremost, if you want to be a serious student of the piano, buy a piano. There is no exception to the rule. If you do not have a piano in your house to practise on daily, you will never become a great pianist. There is no exception to the rule. Period. Getting a first hand or second hand upright piano is enough. You do not need to spend over $15,000 trying to get the best grand piano when you have not even started learning the piano. Most first hand upright pianos goes for around $8,000 to $12,000 in Singapore. A lot of piano shops also allow a 12 or 24 month interest free loan – make use of it! A second hand one in Singapore will go for approximately $4,000 to $8,000. If you are wanting to save some money for renovation or for your child’s other expenses, then go for a second hand upright piano. That is good enough.

Second of all, whether you decide to enroll yourself or your child into school or private piano lessons, these lessons cost money per session. Starting from around $140 per month for Grade 1 students and up till $350 for Grade 8 students, this is the general range of lesson fees that you can expect to pay to take music lessons in Singapore from a private piano teacher. Add an extra $50 to $100 per month if the student is learning from public music schools.

Third of all, you will need to tune the piano approximately once to twice a year. This will cost around $70 to $90 each time. Although not a must, it is highly recommended if you want to keep the piano in good condition.

Next of all, if your or your child goes to the private piano teacher’s studio in Singapore or go to a public music school at a local shopping mall, then you will need to factor in travelling costs as well.

Finally, one of the most important and somewhat significant financial costs when it comes to learning the piano that many first time students did not expect is the exam application fees. You will need to pay money to register for each and every single ABRSM graded examinations to get certified. This is the case for both theory and practical exams. This can cost around $100 to $200 each time, depending whether ABRSM changes the price over the future years.

So there you go, make sure to understand these finances before jumping through loops to take piano lessons. The stupidest thing you can do is to make a financially unwise decision and then end up with no money and unable to continue learning the piano.


What Is The Best Age To Start Learning The Piano In Singapore?

If you always wanted to learn the piano in Singapore, but was not sure when you should learn it, here are the answers to your question.

There are actually two ages in which it is best for you to learn, and it is not every age, contrary to what people think.

The first age(s) which is best for you to learn piano is when you have no financial obligations nor responsibility to anyone or any entity (e.g. company, bank or government). This is general your school years when you are in primary school up till Junior College / Polytechnic levels. Most people in Singapore have their parents supporting them financially when they are still in their primary or secondary school years in particular. This means that you would not need to be bothered about an additional consideration when wanting to learn the piano – financial obligations. Therefore, you have fewer things to focus on. Therefore, if you are still in your primary and secondary school years, show your parent this article and let them know if you want to learn the piano in Singapore.

The second age(s) which is best for you to learn piano is when you are already financially free or at least stable. The reason I keep linking learning the piano to finances is because a piano is expensive, and weekly piano lessons cost money. When added up, they are not cheap. You can read more about investment costs in learning the piano in Singapore here. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are in a right position before taking piano lessons in Singapore, otherwise you have much more to stress and focus on other than your piano lessons!