Teaching Music: Is it the Right Career for You?

This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry. Visit to read about how to improve your people skills and e-mail outreach on the job. I am a piano teacher and also the owner of Kane Piano Studio. I have more than 30 years of experience in this field. My clientele consists of more than 40 students, and I employ two other teachers who also teach students for me. Each of my students receives a private lesson of 30 minutes each week. Most of my students participate in a New York State test of their ability, and we hold an annual recital every June. A common misunderstanding in my field is that it is easy, and that you only have to know how to play the piano in order to know how to ‘teach’ piano. I would rate my overall job satisfaction at about a 6. The students of today are involved in far too many extra-curricular activities. As a result, they cannot possibly dedicate a regular amount of time daily (at least 30 minutes) to practice and to achieve satisfactory results. To improve job satisfaction I would want to drop those students who do not practice regularly due to lack of interest or because they are overextended with activities. Sometimes, I feel like I have found my calling when a student shows sincere appreciation once they have successfully learned how to play a particular piece or have performed well. I then know I have done my job well. I started teaching music privately after college. I subbed during the day and taught at a music studio after school hours. The money was better so I decided to teach privately and not in a public school setting. That was a mistake. I went for the better money right away instead of looking down the road for my later years. Now I have no retirement, no pension. I would probably have been retired by now and teaching privately had I taught classroom music instead. One thing I have learned the hard way outside of the classroom is that the saying, "It is not always 'what' you know, but 'who' you know," is true of just about any profession in terms of getting into and succeeding in a certain area. Nothing actually strange has happened during my career, but little kids will often say whatever is on their mind – they do not filter things out. I am sure some parents would be appalled by what their children have shared with me over the years. I get up and go to work each day because I am not the kind of person who can remain idle for too long, and because I have a family to support and bills to pay. But on the other side of the coin, I do enjoy what I do and look forward to what each new day brings. The biggest challenge I am confronted with on a regular basis is getting the students to commit to practicing each day. It can be very frustrating to have to say the same thing over and over, week after week, and see no improvement. There is definitely stress involved in my job. Trying to keep the parents happy even when their children are not doing their jobs can become extremely stressful. The parents simply do not want to hear it. For some reason, a child’s lack of success is usually blamed on the teacher and not the child’s lack of commitment and dedication. I make $30 per 30-minute session, which is the going rate for a degreed instructor in my geographic location. I am fortunate to make such good money, but I do have a bachelor's and master’s degree in this field, a great deal of experience, and I have been told on numerous occasions that I am a good teacher. To get into this industry and succeed, one needs a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in music education. My advice to a friend who was looking to get into this field would be to start your career in the classroom and then have a private clientele on the side. As I mentioned, I made the mistake of doing it in the opposite direction. I should be enjoying my retirement years at this point in my life. If I had started in the school system as a music teacher I would be able to retire comfortably today and not have to worry about whether I have a large enough clientele to meet my overhead expenses. If I could write my own ticket I would love to be teaching ONLY those students who want to learn and are willing to practice. I have no plans of retiring… ever! Career teaching music image from Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less