My name is Robyn Pfeifer and I am a private piano teacher, I started teaching piano almost 15 years ago. Starting as a solo music teacher with a handful of students and growing into owning a music school with over 100 students and 12 co-teachers.
I have had a lifelong career of working with children, it’s a unique story so let me tell you how I wound up a piano teacher and owner of a large music school, because that is not how that was not the goal when I started.
I earned my black belt in Tae Kwon-Do at 12 years old and began teaching children and adults in the sport. That same year I became regular volunteer for a hospital daycare program and was an avid babysitter. I earned a degree in music education major in college always thought I would teach orchestra in the public schools.
Due to an accident I had to have hand surgery to reconnect a severed tendon in my left hand my junior year of college – my main playing hand for my instrument String Bass, I had a full music scholarship for Orchestra and lost the scholarship due to my hand injury. Disappointed and ready to give up her music career I moved to Portland in 1996 looking for a change in life. Even though I thought I would never teach and debated giving up music all together life kept steering me back to music.
I worked the retail sales job and then moved to working nights at Fedex. Working long hard hours in a blue collar job to pay my bills just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was unhappy working in a job that had no future. I began patching together part time jobs in music like most young people out of college do. I worked teaching group and private piano lessons at a small private school. While teaching piano I also worked at OHSU Hospital doing music therapy with children with disabilities for a few hours each week. That music therapy job led her to two other part time music therapy jobs working with teens in a rehab program and running an Alzheimer’s respite program for senior citizens. In addition to performing with local orchestras and solo performing in her spare time.
To achieve my goal of teaching for a living I had over four jobs to create a “full time” living. Even though I loved the diversity of different jobs it became difficult and time consuming for me to drive from job to job teaching. After a few years of gathering experience with teaching I decided to focus on being a private independent music teacher. When I announced I was taking new students parents kept clamoring to sign their children up for private piano lessons.
I was a little reluctant initially about advertising myself as a piano teacher, but my natural charisma as a music teacher spread from family to family. In short order I had a huge waitlist. I was getting request after request to teach and none of my students were quitting. Before I knew it I was teaching over 55 students each week in private lessons.
Even though music and private teaching found me, I made a personal decision to be the best teacher I could be and for me that meant finding out everything I could about teaching music. I studied with more advanced piano teachers, I volunteered my time with music teachers, I went to master classes, and I read every book I could find on the subject of teaching.
I went onto become a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) through the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), an active board member of the local MTA, and President for the local chapter of the Music Educators National Association (MENC) and owner and director of a large music school with over 12 teachers.
I absolutely love what I do, teaching music and feel privileged to have such a great job that I make a wonderful income and my success drives me to help other private music teachers make a living doing what they love teaching music. The goal of my website www.musicteachingsuccess.com is to be able to give back to the teaching community and to help others.
I always love to be able to connect with my readers – you can email me your questions and comments anytime at email@example.com to your success –