How to protect your wellbeing as a pianist or piano teacher


By Ellie Palmer

12 November 2020

One thing that can get us through these tricky times is having a clear head, and making the most of the situation we are in. Here are some tips on how to do just that...

I’m sure we can all agree that describing 2020 as a nightmare is an understatement to say the least.

When the pandemic first hit earlier this year, it threw the music industry into disarray, causing the closure of venues, studios, and schools.

A few months on, the UK is back in a second lockdown and many other countries around the globe are still suffering the worst effects of the closures.

We may have asked ourselves: how can I keep going as a pianist and/or piano teacher in times like this? These kinds of thoughts can overcome us with anxiety, fear and stress about our careers and hobbies in the music industry.

But one thing that can get us through these tricky times is having a clear head, and making the most of the situation we are in.

Here are some tips on how to do just that…

 

 

1. Invest in yourself

 

No matter how much money you invest in your ‘teaching from home’ set-up, or promoting your new solo release online, there is absolutely nothing more important than investing in yourself.

Giving advice on investing in yourself isn’t simple; it can take shape in a number of ways depending on what kind of person you are. It quite simply means to put yourself first as much as you can. Here are a couple of active things you can do to begin the journey of investing in yourself

 

a) Drain your brain

This is a way of emptying your mind of all the clutter and jumble from the day before. When you wake up in the morning, take 10, maybe even just 5, minutes, to write down everything on your mind – the good the bad, AND the ugly.

 

b) Be intentional

Also known as ‘faking it until you make it’! If you want to be a professional pianist, say that you are one. If you want to teach piano at a top university, put yourself in that mindset of actually being there. It’s tricky at first; it’ll feel out of your comfort zone. But over time it will be like second nature to you.

 

 

2. Take a win as a win

 

We have to learn to celebrate the small wins in life we are to get through the current struggles.

Even if it is as small as finishing your day of teaching without any issues, or finally cracking a small but difficult section of a piece you are learning, hype yourself up!

A win is a win. The more wins you celebrate, the better.

 

 

3. Start your morning the night before

 

We love this piece of advice because it’s so direct and easy to follow. Starting your morning the night before is simply about planning for tomorrow in advance. Here’s a to-do list template to utilise:

✔ Pick out your clothes for the next day and set them aside

✔ Tidy your workspace ready for the new day

✔ Write a list of the first four jobs you need to tackle

You’ve already saved yourself a lot of time and hassle by doing this.

 

 

 

4. Turn your job back into your hobby

 

If you happen to play or teach piano for a living, then congratulations; you managed to turn your hobby into your career!

That’s something we all dream of doing one day.

As great as it is, it can take away that level of freedom and fun we used to find in playing before it became our jobs. It’s important we don’t lose that.

If you have a day off coming up, or even an afternoon, turn your job back into your hobby for that time. Forget about deadlines or repertoire you have to work on. Pick out some pieces you used to play as a kid, or maybe try and write a short piece of your own. 

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Composing Your Own Piano Piece if you are looking for some professional advice. Play around with it without any limits or constraints. Why not enter your piece into our 2021 Composing Competition for the chance to win a Kawai piano?

 

 

5. Investing in those around you contributes to the investment in yourself

 

We humans thrive on connection, even if we don’t realise it. (Introverts, I’m talking to you!)

It’s been easy to fall into the habit of lessening our interaction with others during this pandemic, especially in more recent weeks as the restrictions have begun to bear their long-term effects.

Keeping in touch – virtually and physically, if possible, – can contribute a whole lot to our own wellbeing. Investing in another person automatically aids the investment in yourself.

Really make an effort to support them on their journey. You may learn something along the way.

 

While this isn’t the full of extent of ways in which we can protect our wellbeing during current times, it is a solid start.

Please do remind yourself of the importance of yourself. We need all you pianists and teachers back stronger than ever once this is all over!