Have you ever been to a piano recital/concert?

You see someone walking towards the piano and for the next 30 minutes or so, all eyes are on him or her.

The audience starts listening attentively and began to immerse themselves as the pieces reach the climax.

Then standing ovations and rounds of applause follow as the spotlight focuses on that one person- the concert pianist.

A concert pianist is undeniably one of the most "glamorous" career options if you plan to study piano professionally. After all, you get to perform for a big crowd and travel extensively.

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Who Are Some Inspiring Concert Pianists from Malaysia?

Here are 3 Malaysian uprising concert pianists who have made our country proud on the international piano scene.

Lee Jae Phang

Lee Jae received the Master of Music in Performance (MMus) with Distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK.

As a concert pianist, he has participated in many international competitions and music festivals. Among them is the Mid-Somerset Competitive Festival in 2009, the 13th EPTA (UK) Piano Competition, the 2016 RNCM New Music North West Festival and many more.

When he is not performing on stage, he is actively giving piano lessons in Petaling Jaya.

Hao Zi Yoh

Hao Zi has been performing extensively in Malaysia, Japan, China, the USA and even Europe. She was the gold medallist of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition and had the opportunity to perform at the Carnegie Weill Recital Hall. at the tender age of 12.

She then moved to Germany at 14 to study at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Germany and continued her Master's studies at the London Royal Academy of Music in 2017.

She also has performed in orchestras such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Nova Amadeus and Balearic Symphony. Currently, she also tutors piano privately at King's College London.

Tengku Irfan

Tengku Irfan started learning piano at the age of 7 and made his debut performance when he was 11 with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a talented composer that has won three ASCAP Morton Gould Awards and a Charlotte Bergen Award.

At present, he is a student at the Juilliard School as a double major in piano and composition under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Robert Bease.

play piano Malaysia
Tengku Irfan is an inspiration to many aspiring pianists in Malaysia.
Source:TengkuIrfan.com

Explore the in-depth experience of learning piano at a young age.

What Are The Advantages Of Pursuing A Career In Music/Piano In Malaysia?

From the above paragraph, you can see that there are amazing Malaysian talents who are active in both the local and international music scene.

Hence, it's important to note that there are also many opportunities for aspiring pianists and music artists to kickstart their careers in Malaysia.

Let's talk about the 3 main aspects of why it's a good choice to venture into a music-related career locally.

Get to explore diverse music genres and cultures

Do you know that the Malaysian Association for Music Education (Mame) previously published four books on Malay folk songs in 2018? The selected folk songs were specially arranged by renowned Belgian pianist and music lecturer Professor Gilbert De Greev to engage more Malaysian pianists to play them.

If you prefer to have a modern take, you can also listen to songs of famous local singers in Malaysia and interpret them through different playing styles. For instance, you can perform a medley combining songs from Siti Nurhaliza, Fish Leong and Reshmonu.

Increased demand for music teachers (offline and online scene)

Music education is now becoming a primary priority among educators and parents to produce a comprehensive and holistic learning experience.

This is especially true for international schools, where many students actually register for the Cambridge IGCSE Music subject.

There are also many pianists who set up their own piano tutoring businesses at their homes or via online learning platforms to reach out to a diverse group of students.

Versatile performing platforms are on the rise

Apart from working as a piano tutor, aspiring pianists can also have piano recitals and concert performances at various places such as:

  • The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
  • Dewan Philharmonik Petronas 
  • Istana Budaya 
  • Dominus Arts Venue and many more 

If you prefer to establish a close circle of fanbase and listeners, you can also record various videos of yourself performing different songs and pieces and upload them on your social media profiles or Youtube.

It's one of the most cost-effective ways to promote yourself effortlessly! You could even gain monetary rewards based on the number of subscribers and views on your channel.

learrn piano Malaysia
You can explore many playing styles as a Malaysian concert pianist.
Source: Photo by Do The Lan (Pexels)

Read this to have a better understanding of how much you can make as a pianist in Malaysia.

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Felicia luvena
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Jessandra
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Jessandra
RM120
/h
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1st lesson free!
Carissa.
5
5 (10 reviews)
Carissa.
RM100
/h
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1st lesson free!
Sam
5
5 (6 reviews)
Sam
RM120
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Zealen. Homemusic
5
5 (7 reviews)
Zealen. Homemusic
RM100
/h
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1st lesson free!
Pamelyn
5
5 (6 reviews)
Pamelyn
RM110
/h
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Jayden
5
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Jayden
RM40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Liza
5
5 (8 reviews)
Liza
RM124
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Felicia luvena
5
5 (12 reviews)
Felicia luvena
RM45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Jessandra
5
5 (6 reviews)
Jessandra
RM120
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Carissa.
5
5 (10 reviews)
Carissa.
RM100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sam
5
5 (6 reviews)
Sam
RM120
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Zealen. Homemusic
5
5 (7 reviews)
Zealen. Homemusic
RM100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Pamelyn
5
5 (6 reviews)
Pamelyn
RM110
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Jayden
5
5 (5 reviews)
Jayden
RM40
/h
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1st lesson free!
Liza
5
5 (8 reviews)
Liza
RM124
/h
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1st lesson free!
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Is A Degree in Music Really Necessary To Start Teaching Piano in Malaysia?

So, you have made up your mind to be a piano teacher, that's great! You might be wondering what qualification you should get to start teaching.

Should you start planning and saving to get a degree in music?

Well, the answer is both yes and no. Let's elaborate more. It boils down to two important factors.

  • Depending on your preferred teaching mode (full time/part-time)

Start by asking yourself these questions.

Do you intend to pursue music as a full-time career or are you solely doing it as a side hustle?

If you plan to become a full-time piano teacher, then you should prepare to take a music-related programme as soon as you complete your secondary education in Malaysia.

After finishing your SPM or IGCSE, it's best to take a Foundation in Music or a Diploma in Music before advancing to your degree studies later. Bear in mind that this also should come with your prior experiences of passing your Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM ) piano exams (the higher the grade, the better).

If you are interested to further your studies to a higher level, you can even take a Master in Music Studies or PhD programme and become a music lecturer in a university/college.

You don't need a degree in music to teach piano on a part-time basis. If you are doing home tutoring or online tutoring, you can just teach with your ABRSM piano certificate qualification.

  • Depending on the targeted age group and learning level of your students 

It's also worth taking some time to think about the teaching level that you plan to have for your piano lessons. Do you plan to teach pre-school kids some basic piano lessons or do you plan to teach up till Grade 8 or even older students at higher learning institutions?

Most education institutions (like schools and universities) require applicants for music teachers to possess at least a music-related degree with some performing experience. Once you have a goal, you can then make the necessary plans to achieve it.

Discover the best place to pursue your degree in piano studies in Malaysia.

Where Can You Teach Piano/Music For Schooling Students in Malaysia?

If you are passionate to teach young children, here are three places to begin your piano teaching career in Malaysia.

  • Government schools 

Students from Standards One to Standard Six (7 to 12 years old) will have at least two learning slots for music education (Pendidikan Muzik) in a week.

The music education under the Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR) syllabus encompasses learning modules such as Modul Pengalaman Muzik (Music Experience), Modul Penghasilan Muzik (Music Production), Modul Apresiasi Muzik (Music Appreciation)  and Modul Membaca dan Menulis Notasi Muzik  (Recognization and Writing of Music Notes).

piano classes students
Music lessons is prioritized in Malaysia's primary education.
Source: Xframe
  • International schools 

International schools in Malaysia adhere to the Cambridge IGCSE Music syllabus, where students will sit for the assessment either in June or November each year. Students will be tested on three components: listening, performing and composing.

While it is not a mandatory examination subject for students, students in international schools will still attend regular music lessons in their weekly schedule.

  • Music academies 

If you prefer a more flexible teaching schedule and a non 9 to 5 teaching environment, then you can consider teaching in a private music academy. Most music academies receive students of various ages and learning levels and normally have a pre-set teaching syllabus like ABRSM piano lessons.

Learn more about the route to becoming a professional pianist in the local scene.

How To Start Teaching Piano As A Student With Superprof?

Whether you're still a secondary school student or currently still pursuing your degree in music, you might want to try out part-time teaching to gain some teaching experience first and earn some additional income.

Let us introduce you to Superprof, where you can become a piano tutor with minimal teaching experience.

You can think of Superprof as a dynamic platform to build your portfolio and confidence as a pianist.

It's super easy to set up a tutoring profile at Superprof.

You only need to provide the basic information as follows:

  • Your current piano related qualification (Grade 8 /Diploma/Degree)
  • Your piano teaching experience (if any)
  • Your preferred teaching mode (online or face-to-face or both)
  • Your current location (which city in Malaysia)
  • Your teaching methodology and expertise (classical/contemporary/jazz)
  • Your teaching level (young kids, adults )
  • Your hourly rate
  • Your response time 

After you have completed your tutor profile, your information will then be verified by the Superprof team before it's approved to be published.

Students who visit Superprof to search for a piano tutor will then be able to access and browse your profile. They can also contact you directly to book their first lesson. From there, you can discuss with your potential student on the payment details, lesson duration and so on.

It's a pretty flexible and convenient way to meet new students in the comfort of your home, right?

As a good pianist, you can always experience the best of both worlds by performing and teaching.

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” -Arther O’Shaughnessy

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An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.