I am 23 years old and have been teaching piano/theory since I was about 17. Back then the students I had were all students I knew for a while, because my mom passed them on to me, but recently I’ve gotten a lot more students that I dont know, and I’m just wondering how I should dress. I used to just wear my “normal clothes” (jeans, sweats, etc.), but was wondering if I really should be wearing dress pants and dressy tops and what not?
This is a great question and I will definitely be interested to see input from other teachers, as I’m sure there are a wide variety of thoughts on this topic! Years ago, I remember someone telling me that one should dress to convey the importance of their message. This has always stuck with me and I make a point to dress professionally for every lesson. If I want to communicate that studying music should be taken seriously and if I want to establish respect for the music teaching profession, then it’s important for me to dress accordingly.
Plus, I notice that the way I dress affects not only the perception of others, but also my own attitude. If I didn’t’t take the time to dress up for the day, I would feel lazy and haphazard in my teaching. But when I dress professionally, I feel more organized, pulled together, and ready to approach lessons with verve!
Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!