With 13 years of experience under her belt, Diamond Bar High School sophomore Belle Liu decided to profit off of her piano prowess by starting a music tutoring service.
Liu started learning piano when she was three years old, receiving lessons from her mother before working with a professional instructor.
Liu said she had been contemplating teaching for a few years before starting her business. She got her start last year, when she started by tutoring family friends for free.
“It [teaching] was just a fun thing to do. They were family friends and I taught them once every two weeks or maybe two times a month, it wasn’t really too serious,” she said via text.
Since then, Liu has acquired seven new students, most of whom she met through family and friends. She offers piano lessons for $40 an hour for children 3 to 14 years old.
Although a majority of her students are interested in learning piano, Liu said she also offers drum lessons; however she is only looking to teach beginners at the moment. She charges $30 an hour for those seven and up.
“I’ve played the drums since kindergarten, then joined band [and] played percussion for three years. I was also in drumline in high school for a year so overall I have pretty good fundamentals,” she said.
Liu developed diligence through playing piano, and says that she now applies this skill in her teaching. One way she helps her students grow as musicians is by analyzing her personal growth as a musician and sharing her findings with her students to ensure they avoid making similar mistakes.
“There are so many things I would’ve done [in the past] that would have made me so much better than I am now,” Liu said. “I feel like I have that information to share and I have experience so I know what to tell [my students] and [how to] teach them how I wish I was taught.”
One of the main reasons Liu said she feels qualified to teach, aside from her extensive history with piano, is her ability to connect and work well with others.
“I have a lot of patience, more than others, and I’m good with little kids,” she said. “I also think, in general, I’m a very outgoing and social person and that’s very important in a student-teacher relationship.”
So far, teaching has taught Liu to be more versatile and adjust to ensure that each of her students is comfortable and learning efficiently.
“Not everyone learns the same,” Liu said. “Everyone has flaws and weaknesses and you need to adjust to them and you need to adjust to their style and adjust to their attitude and personality.”
Due to her current schedule, she has not begun teaching all of her students regularly. She plans to organize her time during the summer and continue teaching throughout her high school career.