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Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
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#1765074 - 10/05/11 10:01 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: M. Phillip R.]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649

"Each indecision brings its own delays and days are lost lamenting over lost days...What you can do or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has magic, power, and genius in it."--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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#1765114 - 10/05/11 11:16 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: M. Phillip R.]
Luke in ChiTown Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 96
Loc: Chicago, Illinois, USA
For what its worth, the Royal Conservatory of Music does offer a teacher's diploma which could be obtained through self-study if university coursework is not feasible for one reason or another. The program is VERY thorough, and the performance requirements are quite demanding as well. I would have no qualms whatsoever in recognizing this diploma as indication that a teacher is very serious about their profession and has a sound basis in the repertoire, theory, and musicianship skills required to be an professional teacher.

I'm not saying, of course, that this WILL make you a good teacher. There are so many intangibles that cannot be taught in a classroom or learned from a book. Attending conferences, observing fellow teachers, seeking out more experienced teachers for advice are an important part of teacher development- a part which never ceases.

But, I do believe that without a firm grounding in theory, musicianship, and repertoire, there are limitations that will come up that will hinder your ability to serve your students 100%. Once you head down this road, you will realize how much there is to learn.

Many of us on this board have spent years of our lives devoted to our students and becoming the best teachers we possibly can. We have all witnessed the damage that can be done by the teacher who has little experience or training, or the desire to obtain any (ESPECIALLY with beginning students). It is understandable that many of us would be weary in regards to the original post.

However, I can only offer encouragement. If you are serious about this, bone up on the fundamentals of music and do as much observing of good teachers as you possibly can.

Information on the Teacher's Diploma can be found on the website for the RCM/Achievement Program:
http://www.theachievementprogram.org/

The syllabus for the Teacher's Diploma can be found starting on page 104 of the Piano Syllabus, which can be downloaded as a PDF here:
http://www.theachievementprogram.org/sites/default/files/files/PianoSyllabus_online.pdf

Best of luck!
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#1765322 - 10/05/11 05:17 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: AZNpiano]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I never took one class in piano pedagogy, but I turned out fine. You just have to be willing to learn and teach yourself.

I am laughing SO hard!

How DARE you teach without having studied piano pedagogy?

You should take at least one course. wink

(I'm assuming everyone here knows that I am joking...)

Seriously, I took exactly one course in piano pedagogy for the simple reason that it was required in order to get my performance degree. And I got a C. The teacher was a big fan of Robert Pace, and I thought his method was horrible.

On topic: although I have had to do "damage control" with transfer students as a result of teaching that is inexpressively horrible, I have to keep in mind that each year I want to slap myself because of something I did the year before - because there was something I didn't know last year.


Edited by Gary D. (10/05/11 05:25 PM)
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#1765326 - 10/05/11 05:21 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: M. Phillip R.]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7406
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
When I read the title of this thread, "How do I become an amateur piano teacher?" I was so put off that I didn't read any of it for some time. Like today. Why would anyone ever aspire to be an amateur, assuming that they mean by that, non-professional, little or no competence, etc.

As it happens, there are many fine pianists who are teaching on the side. There are also plenty of less than adequate pianists who are teaching on the side, for pin money, etc. They are amateur teachers. Most don't take their teaching seriously, they don't study the various skills necessary to help transfer information, they don't study progression and how to help the student build on knowledge already gained.

If you love teaching and you love playing the piano, and finally, if you can tolerate the business aspects of running a studio, they you have the makings of a real pro. OP, I hope that is really what you are striving for! And if so, I wish you the best of success.
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#1765346 - 10/05/11 05:55 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: M. Phillip R.]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I think we need to get past this word 'amateur'. it was not meant in the way it has been interpreted.

I took it like 'amateur boxer'.

Don't want to get on the wrong side of one of those!
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#1765359 - 10/05/11 06:20 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I think we need to get past this word 'amateur'. it was not meant in the way it has been interpreted.

I agree. thumb
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#1765436 - 10/05/11 09:03 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I think we need to get past this word 'amateur'. it was not meant in the way it has been interpreted....

Yes -- but it was important not to get past it till it was dealt with. smile

Including because our guy learned to never put it that way again. grin
It will serve him well.
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#1765507 - 10/05/11 10:44 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: Mark_C]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12135
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I think we need to get past this word 'amateur'. it was not meant in the way it has been interpreted....

Yes -- but it was important not to get past it till it was dealt with. smile

Including because our guy learned to never put it that way again. grin
It will serve him well.


I guess it's because when you're a "pro", being called an "amateur" is the worst insult. smile
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#1765541 - 10/05/11 11:24 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: M. Phillip R.]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
Isn't it worse when people present themselves as pro, it means they get to ask for the same perks, but then they act amateurishly?

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#1765600 - 10/06/11 02:24 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: keystring]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: keystring
Isn't it worse when people present themselves as pro, it means they get to ask for the same perks, but then they act amateurishly?

Hard to say which is worse.
Case-by-case basis, I guess.
Let someone like that come here and do that, and then we'll see how it compares. grin
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#1765605 - 10/06/11 02:47 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: Mark_C]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I think we need to get past this word 'amateur'. it was not meant in the way it has been interpreted....

Yes -- but it was important not to get past it till it was dealt with. smile

Including because our guy learned to never put it that way again. grin
It will serve him well.


What fluff. "Our guy" was easy to understand from his first post. "It will serve him well" ... what fluff !

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#1765609 - 10/06/11 03:09 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: landorrano]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: landorrano

What fluff. "Our guy" was easy to understand from his first post. "It will serve him well" ... what fluff !

I think I agree with you here. I see such incredible incompetence daily. My wife is not a musician, but music teachers come to HER to ask her what they should use to teach their beginner students.

I see people who know nothing, charging money, and they do tremendous damage. I wish the OP best of luck. He may may end up being a really fine teacher. I think we should give him more support and less flack. wink
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#1765620 - 10/06/11 03:55 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: Morodiene]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


I guess it's because when you're a "pro", being called an "amateur" is the worst insult. smile


It is, and it has been taken so. But no one ever said, 'you're an amateur!'.

The original intent, from what I understand, was to respect the fact that there are professionals out there, and understand that a person starting from scratch is not a 'professional.'

Anyone taking this as a personal insult needs to ask themselves why they feel so defensive.

To the OP: have you had a sufficient discussion of your original question?
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#1765655 - 10/06/11 05:54 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: ten left thumbs]
M. Phillip R. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/11
Posts: 10
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
[quote=Morodiene]


To the OP: have you had a sufficient discussion of your original question?



Yep, I sure have. I've still been lurking around to read the banter. This is a great community. I plan to lurk much in the future.


:lurks:

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#1765749 - 10/06/11 10:27 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12135
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


I guess it's because when you're a "pro", being called an "amateur" is the worst insult. smile


It is, and it has been taken so. But no one ever said, 'you're an amateur!'.

The original intent, from what I understand, was to respect the fact that there are professionals out there, and understand that a person starting from scratch is not a 'professional.'

Anyone taking this as a personal insult needs to ask themselves why they feel so defensive.

To the OP: have you had a sufficient discussion of your original question?


I didn't say I was offended or anyone was, but I was pointing out that the word "amateur" has negative connotations in the professional community. Therefore, am "amateur teacher" is taken with a lot of baggage just because of that word.

I have been encouraging of the OP and simply pointed out to him not to use that terminology with regards to himself because of the connotations that were obviously unintentional on his part.
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#1765758 - 10/06/11 10:48 AM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: M. Phillip R.]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Yes, Morodiene, I understand that and I was agreeing with you. smile
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#1765845 - 10/06/11 01:16 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: landorrano]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: landorrano
What fluff....

You sure you didn't say that just because it was me who has said the other thing? grin

Anyway....do you want to say you don't think it would have been a problem for him to have kept thinking of it and expressing it as he had put it? (I don't mean just here, I mean out there.)

You make it appear that you don't think that would have been a problem for him.
If so, you are wrong. grin

If not, then you were wrong about my post.

Thank you very much. ha


GaryD: I'm not sure you knew fully what you were agreeing with. smile
Maybe take another look.
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#1765888 - 10/06/11 02:52 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: Mark_C]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

GaryD: I'm not sure you knew fully what you were agreeing with. smile
Maybe take another look.

Mark,

I looked late at night and made a quick comment. It was careless and not thought out. I think I was more thinking out loud than directly responding to any one person. The OP seemed like a passionate person and might become a far better teacher than many I have seen.

But as always we don't really know anything important, and it's so easy to jump to conclusions.

Since everyone has to start teaching at some point, it's really a hard call to attempt to define exactly when the right time is. It is inevitable that *all* of us will make serious blunders in the beginning, no matter how much preparation we have, so I'm frankly not entirely sure how I feel about this whole topic.

On one one hand I shudder when I think of what I was like as a beginning teacher.

On the other hand, I believe I needed every experience I went through to have reached where I am right now. (Other people may not respect where I am right now, for all I know...)

If I sound like I am on the fence, I am. I know there are horrendous teachers out there, and I fear most of them are already as good as they will ever be. Perhaps that is what disturbs *me* the most. But those horrible teachers don't come places like here, asking questions and making a big effort to find their weaknesses and become better.

Or at least it appears so to me... smile


Edited by Gary D. (10/06/11 02:54 PM)
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#1766098 - 10/06/11 08:33 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: Gary D.]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
The prime issue wasn't what you talked about, but his use of the word "amateur," regarding both how it sounds (to a lot of people, although obviously not to everyone, as we're seeing here) and his conceptualization of what he's doing.

That was the only thing that I meant in my post that Landorrano replied to, and (presumably, if he understood my post correctly) what he was talking about (and which he was wrong about) grin and which you thought you were agreeing with.

Thanks for your clarifying post.
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#1766103 - 10/06/11 08:41 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: Mark_C]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12135
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
The prime issue wasn't what you talked about, but his use of the word "amateur," regarding both how it sounds (to a lot of people, although obviously not to everyone, as we're seeing here) and his conceptualization of what he's doing.

That was the only thing that I meant in my post that Landorrano replied to, and (presumably, if he understood my post correctly) what he was talking about (and which he was wrong about) grin and which you thought you were agreeing with.

Thanks for your clarifying post.

Hahah, clear as mud! laugh
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#1766106 - 10/06/11 08:49 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: Morodiene]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Hahah, clear as mud! laugh

ha

I appreciated just that he said he hadn't necessarily known exactly what he was agreeing with. smile
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#1766108 - 10/06/11 08:50 PM Re: How do I become an amateur piano teacher? [Re: M. Phillip R.]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Oh, what the heck. I might as well spill the beans while we're at it. There is a divide between the educational people and the performance people. While it needn't be true, sometimes it is. To me, performance is the basis, then pedagogy. Now, I have dedicated my life to good teaching, and I believe I have been successful in that endeavor, but, nonetheless, I stress performance.

In regard to the comment that all novice teachers use method books, I beg to differ. It may be wise to start beginners in a good method book, particularly if they are very young. But my students did quite well with pieces that I composed for them, and with books similar to Suzanne Guy's Expressive Etudes, which start at a very elementary level.

Further, I tended to piece together material from various method books that had the types of pieces I wanted for my student.

My comments are based on what I can gather from the OP. There is some good advise here, plus, there is a wealth of information at this persons fingertips that many teachers don't have when starting. There's a lot here to start with. We all dread the beginning teacher who has little idea of what they are doing. That's awful. transfer students say it all.
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