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#2155178 - 09/21/13 06:28 PM At what level were you when you first started teaching?
Rimshot609 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Montana
At what level were you when you first started teaching? Also, would you have a problem sending your (beginner) child to a teacher who is only playing at a late intermediate level, first year piano performance major playing Mozart/Beethoven sonatas but without a degree and certifications?

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#2155219 - 09/21/13 07:43 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10733
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I was at what I would call late intermediate/early advanced level when I began teaching. Teaching had been recommended by my piano teacher, and she was a mentor for me if I had any questions about teaching, which I took advantage of a lot.

So is this person worthwhile? You can only find out one way. Talk with them, see how they interact with your child, and then take lessons with them. If your child seems to progress, and the teacher seems conscientious then it's probably a good thing.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11
__________________________________________________

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#2155264 - 09/21/13 09:55 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Polyphonist Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6319
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Rimshot609
Would you have a problem sending your (beginner) child to a teacher who is only playing at a late intermediate level, first year piano performance major playing Mozart/Beethoven sonatas but without a degree and certifications?

It depends.

Originally Posted By: Rimshot609
At what level were you when you first started teaching?

I was 14, but I was already quite advanced.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2155281 - 09/21/13 10:53 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Rimshot609
At what level were you when you first started teaching? Also, would you have a problem sending your (beginner) child to a teacher who is only playing at a late intermediate level, first year piano performance major playing Mozart/Beethoven sonatas but without a degree and certifications?

I have a high school freshman playing at this level whom I'd like to teach a few beginners. Of course, I would supervise/evaluate, perhaps once a month, after she got going. Does that help you?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2155292 - 09/21/13 11:36 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5271
Loc: Orange County, CA
We all have to start somewhere. It won't be fair for me to tell you to NEVER send a student to someone still in college, or playing late-intermediate repertoire.

My first students were my younger cousins, whom I was teaching while I was still in high school. That didn't go so well.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2155322 - 09/22/13 12:58 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 822
Because I'm a piano teacher, I'd always recommend getting the best piano teacher you can afford. If that happens to be someone as you described, fine. But I would certainly aim for somebody with far more experience, piano performance experience, and pedagogical training.

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#2155485 - 09/22/13 11:12 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
I first taught when I was in my Bachelor's program, and then Masters as a TA.

Because piano teachers is such an unregulated industry, I will definitely not send a beginner child to a teacher who only attained advanced level. Why? Because, you know, a child learns bad habit quickly and it will take triple amount of time to correct it.

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#2155525 - 09/22/13 12:43 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Some of us practiced without a license …. on our kids. grin
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Grotrian 192 #156455

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#2155586 - 09/22/13 03:22 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10733
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Some of us practiced without a license …. on our kids. grin
And some of you know how to play piano very well smile

Seriously, I would not be the teacher I am today if no one took a chance on me as a beginner teacher. Was I great? No, but my rate reflected that as well. I'd like to think that at the very least my students learned to have good beginning technique, good beginning reading and theory, and enjoyed themselves at the piano and at lessons.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11
__________________________________________________

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#2155826 - 09/22/13 10:39 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1368
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Rimshot609
would you have a problem sending your (beginner) child to a teacher who is only playing at a late intermediate level, first year piano performance major playing Mozart/Beethoven sonatas but without a degree and certifications?


What is the teacher's experience? Have they produced any beginner or intermediate players themselves? Have they had any long-term students with which you can converse? Can you ask to sit in on one of their lessons with another student? This may all be implied by the thread title, but then that may just be concerning your first question and so the ambiguity begs the question. I, as a student, personally couldn't be less concerned with my teacher's capabilities as a player beyond basic demonstrations where necessary because what I'm after isn't how well they can play, but how well they can help me to. That said, there's likely a pattern for truly great teachers' playing abilities. See a subjective hypothesis below (ignore the arbitrary numbers and focus on the percentages, or fractions/300):



Others are of course welcome to provide input

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#2155911 - 09/23/13 01:23 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Some of us practiced without a license …. on our kids. grin

Sorry for being honest, teaching your kid vs. other people's kid, BIG difference. wink


Edited by Alan Lai (09/23/13 01:23 AM)

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#2155934 - 09/23/13 02:30 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I was in my first year of a Bachelor of Music. I was atrocious, and I kept being atrocious for at least another 2 years. I definitely wouldn't recommend anyone send their kid to someone with less than 5 years experience, just because I think it takes that long to start getting a clue about what you're doing.
_________________________
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#2156026 - 09/23/13 08:37 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Beth_Frances]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10733
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
I was in my first year of a Bachelor of Music. I was atrocious, and I kept being atrocious for at least another 2 years. I definitely wouldn't recommend anyone send their kid to someone with less than 5 years experience, just because I think it takes that long to start getting a clue about what you're doing.
So then how does a beginner teacher get to the point where they can have 5 years of experience? They can't live on that, and no one would study with them....sounds rather harsh, don't you think?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11
__________________________________________________

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#2156083 - 09/23/13 10:52 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
nyke Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/13
Posts: 49
Hmmm...a lot of people have responded on the level the teacher has gotten to with repertoire etc.
I look at teaching differently.. I have friends who are advanced level and concert level pianist who CANNOT TEACH. I have studied under teachers who have Doctorates in Music and teachers who didn't have a degree and honestly learned more from teachers who didn't have a degree because of their approach.
While enrolled in college, my professor would ask me to take over and teach the class when she was absent. I also gained teaching experience from sitting under a mentor and also volunteering at a local performing arts high school.
All of those things along with my continuous drive to understand how a student learns allows me to have success with teaching. It's not so much the level that i'm able to play. Because honestly these days, I don't get to practice as much repertoire as I like. I am often busy practicing church hymns, prepping students for recitals and festivals etc. I don't have a lot of time to focus on my own music. So my teaching style more so revolves around can I get the message through to this child on what they need to learn? However, I do understand your point of view, often times you feel as though if you haven't done something how can you tell someone else to do it? But you have to remember that most of the students that are coming to you at that level, will be beginners and you have already surpassed the beginner stage and by the time they get to your level, you will have surpassed that stage.
~Happy Teaching!
_________________________
Nyshia Cook
Blog Writer at http://musicacademyadvantage.com/
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#2156130 - 09/23/13 11:54 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1241
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Wonderful post, Nyshia! I couldn't agree more. And I have my doubts about Beth's assessment of her first years of teaching.

Sometimes a student, or a parent, just takes a chance on a beginning piano teacher, and lessons commence. Often it works out just fine, and a new teacher is launched.

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#2156185 - 09/23/13 01:26 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Morodiene]
red-rose Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 177
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
I was in my first year of a Bachelor of Music. I was atrocious, and I kept being atrocious for at least another 2 years. I definitely wouldn't recommend anyone send their kid to someone with less than 5 years experience, just because I think it takes that long to start getting a clue about what you're doing.
So then how does a beginner teacher get to the point where they can have 5 years of experience? They can't live on that, and no one would study with them....sounds rather harsh, don't you think?

Agreed! How could ANY of us have ever become teachers if "no one sent their kids to us before we had 5 years of experience"? Hm...I forsee a slight problem there...

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#2156205 - 09/23/13 02:17 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: red-rose]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10733
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: red-rose
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
I was in my first year of a Bachelor of Music. I was atrocious, and I kept being atrocious for at least another 2 years. I definitely wouldn't recommend anyone send their kid to someone with less than 5 years experience, just because I think it takes that long to start getting a clue about what you're doing.
So then how does a beginner teacher get to the point where they can have 5 years of experience? They can't live on that, and no one would study with them....sounds rather harsh, don't you think?

Agreed! How could ANY of us have ever become teachers if "no one sent their kids to us before we had 5 years of experience"? Hm...I forsee a slight problem there...
And this does a great disservice to the private teaching profession. We should be encouraging people who want to be teachers, not discouraging students from going to them. Not all new teachers are awful, and some are even good despite lacking the experience. If we don't know them, we shouldn't dismiss them out of hand, I think.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11
__________________________________________________

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#2156249 - 09/23/13 03:55 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 399
Loc: Vancouver BC
From a parent of young kids.

At one hand, the teacher should have certain playing ability, I would not sent my kids to a piano teacher that I have not heard her/him playing. Passing the student exams (RCM level 10 for example) would be a reasonable expectation I think. At that point, the person has demonstrated certain level of dedication and skills. Before that, I would consider it tutoring, not teaching. The teachers we had all have university degrees major in music, but that wasn't a deciding factor.

At the other hand, the teacher's playing ability is clearly not of the up most importance. The enthusiasm toward music and the matching personality is. If the teacher does not show the love of music, not sure how she can help the kids to love music. If the kids don't get along with her and able to relax before her, I don't think they can get the best of the lessons.

I don't mind young and "inexperienced" teachers, they are often energetic, open minded and fun, eager to explore ways to improve teaching and enthusiastic at making progresses.

I tend to avoid the my way or high way type of self-proclaimed experts. And I don't count their trophies, since I am not chasing one. All I want is to have music be a part of our lives, and hopefully, when kids move on, a part of their lives.




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#2156257 - 09/23/13 04:04 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hi everyone! Sorry it's been quite a while since I've posted, though I've been lurking. I actually started teaching piano when I was a mid-intermediate pianist myself, on the encouragement of my husband who is a professional working pianist. (my piano playing is now early advanced, can comfortably handle most Level 9 RCM pieces that don't require more than an octave or maybe a ninth handspan) I had been teaching clarinet for almost 5 years then. My first piano student, a Level 2/3 pianist then missed 3rd place out of 18 or so competitors in a competition 2 1/2 months after I started teaching her. And I produced my first 90%+ candidate on clarinet within 1 1/2 years after I started teaching for money, when I was just 20 years old, and have had 6 students (2 piano, 4 clarinet) achieve those results between both clarinet and piano in 15 years, and it looks like 3 piano students of mine are on the road to helping add to that total, a couple years ago it was a Level 6 piano student who got a 93 I taught!) Sadly that last student moved back to Singapore with his mom last year. But the student said it was because of me he really learned how to read the pieces he was learning, learned most of his level 6 pieces within 2 or 3 weeks! We did theory too, and usually had 75-90 min lessons most weeks. He was such a great kid, and he only had a digital piano, and he so much wanted a grand piano, after playing on the church one, once for a lesson and once for a studio concert. (and I think he deserved it, though I knew he really needed at least a nice upright.

I did a lot of looking through methods, planning, and asking my own teachers for advice on method books before I taught my first lesson, including a sequence for more advanced skills like teaching trills and turns. Plus I read a lot of the pedagogy stuff and attend whatever music seminars I can teaching or otherwise music related. I've incorporated technology in terms of music theory, notation, and ear training software with students, especially for students with siblings also in lessons (one being at the computer, and the other having the lesson at the instruments) and one student has done so well with one of the music software that she no longer has problems finding the right black key for those notes that are on the black keys, within two weeks there was much improvement, and for a month I had her play 2-3 min of that key finding game, I found it greatly improved her key finding accuracy when she played her pieces, used to have trouble with that all the time. (she doesn't need it anymore, but sometimes will play it on her family's Ipad (it's a free app by Foriero called Music Keys and available for a variety of platforms, including regular laptops and Ipads.

So there's proof that not all young teachers are bad teachers...

Meri
_________________________
Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

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#2156272 - 09/23/13 04:32 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
In the RCM system, students may take classes towards a Piano Pedagogy Certificate after completing Grade 8 (that is, while also studying for Grade 9).

When they finish Grade 9, they can then take the "Elementary Piano Pedagogy" assessment. There is a 3-hour written exam as well as an oral exam. If they pass, they will be able to teach beginners from preparatory level to Grade 2 Piano.

If they wish to continue, then after Grade 10 (and at least one session as a teacher), they can take the "Intermediate Piano Pedagogy" assessment. Successful completion prepares them to teach through Grade 6 Piano.

With further experience, students may take the "Advanced Piano Pedagogy" assessment. They have to perform a recital with a mixture of pieces from grades 9, 10 and at least two pieces at the Diploma level. They have to fulfill all theory requirements such as counterpoint, analysis and music history. As before, they have to take both a written and an oral exam on piano pedagogy.

Passing the "Advanced Piano Pedagogy" assessment allows teaching up to Grade 10 Piano, and earns the student a Teacher's ARCT Diploma, assuming the student is at least 18 years old.
_________________________
Working on RCM Grade 8

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#2156279 - 09/23/13 04:54 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
There will always be students you can use as guinea pigs. Kids with parents who don't care too much about how fast young Sally progresses, and are looking for different qualities - youth, energy etc as someone else pointed out. I'm just saying that if someone were asking my advice, and wanted the best music education they could afford for their child, then I would suggest experience is important.

My brother is a lawyer and every job advertised says at least 2 years experience. That made his first 2 years out of uni quite stressful! Of course it's harder to get your foot in the door than to be experienced. I was talking from the parents point of view, not saying "you shouldn't start teaching until you have 5 years experience", because obviously that would be impossible. I don't regret starting when I did, and there was no path to where I am now but through!
_________________________
www.youtube.com/tinymozarts

http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=75318 (great range of piano music, with free shipping to 90 countries)

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#2156290 - 09/23/13 05:10 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1250
Loc: California
I started teaching at age 15 under the supervision of my piano teacher; I was playing Kuhlau, Bach Inventions, beginning Mozart sonatas...

I agree with a previous poster who listed enthusiasm for music and teaching as almost more important than the level of repertoire they can play. There are people with advanced degrees who are not good teachers.

One main quality I would look for in a teacher is this: Is he/she always in 'learning mode'? Did they stop learning once they attained that degree? Or do they keep up with the latest trends and info about methods, piano pedagogy, and learning styles? Do they attend music teacher conventions, master classes, lectures, workshops? Do they perform at their church or other venue? Are they excited about music and know how to convey that excitement to a child?
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#2156304 - 09/23/13 05:23 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Beth_Frances]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4644
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
I was in my first year of a Bachelor of Music. I was atrocious, and I kept being atrocious for at least another 2 years. I definitely wouldn't recommend anyone send their kid to someone with less than 5 years experience, just because I think it takes that long to start getting a clue about what you're doing.

Then no one should have sent students to you, and you would not have learned to teach after five years.

Your logic is pretty flawed.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2156306 - 09/23/13 05:25 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4644
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I started teaching at age 15 under the supervision of my piano teacher; I was playing Kuhlau, Bach Inventions, beginning Mozart sonatas...

I agree with a previous poster who listed enthusiasm for music and teaching as almost more important than the level of repertoire they can play. There are people with advanced degrees who are not good teachers.

One main quality I would look for in a teacher is this: Is he/she always in 'learning mode'? Did they stop learning once they attained that degree? Or do they keep up with the latest trends and info about methods, piano pedagogy, and learning styles? Do they attend music teacher conventions, master classes, lectures, workshops? Do they perform at their church or other venue? Are they excited about music and know how to convey that excitement to a child?

There are two sides to keeping up with trends and info, because at any given time there are always "Piano in a Flash" guys out there, hawking their flim-flam as if they are presenting wonderful new ideas instead of gimmicks.

Most new ideas - not all of them - are recycled old ideas that never worked in the first place.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2156317 - 09/23/13 05:34 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 538
It's about whether there is something the young and inexperienced (the two don't always go together, but often do) teacher can offer. For example, they might charge a lower fee; they might be willing to travel to students' houses; they might be willing to teach at a more flexible schedule, etc. One of the parents I know hired a young teacher who goes to her house to teach her kids piano AND Chinese...

And there is also the matter of market. In an area saturated with piano teachers, young and inexperienced teachers will have a very hard time establishing themselves. In an area that has very few teachers, they probably won't have any problem getting students.

This is not just for piano teaching. It's the same for almost everything. It's about the market, and about what you can offer/whether you can find your niche.

Parents hardly ever send children to piano lessons because they want to help train the young teachers. So the young teachers need to think about what they can offer to help parents meet their goals.

There are also other ways to gain experience before starting formal teaching: teaching under an establised teacher's supervision; teaching group lessons in a music school, etc., etc.

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#2156343 - 09/23/13 06:05 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Exactly childofparadise. In my first 5 years I had to teach from a "music school", from two primary schools, drive to people's houses etc to get that experience.

Gary, we are talking about 2 different things. Getting your first 5 years experience, and what parents should look for. In my eyes not particularly compatible topics, but there we have it.
_________________________
www.youtube.com/tinymozarts

http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=75318 (great range of piano music, with free shipping to 90 countries)

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#2156371 - 09/23/13 06:54 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Beth_Frances]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 399
Loc: Vancouver BC
Beth, I appreciate your honesty.

What kind of things that a starting teacher are often lacking in the early years of teaching?

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#2156383 - 09/23/13 07:19 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Gary D.]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1250
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I started teaching at age 15 under the supervision of my piano teacher; I was playing Kuhlau, Bach Inventions, beginning Mozart sonatas...

I agree with a previous poster who listed enthusiasm for music and teaching as almost more important than the level of repertoire they can play. There are people with advanced degrees who are not good teachers.

One main quality I would look for in a teacher is this: Is he/she always in 'learning mode'? Did they stop learning once they attained that degree? Or do they keep up with the latest trends and info about methods, piano pedagogy, and learning styles? Do they attend music teacher conventions, master classes, lectures, workshops? Do they perform at their church or other venue? Are they excited about music and know how to convey that excitement to a child?

There are two sides to keeping up with trends and info, because at any given time there are always "Piano in a Flash" guys out there, hawking their flim-flam as if they are presenting wonderful new ideas instead of gimmicks.

Most new ideas - not all of them - are recycled old ideas that never worked in the first place.


I have no idea what you mean by 'piano in a flash guys'... sounds like something I'd see on an infomercial, which is not at all what I was talking about.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#2156387 - 09/23/13 07:29 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Well...I'm guessing it would be different for everyone, but for me:

* Knowledge of repertoire and how it relates to learning new skills
* Working out how fast to move through the levels for different levels of ability
* Little *tricks* that help kids learn faster i.e. a story to show where the notes are on the piano rather than just saying this is A through to G memorise where they all are please
* Knowing what words to use to get desired results
* Behaviour management skills
* Parent management skills (ha!)
* learning to diagnose issues in technique - what to look for etc
* learning how to use different learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) to teach concepts
* learning how to add "games" to lessons to mix things up
* learning how to teach theory so it makes sense to a small child

I'm sure there is loads more.
_________________________
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#2156654 - 09/24/13 05:13 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Beth_Frances]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4644
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
Exactly childofparadise. In my first 5 years I had to teach from a "music school", from two primary schools, drive to people's houses etc to get that experience.

Gary, we are talking about 2 different things. Getting your first 5 years experience, and what parents should look for. In my eyes not particularly compatible topics, but there we have it.

I am pushing back against the assumption that five years are needed to be a good teacher, and that credentials are anything more than one factor - at most.
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Piano Teacher

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#2156655 - 09/24/13 05:15 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4644
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I started teaching at age 15 under the supervision of my piano teacher; I was playing Kuhlau, Bach Inventions, beginning Mozart sonatas...

I agree with a previous poster who listed enthusiasm for music and teaching as almost more important than the level of repertoire they can play. There are people with advanced degrees who are not good teachers.

One main quality I would look for in a teacher is this: Is he/she always in 'learning mode'? Did they stop learning once they attained that degree? Or do they keep up with the latest trends and info about methods, piano pedagogy, and learning styles? Do they attend music teacher conventions, master classes, lectures, workshops? Do they perform at their church or other venue? Are they excited about music and know how to convey that excitement to a child?

There are two sides to keeping up with trends and info, because at any given time there are always "Piano in a Flash" guys out there, hawking their flim-flam as if they are presenting wonderful new ideas instead of gimmicks.

Most new ideas - not all of them - are recycled old ideas that never worked in the first place.


I have no idea what you mean by 'piano in a flash guys'... sounds like something I'd see on an infomercial, which is not at all what I was talking about.

http://www.amazon.com/Play-Piano-Flash-Full-Video/dp/B00009A8ZX

Check it out, then maybe you will get what I was talking about. This guy was and is peddling nothing new, but I'm sure he makes as much money as all of us here combined multiplied by some huge factor.
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Piano Teacher

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#2157198 - 09/25/13 01:22 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I learned to teach in a heavily supervised training program with lectures and teaching demonstrations from a master teacher every week. He would teach a group lesson, then a private lesson with a child from the group (Monday group, Wednesday private). On Thursday and Friday, we taught the private lessons for the rest of the children in the group. He either sat in on the lessons or reviewed a tape of the lesson. We had to turn in lesson plans and lesson reports weekly and he commented on each.

By the time I graduated, I had been teaching for four years and had gone from teaching two students the first year to 12 students and a group my 4th year. That program laid the foundation for the teacher I am today. Too bad not everyone has that opportunity. I am eternally grateful for it.

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#2157201 - 09/25/13 01:27 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 170
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Wow, that sounds amazing!!! My uni pedagogy courses weren't ANYTHING like that. They didn't see me teach even one lesson. All they did was talk, and the ideas they were spouting were pretty outdated. I would have loved a pedagogy course like that.
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#2157336 - 09/25/13 09:22 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1241
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Minnie, that sounds like a splendid apprenticeship program: you are a rare teacher to have had such training. I'm curious to know whether you are running your own studio in similar twice-a-week-lessons format (one day group lesson and another day private lesson)?

It's a tough sell for most families.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (09/25/13 09:23 AM)

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#2157920 - 09/26/13 09:44 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
My current student enrollment is too broad in level to have a group lesson that serves as the main lesson. I do have group lessons once a month and that seems to work well.
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#2158445 - 09/27/13 07:29 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
ymapazagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Hobart, Australia
I started teaching the piano and clarinet when I was 14 and wanted money to take dancing classes. I taught some of my friends and a few children of family friends and I think I only charged about $8 a lesson. I was at a late intermediate stage of playing. I'm sure if I were able to watch my 14 years old self teaching I would be absolutely appalled! But I can't have got it all wrong because a few of my students took exams and did well, getting As and Bs (Distinctions and Merits). Would I ever send my own children to a teacher like 14 year old me? No way. But I'm glad that someone did, because without that I wouldn't have reached the point where I am now where I can confidently say, after many more years of experience, that I'm a good teacher.
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#2158564 - 09/27/13 11:47 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Gary D.]
nyke Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/13
Posts: 49
[quote=Gary D.)I am pushing back against the assumption that five years are needed to be a good teacher, and that credentials are anything more than one factor - at most. [/quote]

Can you explain more about your thoughts towards credentials. I have my own philosophy towards that as well!
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#2167896 - 10/17/13 10:51 PM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
missbelle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 84
Loc: USA
In college, we had to teach a non-music student (another college student) and mine was a theatre major so lots of drama and no-shows.
But then we were given students that were kids, under age 10, and two or three times a semester, we observed each other giving a lesson, and took notes.

That was wonderful!

One comment my teacher made in my highly organized binder was, "I wish you could play as well as you can explain!"

(This was on rather advanced stuff, and I did take more lessons later as a married mom, to play catch-up, and prepare to be a teacher for reals)

I accompanied a lot, and got my break subbing for a teacher at a school on maternity leave. I was also playing for chapel, and now consider myself a teacher who shares piano.

Because the school arranges everything, parents have yet to ask for my resume. I accompanied violin students last year, and often play duets/accompaniments with my students.

But, as my sig says, I am "learning as I teach."

Finding this forum was a blessing.

I have yet to start a year without a new idea- whether it is a parent info sheet, new articles to share, a cool way to add music history, watching example videos of lesson teaching (hearkening back to watching my classmates back then on Saturday mornings) making up my own worksheets, arranging simple pieces by request for a few students, visiting music stores and estate sales for musical discoveries...
basically, the year I have nothing new to learn and give will be the year I need a sabbatical.

My son is high school level all-state jazz band member, and somehow that gives me street cred.

I know a a guy with a doctorate in music who lives and breathes a certain composer, and teaches only to make money to travel to his performances. He is a phenomenal pianist, but is not a good teacher until a student has proved they are dedicated- can write and play scales, understand chord structure, sight reads well, etc...

He does NOT use an assignment notebook and bans parents from lessons. he walks around with a cup of coffee in his hand and mutters to the student. He expects them to WORK during lessons, and lets them make the marks and remember on their what to work on.

But a beginner with this "Billy Goat Gruff?" No way. And he admits it.

Me? I give stickers and we march out rhythms and I allow parents in. I use colored pencils and provide extra pages, including music games, and I get hugs in the hallway.

Each teacher has their own methods, even if using the same books.

I have two advanced boys that I have to play it more serious with. One had a previous teacher that let him speed up for the harder passages, so he thought playing faster meant better. I have had him work in "Super Slo Mode" and he is learning that he still has stuff to learn!

He was great at memorizing, and had a good repertoire, but could not tell me WHY he was doing something, or WHAT it is called. So I have pulled out old unused theory books found at sales and we have been working. He enjoys the challenge, and is eagerly working now on just this week assigned "The Charlie Brown Christmas song"- NOT a simplified version.

But what is MY level? I sight read the Christmas song. I can hand write the circle of fifths, and explain it. I accompanied a college choir. I am still learning, but I am not signed up for any competitions. I have retained several students. They are happy, progressing, and enjoying learning.

That is not so concrete a thing to measure.

Anyway, it is almost my bedtime and I have rambled on way way too much.

Thanks for your time!

Good night!
_________________________
Learning as I teach.

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#2167929 - 10/18/13 12:31 AM Re: At what level were you when you first started teaching? [Re: Rimshot609]
Rebecca Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/13
Posts: 48
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hi Rimshot, I'm in my third year and I have not yet attained my formal qualifications... but to be totally objective, I would send my children to an undergraduate providing that they are good teachers.

Let me give a you a few case studies - my first singing teacher wasn't any good and he was doing a music degree (same institution that I go to), he never prepared for lessons, he always ran out of things to teach, he knew nothing about classical repertoire (when I was majorly interested in classical repertoire) and he never really cared for the holistic musician (theory and musicianship were aspects that were never touched on in his lessons).

My first piano teacher - she had a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Piano Performance at the same institution that I go to (I go to a place that is known to be extremely elite). She was terrible.

My third singing teacher - had a B Mus Ed, Dip Mus, MCA and PhD, all in music and singing and piano - also a bad teacher, bad teacher with lots of degrees tacked on his name!

Degrees don't mean everything. I know a great teacher who has not yet attained her formal piano qualifications but she reads about pedagogy in her spare time, she really, really cares about her students, she gives them extra time and she is very dedicated. I know another guy, double major in Music and Engineering, he has not yet gotten his formal qualifications but he is a great teacher, he is very upfront and honest with his students and he does a lot of reading and preparing in his spare time.

My former boss - did an arts degree with a major in music and English... and after she did her degree, she didn't upgrade her qualifications, she just stopped there.

I'm working towards a degree... I'm in my third year so I am 3/4 through my music degree. I have about four years of experience under my belt and I know that there is a lot more that I could learn. I am aware that there are so many different ways to learn, so many different approaches, so many different aspects that I still need to learn and apply to my own work. I spend a lot of time reading about learning and music education, and I take courses on technique and music education. I go and listen to music lectures in my own time, I read and prepare and plan for lessons ... and most of all, I have my piano teacher's backing - he's there to help me, to answer my questions, to give me advice or a second opinion. I've had my share of crappy qualified teachers and I don't want to repeat the same mistakes that they made.

I think sometimes that's the other problem with degrees - we stop learning after that, no professional development workshops, no conferences, no masterclasses, no piano lessons - I think a good teacher strives to apply what s/he learned every day, and to learn something new, to keep knowledge fresh and exciting.
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