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#927484 - 10/14/04 11:33 PM Should I start teaching ?
Tom_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 10
Loc: Belgium, Louvain
Hello,

Last weekend I went to our local piano store, and played a little on the piano's. Suddenly I got this question from somebody if I wanted to teach his kid. I was pretty flattered but he only judged me on my playing skills.. My problem is, I am only playing the piano for 3 years but I am progressing very fast. Do I have the skills to teach somebody ? I think I have a fair idea of what basic skills are, and how they should be teached... (I am often listening to my piano teacher when he is teaching beginners) The piano is not my first musical experience, I have been playing the flute since I was 8... Can anybody give me some advice ?

Tom

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#927485 - 10/15/04 07:13 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
My opinion, is that no, you probably should not yet teach, not kids at least. This is not in any way shape or form an indictment on you or your skills! I too have found myself in similar situations, people asking or telling me I should teach based purely on listening to me play. In fact, I do hope to become a music teacher some day (a huge career shift from a software engineer as I currently am). BUT, being a music teacher, especially for children, is an enormous responsibility, as far as I'm concerned, one that should not be taken lightly. To be the first musical influence for a child can have a profound impact on their development as a musician, positive or negative. Teaching isn't just something that good players can just go and do on the side (well, maybe they can, but that doesn't necessarily mean they should), it is an artform unto itself that requires serious thought, experience and understanding of the responsibility it holds and what is required of you in order to uphold that responsibility. This is how I see it at least. Others probably disagree. Regardless of my playing skills or the rate at which they improve, I am not yet ready to take on that responsibility.. More years of study both on the instrument and methods are required (the requirement being purely self imposed.)

That said, after some soul searching, you may in fact feel you are ready, that choice is yours.

Good luck!
-Paul
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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#927486 - 10/15/04 08:32 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Tom,
I agree whole-heartedly with Paul. You may be a gifted and talented performer, but teaching requires a completely different skill set. I know several wonderful performers who don't communicate very well. Many times these teachers don't know what is age appropriate for children and cause more damage than good.

With that said, I'm not suggesting that you couldn't evolve into a wonderful teacher. I would suggest that if this is an interest to you, take a pedagogy class and observe as many beginning teachers as you can. Ask questions to other teachers in your area as well as in places like this.

A child's first piano instructor will last with them for a lifetime. It is such an honor to be a part of a child's musical journey! All teachers should go into teaching with as many tools (education, materials, enthusiasm) as possible for all involved.

Cranky Woman
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

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#927487 - 10/15/04 08:44 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
you don't sound too cranky to me Cranky Woman!
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

Top
#927488 - 10/15/04 09:59 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Oh, I have my moments! But most of the time I'm fun and opinionated(which can be construed as cranky!). It's actually name given as a joke to me and my two business partners, we're all "cranky women". Check out our website to read the real story - www.tcwresources.com

Have a good one

Cranky Woman
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

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#927489 - 10/15/04 10:22 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
divadeb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 677
AMEN to all you said, Cranky. It's especially important when teaching young kids to be honest with yourself about whether you like young kids. There are a whole lot of teachers who might do ok with adult beginners, but who just don't have the patience or understanding for teaching children. If a teacher does relate well to children, it can be very rewarding. They learn so fast and are much more likely to surprise you with a creative outlook than an adult. On the other hand...if a person doesn't appreciate children...I mean really *like* them...they shouldn't teach.

Kids are the people you can't fool.
_________________________
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

www.divadeb.com

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#927490 - 10/15/04 10:25 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom_:
Hello,

Last weekend I went to our local piano store, and played a little on the piano's. Suddenly I got this question from somebody if I wanted to teach his kid. I was pretty flattered but he only judged me on my playing skills.. My problem is, I am only playing the piano for 3 years but I am progressing very fast. Do I have the skills to teach somebody ? I think I have a fair idea of what basic skills are, and how they should be teached... (I am often listening to my piano teacher when he is teaching beginners) The piano is not my first musical experience, I have been playing the flute since I was 8... Can anybody give me some advice ?

Tom [/b]
No.

Top
#927491 - 10/15/04 11:11 PM Re: Should I start teaching ?
Tom_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 10
Loc: Belgium, Louvain
 Quote:
Originally posted by mound:
My opinion, is that no, you probably should not yet teach, not kids at least. This is not in any way shape or form an indictment on you or your skills! I too have found myself in similar situations, people asking or telling me I should teach based purely on listening to me play. In fact, I do hope to become a music teacher some day (a huge career shift from a software engineer as I currently am). BUT, being a music teacher, especially for children, is an enormous responsibility, as far as I'm concerned, one that should not be taken lightly. To be the first musical influence for a child can have a profound impact on their development as a musician, positive or negative. Teaching isn't just something that good players can just go and do on the side (well, maybe they can, but that doesn't necessarily mean they should), it is an artform unto itself that requires serious thought, experience and understanding of the responsibility it holds and what is required of you in order to uphold that responsibility. This is how I see it at least. Others probably disagree. Regardless of my playing skills or the rate at which they improve, I am not yet ready to take on that responsibility.. More years of study both on the instrument and methods are required (the requirement being purely self imposed.)

That said, after some soul searching, you may in fact feel you are ready, that choice is yours.

Good luck!
-Paul [/b]
Hi Paul,

thanks for the advice. It was my personal feeling too, that I should wait a while before teaching already. I hope however that one day I will be able to do it. Funny you mentioned being a software engineer; I am too a software engineer pursuing the same !

Tom

Top
#927492 - 10/16/04 08:04 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
nice! Good luck.. I'm sick of writing code all day \:\) I recently observed an elementary school music teacher for a day. I can't remember the last time I smiled all day long.

-Paul
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

Top
#927493 - 10/16/04 08:17 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
DW_mod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 117
Quote:...My problem is, I am only playing the piano for 3 years but I am progressing very fast. Do I have the skills to teach somebody ? I think I have a fair idea of what basic skills are, and how they should be teached... (I am often listening to my piano teacher when he is teaching beginners) The piano is not my first musical experience, I have been playing the flute since I was 8... Can anybody give me some advice ?

Tom .......

There is a difference between being able to play and able to teach. To teach, you need to 'literally' been there, done it and so on. It will give you a much broader and matured perspective on lots of things, which eventually will be crucial and essential to you and your students.
Trust me, you need not rush into teaching. Learning itself is a life long process, but so is teaching. Rushing into any of these is detrimental, and the after-effects are long. There will come a time for everything. \:\)

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#927494 - 10/16/04 10:09 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
spartan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 140
Loc: Sparta, NJ USA
I'm yet another software engineer looking into the possibility of making the switch to becoming a piano teacher. I'm starting to see a trend here.

I don't dislike my job, which is more database administration than programming (which I hated, and forced myself to do for years). However, the current job market for U.S. tech workers is getting bleaker by the day, with all the global outsourcing going on in the industry. It's forced me to think about exploring other career paths.

I've been playing for many years, but have never tried teaching, and realize that this isn't something to be approached without a lot of preparation and further education. I'm trying to gather as much info as I can about what types of music education/piano pedagogy courses are necessary before attempting to give lessons.

Frankly, I'm very intimidated, but also energized by the thought of changing my life and leaving the corporate world.

I'm glad to read that there are others out there in the same position, which makes me feel that perhaps I'm not entirely crazy or misguided.

Good luck to all of us!
_________________________
What we think, we become.
--Buddha

Top
#927495 - 10/19/04 07:13 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
 Quote:
Frankly, I'm very intimidated, but also energized by the thought of changing my life and leaving the corporate world.
follow your dreams man! I wonder how many software engineer piano players there are? probably alot. I was (and am) fed up with the corporate world. Until 6months ago I was working for a huge corporation, one I'm positive every one of you has heard of, and it was the most miserable existence I could imagine. I found a great new job, small company, focused on one product in the health industry.. something that has meaning.. but the dream is still there, probably what drives me to work so hard at music.

-Paul
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

Top
#927496 - 11/08/04 06:33 AM Re: Should I start teaching ?
vivian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 13
Loc: Hong Kong
Dont do it if you doubt

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