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#942880 - 09/19/08 01:22 PM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Did it occur to anyone else that there are numerous professional parallels between piano teachers and piano tuners/technicians (e.g., no regulation, no need for formal credentials, organizational affiliation optional, widely varying skills and specializations, etc.)?

It's a coincidence, but it never occurred to me before reading this thread.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#942881 - 09/19/08 01:51 PM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Sotto voce, there are various recognised qualifications for technicians in the UK. I would not let anyone near my pianos who did not have any.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#942882 - 09/19/08 02:08 PM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Sotto voce, there are various recognised qualifications for technicians in the UK. I would not let anyone near my pianos who did not have any. [/b]
Right. I was being U.S.-centric again, as seems to be my wont.

Do you have qualifications for music teachers as well (which would confirm my point about the parallels)? I have that impression just from the existence of RCM, ABRSM, etc. and their standardized curricula. We don't even have uniformly recognized grade levels!

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#942883 - 09/19/08 02:43 PM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
Sal_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
I will admit to being one of those teachers who might walk into a music store and not know what she's looking for. I'm new to teaching, I was taught on Schaum, my siblings were taught on Thompson. Thankfully, because of this forum, I've seen the light and have since buried them except for maybe some sight-reading. (I tried with Thompson when I first started teaching... it was bad. I've a transfer student from Bastien's method books and we're finally seeing progress moving away from "C position.")

In any case, my point is that unless people are educated otherwise, they're probably going to stick with what they know--I'd never heard of the Faber books nor a good number of other valuable teaching materials before I came to this forum. Quite plainly, I am also not familiar with many of the editions listed, but I feel like my ability to look at a piece of music and determine what's good/bad about the piece/edition is improving every day. Maybe some people don't care to adapt?

Me, I've been teaching roughly 7 months, and with each new student I'm taking a little different approach hoping to improve on my teaching ability. Am I unqualified? Perhaps... Am I a bad teacher? I sure hope not. I do the best I can, I learn what does/doesn't work, and I keep my eyes and ears open.

Edit: And I REALLY want to start taking piano lessons again when I move. ;\)

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#942884 - 09/19/08 03:40 PM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sal_:
I do the best I can, I learn what does/doesn't work, and I keep my eyes and ears open.

[/b]
That was my approach when I started. It worked well for me. If you do decide to get some pedagogical education, it is best to do so after you have some teaching experience.
_________________________
Music is the surest path to excellence

Jeremy BA, ARCT, RMT
Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

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#942885 - 09/19/08 05:31 PM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Sotto voce, there are various recognised qualifications for technicians in the UK. I would not let anyone near my pianos who did not have any. [/b]
Right. I was being U.S.-centric again, as seems to be my wont.

Do you have qualifications for music teachers as well (which would confirm my point about the parallels)? I have that impression just from the existence of RCM, ABRSM, etc. and their standardized curricula. We don't even have uniformly recognized grade levels!

Steven [/b]
Steven, there are several teaching qualifications you can get in the UK. None of them are compulsory. It is certainly true that most people who enquire about lessons have no idea what these qualifications mean. If I were in that position I would make it my business to find out.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#942886 - 09/25/08 09:16 AM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
Flowerpoddess Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 15
I think there are people who know a skill but are unable to teach someone.

The other is that, some teachers are starting out new and have forgotten how they learn and what the new books there are for beginners. Hence, they need help in choosing the right material.

I'm no piano teacher but I've came across people who just don't possess the quality of conveying information, in a way a student would understand, they just know how to do it on their own. And, I myself have started out teach other stuff and found myself lost on books and lesson plans at first, it gets better with time.

However, I think that lady was weird to say such a thing and laugh at herself? lol.

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#942887 - 09/25/08 10:22 AM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12214
Loc: Canada
Surely there is such a thing as pedagogy.

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#942888 - 09/25/08 10:24 AM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Flowerpoddess:
I think there are people who know a skill but are unable to teach someone.

[/b]
I've always imagined that there are two equally important aspects of being a piano teacher---the technical and the interpersonal.

One involves a thorough knowledge of of the subject, the other involves a thorough knowledge of the student.

Ideally, you will get both in a piano teacher, a thoroughly knowledgable instructor who teacher students, not methods.
_________________________
Music is the surest path to excellence

Jeremy BA, ARCT, RMT
Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

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#942889 - 09/25/08 11:45 AM Re: How many piano teachers really know anything?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Jeremy gets my vote by saying this very well: "I've always imagined that there are two equally important aspects of being a piano teacher---the technical and the interpersonal.

One involves a thorough knowledge of of the subject, the other involves a thorough knowledge of the student.

Ideally, you will get both in a piano teacher, a thoroughly knowledgable instructor who teacher students, not methods."

I would add, Jeremy, that having some business acumen goes a long way, too. The studio policy lists our responsibilities to our students as well as ours to them. Everyone in the "contract" needs to be accountable to it. So, the better it is written to represent each of the individuals in a fair and democratic way, the better the outcome of the teaching process.

You can't be a great teacher with a great student and a great client family, and then allow messing up in the business end.

Teachers need to be on top of things!

Providing a music education service is a big responsibility, I think.

Betty

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