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#944879 - 02/10/04 09:01 PM Should I start this early?
DR LO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 98
Loc: Southwest Iowa
I'm currently a sophomore in highschool and have been playing piano for 10 years. Currently I'm working on the Batttle Hymn of the Republic to accompny the High School concert choir, and i'm learning a popular rondo by Beethoven and a popular sonata by Mozart. I'm telling you this so you can get a feel for my ability. I would like to earn a little extra cash to help pay for gas and what not, and would like to maybe start teaching piano lessons. What is your input on this matter? Am I too young, should i study the piano more? Please any help would be great.

--DR LO

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#944880 - 02/10/04 09:26 PM Re: Should I start this early?
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
Being able to play the piano well is no indication of how good a teacher you can be. Being a teacher requires a different set of skills, and a good deal of experience.

There have been great pianists who have not been very good teachers, and great teachers who have not been great performers. (And many combinations)

Also, those pieces you name do not help. There are many popular Mozart sonatas, and more than one Beethoven rondo. A recording of you playing or more information would be more helpful!

\:D

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#944881 - 02/11/04 09:39 AM Re: Should I start this early?
WKS70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 186
Loc: GA
Not to break your heart, but, no. Honesty is best, even if it hurts. Almost always, a beginner teacher starts out with beginner students. A student's piano teacher at every level is very important, but the very first teacher may be the most important of all. If the groundwork isn't right, nothing built on top of it will be right. One of the very biggest mistakes parents make is to assume that it doesn't matter who starts them off. I have yet to get in a transfer student over whom I didn't have to struggle to correct all the little problems. Some things with some personalities can never be fixed, and then you end up with a student that decides that they don't like piano. "It's too hard!", they will claim.

Another thought -- if your "popular" pieces are coming from a "popular" book, they are probably adapted/edited a great deal. They may not be the real thing. A persons ability to play "x" number of notes at one time is not what you measure. It's the way in which you play "x" number of notes.

So, not to be the voice of doom, but there are already tons of so-called piano teachers out there who unknowingly cause incredible harm as it is. If you are seriously interested in teaching, the best advice I can give is -- go to school, find the very best teacher in your area, immerse yourself in music and learn as much as you can before starting with students. Then when you start teaching, continue taking lessons yourself.

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#944882 - 02/11/04 10:36 AM Re: Should I start this early?
DR LO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 98
Loc: Southwest Iowa
Your responses are what I thought, maybe even expected, but then again it does't hurt. The pieces that I am playing are not adapted forms. I'm not sure exactlyt the numbers of the songs that I am current working on to further help you learn what I am working on but both pieces are out of the book Piano Classics. It is a thick book. I don't know how to expain them without actually tellintg you the notes, lol. But I thank you for you input. I am planning on taking Jazz Keys out at the Community College in my town to help me with learning Jazz music, and then maybe take a few classical classes somewhere else. i know what you are talking about with some pianists who are not good teachers, I've had one myself. I've had three different teachers, and was seriously thinking about switching to taking piano and organ lessons from the pastor at my church, but he is moving, so I will have to continue to search. Once again thanks for your input.

--DR LO

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#944883 - 02/11/04 08:36 PM Re: Should I start this early?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
DR LO - would you please tell us who published the book you are using?. I am always looking for ideas and if you like this book it may be of interest to others as well.

Thanks,
Steve
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#944884 - 02/28/04 12:39 AM Re: Should I start this early?
minsmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 24
Loc: Australia
DR Lo,
Don't get discouraged by a few people's comments! How else do you get experience than by experience? Of COURSE you're not going to be a FANTASTIC teacher to begin with. But you've got to start somewhere, and teaching is a good way to learn how to teach, and it's also great for your own lessons.
I too have also had students come from a teacher who in my opinion taught very poorly. SO, I go about correcting. Whoopy duck! Takes longer, but there's nothing that can't be rectified.
Of course, the ideal for you is to start with preliminary students and grow with them, grade one, grade two etc - as they grow, fortunately, so do you, and so will your students.
Visit this website and download every article for teachers.

http://pianoeducation.org/pnotstud.html

Continue your research. Get familiar with what different methods can offer. These days they're so simple to use, you just have to read the instructions and make sure both you and your young student follow them.
Here' one I would recommend.
Chester's Easiest Piano Course.
You can buy it here.

http://www.musicroom.com/se/ID_No/025377/details.html

If you would like to discuss specific teaching tips, you can contact me here

http://pianoeducation.org/cgi-bin/ib311/ikonboard.cgi?s=26118961232ff0b2e3a87bd00a1aad33;act=SC;c=2

All the very best!

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#944885 - 03/01/04 03:58 PM Re: Should I start this early?
pianojuggler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 1515
I am not a piano teacher, but I am a teacher teacher. I am also an adult beginner.

I support Min's comments. Don't give up before you've started. When I was in fifth grade, my cello tutor was in high school. I learned a lot from her.

I'd like to offer a few tidbits:

Start small. One or two students at first. I'd try either absolute beginners or youngsters with just one or two years under their belts. Not so that they won't surpass your own skills, but so that the material is easy enough that you can concentrate on developing teaching technique.

The greatest traits you can have are patience, empathy, and an ability to provide useful, timely feedback. You will learn as much from your students as they will learn from you.

Another thought would be to find an adult absolute beginner (like me) who brings his or her own patience.

There is no substitute for experience. There is no way to get experience other than by doing. Do not be timid about asking your students for feedback on your teaching.

For your students' sake, keep it interesting. Maintain a healthy balance of drills, scales, etc. with interesting pieces. If a student is interested in the piano but not a specific piece, set it aside and try something else.

Where will you be teaching? Do you have an acoustic piano at home in a room that will have no distractions while you are teaching? You have practically no control over this if you teach at your student's home, but for young kids it makes the transportation issue easier. Do you have access to a room with a piano at school? If you have students in grade school, could you arrange to use a piano at your student's school after school?

Good luck. I hope you will let us know how it goes.

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#944886 - 03/02/04 12:18 PM Re: Should I start this early?
sonatina Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 7
Loc: Illinois
DR LO,
I am a piano teacher and I think you have received very good opinions from both sides, pro and con. I think both sides have things to think about and consider. If you do decide to teach, start small, just a couple of beginner students. Use a piano method series to follow since you are new to teaching. Also consider that you can also make some spending money by playing for weddings, funnerals, accompanists for choirs etc...

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