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#961881 - 02/26/07 02:10 PM When will I be able to teach?
ckcornflake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 74
Loc: Albuquerque
I guess you can say I'm an adult beginner. I played piano for 2-3 years when I was in elementary school. I stopped playing piano in order to focus on the saxophone, which I played up until college. I took long break from playing anything during college, but I decided to start taking piano lessons after I graduated, and it's almost been a year since I started. I practice every day from anywhere from 15 minutes to 2-3 hours.

I want to eventually try my hand at teaching. I would only want to teach students who are completely new to music. I'm pretty comfortable with reading music, so I know could at least teach them how to read notes and interpret dynamics.

What else do I need to do/learn to be able to be at least a competent teacher if not a decent one?

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#961882 - 02/26/07 02:56 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
Piano&Flute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/06
Posts: 384
Loc: Alberta, Canada
There are many interesting threads if you do a search on teaching qualifications or beginning teachers that you might find interesting. This subject tends to get me very opinionated, so my goal is not to offend but to be realistic. I think I'm going to leave a long, explanation of what experience and qualifications a good teacher should have to someone else and just make a few points.

1. What do you mean by eventually? If you consider yourself an adult beginner, you should not be trying to teach anyone. Teachers should be well trained, advanced players.

2. Teaching beginners is a lot harder than it seems. In fact, for qualified new teachers it is easier at first to have students who have already had a couple of years of good training. There is a lot to cover with a beginner and a lot you need to know about piano pedagogy. If the first year of lessons is not done well you risk creating bad habits that can slow progress or potentially cause a student to quit.

3. Striving to be a competent, if not decent teacher is not good enough. Saying that you could at least teach them how to read notes and interpret dymanics because you are pretty comfortable with those is irresponsible. Teaching is a big responsibility, and any teacher should have skill far above the students they are trying to teach.

A couple questions to ask yourself:

Why do you want to teach?

What qualifications would you expect your teacher or your childrens teacher to have?

What do you think is involved with teacher private piano lessons?

Once you have answered these, it might help to discuss it with your teacher and start reading books on piano pedagogy (how to teach). Also, try to sit in on some lessons taught by a good teacher with beginner students. That way you can see first hand how to teach.

I hope this helps.
_________________________
Registered Private Piano and Flute Teacher

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#961883 - 02/26/07 03:44 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
ckcornflake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 74
Loc: Albuquerque
1. What do you mean by eventually? If you consider yourself an adult beginner, you should not be trying to teach anyone.

Exactly, that's why I said I would eventually want to teach. I'm not thinking about teaching any time in the near feature, but it is something I want to get in to. I've noticed that adult beginner is a term that is applied liberally in these forums. I obviously play at a much higher level than beginner music, but at the same time I'm not a professional piano player.

I would say that the teachers I had when I was young weren't "qualified" teachers. I believe that what I learned from this was very important, though. While, I don't think I learned good techniuqe from them. The ability to read and interpret music helped me very much when I moved on to the saxophone.

Striving to be a competent, if not decent teacher is not good enough.

I'm just being realistic. I doubt any one can just jump into teaching and be the greatest teacher ever. I obviously would want to become a great teacher, but I have to acknowledge that just like playing, teaching is a skill that must be learned, and that I won't be as good starting out as I would after some experience.

I definately think my skill level is getting close if not better than the teachers I had when I was young. In fact, I know there would be alot of things I think my teachers left out, that are important for beginners to learn. Also, one of the reasons why I stopped playing piano at a young age is because my piano teacher said that my skills to high for her and suggested I move on. My parents couldn't find a piano teacher cheap enough, so they encouraged me to start playing the sax.

When I was learning how to play the sax, I was taking lessons from high school students. Although they weren't professional teachers they helped me play alot better than I would if weren't taking lessons at all. Why would piano teachers need to be more qualified?

I want to teach because I love music, and I like doing things for the community. I think being able to make an instrument more enjoyable for a kid can go a long ways for their development. I think it would be fun, too.

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#961884 - 02/26/07 04:01 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
Piano&Flute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/06
Posts: 384
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Also, check out your local and national music teachers associations. Down south, I believe www.mtna.org They should have a lot of helpful information and can maybe point you in the direction of some pedagogy seminars or other events.

As for why piano teachers, or any professional music teacher needs to be more qualified than a high school student or an intermediate player, that is a whole other thread. You need to ask around and do some research. The MTNA should have their standards listed. Teachers who think it is acceptable to teach with substandard training are my worst nightmare, because I have seen what it does to students.
_________________________
Registered Private Piano and Flute Teacher

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#961885 - 02/26/07 04:30 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
Dorrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 438
You might want to ask your teacher if you are qualified to teach.

You might also want to think about whether you might be better off teaching adult beginners, rather than children. Having taken lessons as an adult, you might be in a good position to reflect on your experience.

Where I live, highly qualified teachers - those with a piano performance degree and some training in education are very common, and its a buyers market. If that's the case in your area, you might find it difficult to find students. Frankly, if I can take someone from lessons with a performance degree and a track record of teaching, why would I take the chance with someone less qualified?

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#961886 - 02/26/07 06:27 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2128
Loc: Pennsylvania
This topic comes up fairly often - maybe it would be worthwhile if we had a teachers only thread where each of the teachers on the forum could post their thoughts on qualifications for piano teaching and their recommendations for help in getting the proper credentials (maybe links too). After everyone had a chance to post I could pin it to the top of the forum list and close the topic; then it would always be there for all the newcomers with questions.

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
http://www.pianoorgandepot.com
Hammond Organ Technician


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#961887 - 02/26/07 06:48 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
Piano&Flute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/06
Posts: 384
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Great idea, Ken.
_________________________
Registered Private Piano and Flute Teacher

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#961888 - 02/27/07 09:09 AM Re: When will I be able to teach?
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
You could try teaching a few friends, relatives, neighbors, for free just to see how you like it.

The best source for help would be your teacher. Also one of the most advisable things is to sit under other teachers to observe them teaching as in a mentor-type situation. Tell them it is something you would like to eventually do and would like to observe to see if it's something you really would be interested in.

Just as in anything, there are "headaches" involved in teaching as well. For example, students coming for weeks with little or no practice and trying to figure out how to motivate them (and how do you teach a student who doesn't practice?), students quitting from time to time, student's parents calling at the last minute to cancel the lesson or canceling way too often and sometimes expecting not to pay, trying to get new students (advertising in itself, especially to do it inexpensively if there is such a thing is a LOT of work). It's very time consuming planning and organizing for the lessons as well. Just some of the "downside" to think about. It's rewarding but it can be tough and discouraging at times.

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#961889 - 02/27/07 11:40 AM Re: When will I be able to teach?
ckcornflake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 74
Loc: Albuquerque
Thanks for the info. I tried searching this forum to see if there were any other threads regarding this topic. I couldn't find any, but if someone could point them out to me, I could check those out too.

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#961890 - 02/27/07 11:44 AM Re: When will I be able to teach?
Piano&Flute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/06
Posts: 384
Loc: Alberta, Canada
No wonder you couldn't find anything. I forget how fast these pages move! Go back to page 5 in the threads. There are at least two relevent threads on that page. What Qualifications? and Time to Vent...
_________________________
Registered Private Piano and Flute Teacher

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#961891 - 02/27/07 11:58 AM Re: When will I be able to teach?
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
Here's a link with a list of useful articles you can click on and read relevant to starting a teaching studio. You might read the article: "Starting a Private Teaching Studio" and "Planning a Career in Music Teaching":

The Teaching Studio

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#961892 - 02/27/07 11:39 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
KatieB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 51
Loc: North Carolina
Well, you will be qualified to teach after you learn to play. LOL... easy answer, but...

Let's take a typical early classic era sonatina. Clementi, Kuhlau, whatever. When you know how to balance your hands to get the left hand Alberti bass accompaniment at a dynamic level UNDER what the RH is doing and can explain how to practice it so a student can control it and depend on it, you are on the road to being ready to teach.

That is an all inclusive answer about to the extent that "well there's green" is an answer to "how many colors are there?

But hopefully it demonstrated what you should be thinking about.

IMHO, music teachers who teach general music using the piano to teach it on but never discussing touch and how to control it are ... um...

... usually sweet older ladies who mean well and need the money.

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#961893 - 03/15/07 08:55 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
sarabande posted
 Quote:
You could try teaching a few friends, relatives, neighbors, for free just to see how you like it.

The best source for help would be your teacher. Also one of the most advisable things is to sit under other teachers to observe them teaching as in a mentor-type situation.... Here's a link with a list of useful articles you can click on and read relevant to starting a teaching studio. You might read the article: "Starting a Private Teaching Studio" and "Planning a Career in Music Teaching":

The Teaching Studio
Wonderful advice, helpful yet cautionary. Bravo.

DavidH

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#961894 - 03/15/07 09:05 PM Re: When will I be able to teach?
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
Thanks! \:\)

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