teaching advice

Posted by: Jacqueline

teaching advice - 01/27/05 09:37 AM

Hello,

New to this forum.. \:\)

I took piano lessons from age 8 until 18. But, I studied computer science in college. However, I'm interested in starting to teach piano part-time.

My old piano teacher was going to help me get started in teaching - we even bought the childrens books! But unforunately, we got so busy and never went through with it. Last I heard, she passed away a couple years ago.

Since I have no background in theory, but just know the basic scales, notes, chords, etc., am I too under-qualified to think of teaching? I was just thinking of charging a small amount, since I'm not as qualified as someone who studied music in college.

Please advise! Is there anyone else out there like me?? \:\)

Thank you so much!
Jacqueline (ldyjaq@yahoo.com)
Posted by: cranky woman

Re: teaching advice - 02/03/05 11:05 AM

Hi Jacqueline,

Welcome aboard, we're glad to have you!

The first step in the teaching process is finding other teachers. You're on the right track!

What I suggest is to go to www.mtna.org and find out how to join your local music teachers association. Some states require a degree, but most do not. There you will find teachers of all types and abilities to help you. Get involved, but more importantly, find a mentor.

Observe as many teachers as possible while they are teaching. While I was studying pedagogy, we were required to observe ten lessons (at least 3 different teachers) each semester. This was one of the most valuable experiences I took from college!

Next, you'll want to evaluate your motives for teaching. Is it for the joy of music? Do you love piano? Are you proficient at playing? Do you enjoy children? If yes, good for you! You're on the right track. If your motives are easy $$$, you could do a disservice to your students and yourself.

Remember the important role of a piano teacher for good or bad. There are so many important factors to consider when teaching:

proper hand postion
technic
note reading
method books - which is best for which student
theory
ear training
sight reading
performance opportunities
what is age-appropriate

and many more........

You will want to do all you can to offer the best to your students. Find a mentor and do some research.

Good luck!

Charlene
Posted by: LaPianista

Re: teaching advice - 02/27/05 09:57 AM

Start with showing the staves, orientation from bass to treble.. Use one of the simple methods like John Thompson. Give the first Hanon exercise, as it makes your student feel like they can do something on the piano. Assign the first lesson, explain note values and rests. Take it from there when he/she comes again.. All ages.. Simple enought isn't it? Now when you get a "feel" for how well your pupil is absorbing, hyou can introduce the C scale. Teach the theory as they play the simple pieces..
Everyone cannot absorb all of the theory and some are not interested. Get them to play nicely. Teach the value of dynamics. Leave the Thompson Method after they can play. Look for music by the Masters in other beginners books. After a while the system series get boring and they seem to dictate only what they suggest. You have to be in touch with your student. Get creative.
Posted by: ljohnson

Re: teaching advice - 03/06/05 11:35 AM

Jacqueline,

As tactfully as I can say this (hopefully), you must currently be pursuing your own studies to be qualified to teach. Qualifications include having read, digested everything you can find on pedagogy. Having accomplished certain required levels of study, having experience in the community, accompanying experience, passing theory exams, etc. You don't necessarily need a degree, however, in my professional opinion, you need to have the equivalent to an AA degree (four semesters of theory and other training, or consider other forms of acquiring a thorough education. You gotta know your stuff! This is not bad news! What an adventure awaits you! Lots of luck to you.