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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: Miguel Rey] #2667590 08/11/17 09:59 AM
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
[quote=Iaroslav Vasiliev][quote=keystring]
]
Talking about .....


Miguel, could you fix your quote, because it looks like I wrote what you are quoting, when I didn't. wink

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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: Tim1028] #2667623 08/11/17 12:35 PM
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I think the problem is that you have people like me-- that had absolutely no clue what to look for when choosing a teacher so eliminating people without credentials was my first step. I'm sure that there are some great folks without piano degrees but in my case, I am not educated to know the difference between a piano showman and a real teacher. I started with folks with degrees and those that put their students through "testing" and then tried to find a "match".






Last edited by pianoMom2006; 08/11/17 12:36 PM.

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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: Tim1028] #2667656 08/11/17 04:30 PM
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I'd like to nudge the conversation back to Piano Performance degrees vs. Piano Pedagogy degrees and their effect on piano teacher's ability to teach.

In my area, there are only a handful of places that offer Piano Pedagogy degrees. I'm not terribly familiar with them, as they usually carry the stigma of "folks who can't hack it as a performance major." The entry requirements are drastically different between the two programs.

But I have heard from enough teachers and their students to realize that there's very little correlation between the degree program and the effectiveness of their teaching.


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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2667967 08/13/17 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
My daughter's teacher has 3 degrees in piano performance.

As she puts it, "I am so lucky. I have the best piano teacher ever."


Indeed your daughter is lucky. "Luck" is a fine word to use.



We went through a long and painful searching process so it has a lot to do with hard work too but we do feel fortunate to have found a great match.

All teachers we seriously considered had a Ph.D. in piano performance but it was certainly not a criteria. We wanted a teacher who would enjoy teaching our daughter (age 7) who is a force of nature.

If I were looking for a teacher for myself, I don't think I would seek out teachers who are normally busy teaching piano performance majors.

Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2668458 08/16/17 08:21 AM
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I wanted to understand better before responding, in order to not get caught in miscommunication.
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by keystring

None of this involves personality. In my experience as a student, attention to personality can even get in the way, and even seriously interfere with the learning and teaching process.

"Rapt attention" I would agree with wholeheartedly if by this you mean attention to how you play physically, what you understand, how you understand it, and other things that are related to learning to play an instrument.

Talking about personality, I mean that a gifted teacher not only teaches technique and specific skills, but he/she encourages personal development in a student by the means of music. He/she wants a student to become someone bigger. Such were the greatest pedagogues of Russian school. Talented teacher works much on understanding of different music by a student and teaches musical culture in a broad sense.

So if you ever see a teacher who tries to give you something beyond formal training, then you are very lucky.

I now understand that this means things like encouraging a student to learn about the composer and genres, listen to excellent and musical playing and learn from it, and so expand the student beyond where he or she started. Now that I understand this, I agree totally.

What I ran into were a couple of teachers who were engaged in pop psychology, and if I had a problem with something, would say "You are in a passive-aggressive category and in loving-kindness you must be helped out of this", instead of helping with whatever technical problem had cropped up (due to wrong teaching, as it turned out). The other "personality" things I ran into were "This is an older student, and so will not want to work on the tools I could give." or "This is a female student and so will want to have pretty, emotional songs, and must not be challenged."

In working with students myself, I've seen too many textbooks and approaches that seek to "engage the student's interest" by talking about ferris wheels when teaching math. - the students I taught all said "Cut the ferris wheels, and get to the point. Teach me math if you're going to teach math." They didn't dare say that in the classroom of course but we got to the bottom of it one-on-one.

I am glad that you are NOT talking about these kinds of things, which are still too prevalent here.

Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: AZNpiano] #2670101 08/23/17 03:44 PM
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I agree. I took piano pedagogy with Maurice Hinson. Was excited to learn more about the teaching of piano from him. Sadly the class was boring and a disappointment. We only talked about method books by compiling a bibliography.

I am a pretty good church organist, but I am a lousy organ teacher. Playing ability does not always go hand in hand with teaching ability. My first piano students came from a fellow graduate music student. I was surprised she taught piano because I knew her speciality was singing. When I asked her about it, (I will never, ever forget this response) she said "well, I am learning to play along with the student." I can't even begin to list the problems those poor kids had in reading, counting and technique.

Parents should ask a lot of questions, but especially "do you play?"


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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: AZNpiano] #2670103 08/23/17 03:47 PM
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Wanted to chime in on this piano pedagogy discussion. I had a 13 year old student who was playing college level music: Mozart, Beethoven, Joplin, etc. Our local university has piano pedagogy division in their music department. I left a message for the chairman. Never called me back after two more attempts. I called the Dean and magically the person called me back. I told him about my young student. He told me they were not allowed to teach on campus (?!). I asked him if he had any pedagogy students looking for an excellent young student. He told me no since they can't teach on campus. Sigh.


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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: bmbutler] #2670123 08/23/17 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bmbutler
I told him about my young student. He told me they were not allowed to teach on campus (?!).


That rule came into effect at my university as well. Something about liability if something happened to the kid while at the university for the lesson.

It really does make a difference who is the pedagogy teacher. I have a masters in piano pedagogy, but I really learned how to teach in my undergrad year-long course. I got just a handful of ideas from my masters degree. The professor for my undergrad was better at teaching how to teach... I would not be a competent teacher at this point without my undergrad courses. Maybe I'm still not quite competent, because I think it does take a few years to learn the ropes.

And it does matter if the person can play. I wouldn't accept any teacher to teach beginners who cannot play at a high level. If I think about how I played before I went to university for piano versus how I play now, there is no comparison. My technique is totally different and more efficient, and I learned how to practice. In university I struggled more than my classmates, but I think that makes me a better teacher.


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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: Arghhh] #2670130 08/23/17 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Arghhh

And it does matter if the person can play. I wouldn't accept any teacher to teach beginners who cannot play at a high level.

It never occurred to me that an instrumental teacher can (is allowed to?) teach an instrument if he/she cannot actually play it well.

It would be like trying to learn a foreign language from a teacher who can barely speak in that language.......

All my teachers played at a very high level, and all could play the pieces they taught me better - in my earlier years, much better - than I could, including by the time it was at exam standard. In the earlier grades too, they usually played me the pieces (complete) at least once for me.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: bmbutler] #2670138 08/23/17 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bmbutler
Wanted to chime in on this piano pedagogy discussion. I had a 13 year old student who was playing college level music: Mozart, Beethoven, Joplin, etc. Our local university has piano pedagogy division in their music department. I left a message for the chairman. Never called me back after two more attempts. I called the Dean and magically the person called me back. I told him about my young student. He told me they were not allowed to teach on campus (?!). I asked him if he had any pedagogy students looking for an excellent young student. He told me no since they can't teach on campus. Sigh.

One of my sons was in that situation for electronics. He was 13. He took the course with the professor in his home instead, and did the exams informally. Passed them with high grades btw.

Last edited by keystring; 08/23/17 07:11 PM.
Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: Tim1028] #2670142 08/23/17 07:43 PM
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A cabbagehead teaching a dud is never a good situation. 😀


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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: bennevis] #2670145 08/23/17 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis

It never occurred to me that an instrumental teacher can (is allowed to?) teach an instrument if he/she cannot actually play it well.

It would be like trying to learn a foreign language from a teacher who can barely speak in that language.......

All my teachers played at a very high level, and all could play the pieces they taught me better - in my earlier years, much better - than I could, including by the time it was at exam standard. In the earlier grades too, they usually played me the pieces (complete) at least once for me.


I see a lot of ads from teachers who only teach beginner students, because they themselves can only play up to, say, a Grade 6 level. You also get it from teachers of other instruments who need more students, and tap into the much larger piano student market. Just a quick search on my local online classifieds gives this ad:

Quote
______ is looking to hire a new piano teacher for the 2017/2018 school year. If you have at least a Grade 6 RCM please send resume to unbelievable@adifferentquality.com. Position pays $30/hr.


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Re: Piano Teacher's Educational Background [Re: Tim1028] #2670171 08/23/17 11:52 PM
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I knew some friends who were in the university music department, and it seems common to offer to teach piano, since they all take piano classes in university (at least.. one? two?), even if their primary instrument is actually something else, like voice. It did strike me as a little odd, as I felt completely unqualified to teach piano although I had over 10 years of lessons. I guess on the other hand, there is always someone who is newer than you are that can learn something from you.


~piano teacher in training~
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