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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2710950 02/02/18 12:27 PM
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First and foremost, I do apologize once again for my lengthy posts (I did apologize in my initial post as well). To be honest, it has been rough for me emotionally and I simply wanted to express every thought, but I can understand that not everyone would read my long posts. Secondly, I admit I didn't give myself enough time to cut enough "fluff" since I was in a time crunch, so it's my fault for not giving myself enough time. I wanted to send a reply as soon as I could since it's been nearly 2 weeks since I first posted, so if it wasn't succinct enough, I hope this can be overlooked.

TimR, thank you. I will look into that book as learning different viewpoints of my situation is something that would help. Also, I am a male, haha.

That being said, I hope we can avoid getting too far off topic!


Last edited by RyanThePianist; 02/02/18 12:29 PM.

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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2710968 02/02/18 01:05 PM
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Ryan,

I meant no criticism, but I was curious. Long posts are not rare, but not common either. Long sentences within long posts are rare, except when people write poorly, and you do not.

I recommend that book because the writer thinks in detail about what makes work satisfying, and why people follow education and work tracks that end up being unsuited to them. One should not feel jailed at 9:00 and paroled at 5:00 (if there is a way to avoid it. Sometimes we do what we have to do. I was a prison guard for years and hated every minute of it, but there were bills to pay and responsibilities to take care of. When I was able I moved on to something different.)

The author is a PhD philosopher and worked in one of those high level think tanks in DC, then became a motorcycle mechanic near where I live. One of these days I'll go look him up.


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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
TimR #2710999 02/02/18 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR

Second, ask yourself why your sentences are so long. This is relevant for reasons I won't go into here.

I know why his sentences are long.

He's rushing to get thoughts and emotions out.

It didn't bother me. wink

That said, I would PERSONALLY prefer to hear from Ryan more often, before the pressure of "getting it all out" becomes so great. wink

It is much easier to respond when there is not so much.

Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2711001 02/02/18 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
First and foremost, I do apologize once again for my lengthy posts (I did apologize in my initial post as well). To be honest, it has been rough for me emotionally and I simply wanted to express every thought, but I can understand that not everyone would read my long posts.

Ryan, I fully understand. I can't tell you how many times I have written too much here, then asked myself if I should delete the whole thing. Often I end up leaving a "too long post" because I do not have the energy to try to shorten it.

I picked up on the emotion.

Perhaps what Tim is saying is that there is so much there, covering so many possibly different topics, and that makes it harder to reply.

My suggestion would be to keep talking. Post more often, and don't wait for things to build up so much before you share!

Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2711572 02/04/18 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
My only question is how can I get insurance?

Right now you can get insurance by simply paying for it. But who knows what's going to happen in 2 years? That subject is a mess and, frankly, I don't think you should worry about that yet.

I'm not sure why you'd want to get a Ph.D. in anything these days. School is expensive, and it'll get more expensive. Are you thinking about getting a DMA instead of a Ph.D? It might be worth it if the teacher is great, but your chances of getting a tenure-track professorship in Piano is not good. You will be going up against hundreds of applicants who are extremely qualified.


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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
AZNpiano #2711591 02/05/18 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.

My suggestion would be to keep talking. Post more often, and don't wait for things to build up so much before you share!


Will do. smile

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I don't think you should worry about that yet.

You will be going up against hundreds of applicants who are extremely qualified.



So MTNA doesn't offer health benefits? Also, I'm worrying about health insurance now because my parents say paying for insurance as a self-employed is expensive. One of my tenured professors says it's nearly impossible to pay for it. This is, yet, another reason my parents are pressuring me to pursue PA school.

Sorry, I did mean DMA! I agree that the odds of obtaining a tenure-track professorship are against me, which is why I'm leaning towards the Masters degree to at least to improve my networking and on-paper qualifications for obtaining private students, etc. Perhaps parents will tell other parents, "Ryan has a Masters degree in Music! Let him teach your child!"

Last edited by RyanThePianist; 02/05/18 02:24 AM.

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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2711632 02/05/18 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist
I agree that the odds of obtaining a tenure-track professorship are against me, which is why I'm leaning towards the Masters degree to at least to improve my networking and on-paper qualifications for obtaining private students, etc. Perhaps parents will tell other parents, "Ryan has a Masters degree in Music! Let him teach your child!"


I've heard from a number of music grad students that the trend lately has been for universities to depend on adjunct and part time professors, and they never do end up with tenure.

The MM though would make you competitive as a high school teacher. Those jobs come with full benefits and tenure is more likely. The problem is I've never seen an opening for a strictly piano teacher. Those jobs in high school are usually band or choir, and in elementary school general music. You seem to really enjoy teaching, maybe you expand your qualifications for what you could teach. (Maybe there are magnet schools that hire piano teachers?)


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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2711714 02/05/18 04:20 PM
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Here is some food for thought. I have had many students try to decide between medicine and piano. I tell them you can be a doctor and practice the piano as a hobby. But you can't be a pianist and practice medicine as a hobby.

Music is a rewarding but tough career. You need to be able to think outside the box in order to make any serious money at it. But you can do it.

Most importantly, I wouldn't want to be cared for by a doctor who did not like practicing medicine. I think it is important that you love what you do.


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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2711823 02/06/18 12:38 AM
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To the OP, have you ever heard of Dennis Kuo? I do not know him personally, but he seems to be fairly successful in both medicine practice and music.

Here is his linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennis-kuo-0b73b717/

And here is his music project: http://www.studymusicproject.com/

Just like paven1 suggests in her post, he seems to have decided to make medicine his career and music his hobby and he seems to do fine at both.

Luca

Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2711994 02/06/18 01:41 PM
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Ryan, please don't go into medicine if you have no real interest in it. You will be dealing with people's health, and what you do or don't do can profoundly affect a person's quality of life--or life itself. Patients deserve better than a disinterested MD or PA.

It is true that one's likelihood of getting a tenured music position at a university is remote, but you don't need that to teach privately (or eventually as adjunct). Yes, you will not be rolling in the money from the get-go, but you are young and will be following in the footsteps of many, many others just starting out. If you are so inclined, at some point you will likely have a spouse or partner you can share financial responsibilities with.


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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
Stubbie #2712217 02/07/18 03:45 AM
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Those of you who say I shouldn't practice medicine because my patients wouldn't like to be cared for by a doctor who didn't want to pursue medicine, I 100% agree and I hope telling this to my parents will start to give them some sense of how much I don't want to go to PA school. I believe hard work in something I love will drive the success needed. I'd like to consider myself at least somewhat intelligent enough to organize and network myself to make piano successful... I mean, how many teachers go through challenging premed classes with mainly A's and B's and decide to do music? I know I'm capable enough to do it, but I need to convince my parents somehow... or go my own path.

A video by a college professor really shed some light on modern tenure-track positions at college in my opinion. He also gave a few options to look into for a graduate degree and I'm particularly interested in Recreational Music Making (RMM) and the Music Theory topics he discussed. Here's the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpaJOQWYrik

Thoughts are welcome.

Originally Posted by Stubbie
If you are so inclined, at some point you will likely have a spouse or partner you can share financial responsibilities with.


I currently have a girlfriend with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance who teaches about 7 students. She is currently networking around town and she plays in an ensemble sometimes for money. As of now, she has no plans to obtain a Masters due to loans, and she believes she can make a career straight out of undergrad (she graduated less than a year ago). I believe some teachers have a spouse who works under a company which would help the teacher with insurance, but this is not the case for me.

Last edited by RyanThePianist; 02/07/18 03:48 AM.

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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2712437 02/07/18 05:33 PM
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Hi everyone - I joined to reply to this! I just saw this blog post yesterday and thought it right on target with what several posters mentioned about practicing medicine and still doing music:

The Neurosurgeon and His Violin: Dr. David John Yeh's Unique Journey
http://www.violinist.com/blog/castadiva/20182/25667/
(there is also a small reference to Dr. Yeh's father's mindset/influence)

As for making a living as a music teacher, I am an example of one (though not piano) - relatively stable income, schedule of my choosing, and highly enjoy most aspects of teaching and running a studio. However, I did have a previous career (not something highly specialized/grueling/stressful) so in a sense I did subscribe to the "traditional values" before changing direction. In no way while completing my non music degree would I have thought I'd land in music, and in retrospect, without the previous career, I would not have had the business sense and drive to build up a private teaching business. It's good to have ideas and goals but don't be surprised if life takes another turn.

Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2712523 02/08/18 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RyanThePianist


Perhaps parents will tell other parents, "Ryan has a Masters degree in Music! Let him teach your child!"


You would be dreaming if you think most parents are looking for somebody with a Master's degree to teach their child piano. When I completed my Bachelor's Degree in Music, I thought mentioning it in ads would bring more students. In fact, the minute I replaced those words with "friendly piano teacher," I got more phone calls. What a Master's degree would do is scare off people. Most parents of six year old children are under the illusion that they will start with an average piano teacher and move up later if the child is still interested. They also begin on a keyboard for the same reason.

To test my theory, simply place two ads on craigslist or whatever, one stating you have a Master's (expensive teacher coming down the pike) and the other stating experienced piano teacher or friendly piano teacher. Better yet, put reasonably priced piano teacher, and see the difference.

Also, many students want to learn pop piano music, and the word Master's would make you sound too classical and serious.

For male piano teachers, it might help to have the Master's degree if they find themselves teaching in a music studio in a commercial building. That's possibly because in my city anyhow, there are only about five male piano teachers. And so, it might help your image in a sea of female piano teachers, to have the extra credentials.

Last edited by Candywoman; 02/08/18 02:10 AM.
Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2712532 02/08/18 03:13 AM
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While I really don't want to play the censorious old bore, I have to say this:

Anybody who is troubled by needing to make a choice between working as a doctor or as a music teacher should get down on his knees and thank whatever deity he subscribes to that he has that choice to make. I know a lot of folks for whom a move from grocery-bagger to office dogsbody would be a major career advance.

I would have been perfectly happy as a doctor, or a musician, or a builder, or a car mechanic, or a hundred other things, but I doubt I would have been very happy in grinding poverty.

Be thankful, and remember the less fortunate.

Right. Here endeth the sermon smile

Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
Candywoman #2712533 02/08/18 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Originally Posted by RyanThePianist


Perhaps parents will tell other parents, "Ryan has a Masters degree in Music! Let him teach your child!"


You would be dreaming if you think most parents are looking for somebody with a Master's degree to teach their child piano. When I completed my Bachelor's Degree in Music, I thought mentioning it in ads would bring more students. In fact, the minute I replaced those words with "friendly piano teacher," I got more phone calls. What a Master's degree would do is scare off people. Most parents of six year old children are under the illusion that they will start with an average piano teacher and move up later if the child is still interested. They also begin on a keyboard for the same reason.

To test my theory, simply place two ads on craigslist or whatever, one stating you have a Master's (expensive teacher coming down the pike) and the other stating experienced piano teacher or friendly piano teacher. Better yet, put reasonably priced piano teacher, and see the difference.

Also, many students want to learn pop piano music, and the word Master's would make you sound too classical and serious.

For male piano teachers, it might help to have the Master's degree if they find themselves teaching in a music studio in a commercial building. That's possibly because in my city anyhow, there are only about five male piano teachers. And so, it might help your image in a sea of female piano teachers, to have the extra credentials.

Very negative sounding.

Also 100% right.

Most parents want someone who charges a dollar less and who lives a mile closer, to teach their kids on the cheapest junk keyboard they can buy - and expect us to create miracles when the kids don't play one moment outside of lessons.

That's the reality of what we face.

Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2712541 02/08/18 05:23 AM
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Yet, there are teachers I know with Masters who also manage well with their lives. My previous teacher reminded me that charging higher rates will attract more dedicated students, and I'm fully aware this may scare families who are just looking for their child to "play some piano". Also, what if we mixed it up a bit... what if I had a Masters, charged lower rates than those around me, AND said I was a friendly teacher... oh boy! I think I'd be attracting too many students of all kinds at that point. Of course, this is hypothetical.

That aside, perhaps getting a Masters would at least be a valuable learning and fulfilling experience for myself, especially since I've been "half Music half premed" throughout college. Two years to solely focus on my technique, musicianship, and being around like-minded people would teach me valuable skills to help me MAINTAIN students while (hopefully) inspiring them with my knowledge... this is just my thinking anyway. There are always those parents who cut lessons off out of nowhere.

Kevinb, you're right... many of us here are fortunate to even have music in our lives to a level where we can talk deeply about it. Now, explain that to my parents. wink

Again, thank you for all the replies so far!

Last edited by RyanThePianist; 02/08/18 05:28 AM.

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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2712700 02/08/18 03:47 PM
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Ryan, you should never go into music OR teaching because you figure either is an easy way to make money.

You should do it because you can't stand to do anything else.

If this is true, tell everyone else to eat your shorts and just DO IT!

Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2712900 02/09/18 11:22 AM
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Hello, Ryan, I hope what I will say below doesn't repeat someone else (I haven't read all the replies yet).

1. You ARE currently a music major, which means your parents are somewhat supportive of your music pursuit. Correct? It's natural for parents to want their kids have financial stability, especially in your parents' situation with all their struggles as immigrants with no college degree. For your sake and theirs, come up with a plan B: if teaching does't work out, will you be able to go back to school and get on another career path? What is a likely range of your income if you do teach piano, will you be able to live on that? What other things can you do to supplement your income while teaching piano? Do market analysis, be realistic.

2. You should get some teaching experience to see whether you really like it. Mind you, the vast majority of piano students out there are neither excited nor talented about piano study. Will you enjoy teaching them? Being a good teacher and enjoying teaching are different from loving piano and loving music.

Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2713124 02/10/18 08:56 AM
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It might be true that you won't attract as many students with a DMA or MM hanging in your credentials. However, do you really want to teach kids whose parents are wary of your credentials? In all my years of teaching, I can count maybe five or six parents who even asked me about my degrees.

Let's look at it this way: There are all kinds of uninterested kids who get forced to take piano. You can't possibly eliminate all of them from your studio, unless you want to teach four kids and that's it. So, wouldn't you rather teach kids who actually have a (somewhat) decent piano at home, whose parents are actually going to pay you on time, and who are not going to quit in 5 weeks without give you notice?


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Re: Parents Don't Want Me to Become a Piano Teacher
RyanThePianist #2719536 03/06/18 09:26 PM
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I have to echo Gary D. I tune pianos. I can't wait to see my first piano of the day. I never grumble when I get out of bed. I have no stress. All because I love what I do. I could have a job somewhere, and make more money, but I'd be miserable.

It's important to do what you love to do. Life is so very short.



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