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I Want to Teach! #2745492
06/18/18 09:34 PM
06/18/18 09:34 PM
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BNicole Offline OP
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Hello,

I have been playing piano for quite some time now, and it is something I truly enjoy. I have come to realize that I enjoy teaching it too, whether it be teaching my cousin who has so much passion, or my boyfriend who has some genuine interest and curiosity!

I would like to start teaching piano to young beginners. I think it would be a lot of fun and very rewarding, as I enjoy working with kids, and it would be some extra money (I'm a college grad and I need to make as much money as I can to pay off my loans wink ).

For all you piano teachers out there, how did you start? How did you create your lessons? What was your curriculum like, for young beginners? How did you advertise your services? What books did you use?

What did you do to get where you are today with your teaching?

I know, that's a lot of questions, but I would appreciate any advice you could offer!!!

Thanks smile

BNicole

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Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745510
06/18/18 10:11 PM
06/18/18 10:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,204
Canada
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by BNicole
I would like to start teaching piano to young beginners. I think it would be a lot of fun and very rewarding, as I enjoy working with kids, and it would be some extra money (I'm a college grad and I need to make as much money as I can to pay off my loans wink

Why would you like to teach beginners in particular, and what do you think teaching beginners involves?

Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745514
06/18/18 10:58 PM
06/18/18 10:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by BNicole
I would like to start teaching piano to young beginners. I think it would be a lot of fun and very rewarding, as I enjoy working with kids,

That's actually not a good place to begin. I was fortunate enough to start by teaching intermediate and late-intermediate transfer students who are in middle school or older. It's the easiest group to teach. Young ones require much more patience and vigilance. A lot can go wrong in the initial stages of learning piano.

Originally Posted by BNicole
and it would be some extra money (I'm a college grad and I need to make as much money as I can to pay off my loans wink ).

I don't envy your position. Are you a piano major? Or do you have advanced degrees in piano? Many people with D.M.A. or M.M. in piano have a hard time paying off student loans.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745535
06/19/18 03:06 AM
06/19/18 03:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 412
LA CA
Rob Mullins Offline
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Rob Mullins  Offline
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LA CA
Originally Posted by BNicole
Hello,

I have been playing piano for quite some time now, and it is something I truly enjoy. I have come to realize that I enjoy teaching it too, whether it be teaching my cousin who has so much passion, or my boyfriend who has some genuine interest and curiosity!

I would like to start teaching piano to young beginners. I think it would be a lot of fun and very rewarding, as I enjoy working with kids, and it would be some extra money (I'm a college grad and I need to make as much money as I can to pay off my loans wink ).

For all you piano teachers out there, how did you start? How did you create your lessons? What was your curriculum like, for young beginners? How did you advertise your services? What books did you use?

What did you do to get where you are today with your teaching?

I know, that's a lot of questions, but I would appreciate any advice you could offer!!!

Thanks smile

BNicole


Other posters share good advice. Young beginners, not a good group to start with.
I stopped teaching that group many years ago as I watched exhausted parents
passed out on the piano store couch wishing they could sleep more than an hour.
Intermediates, adult hobbyists are much better as groups because they have an
honest desire to learn.
I started when I was about 12. Neighbor kid was trying to play an alto sax in his
front yard and it was so hard to listen to, I went over and took the sax out of his
hand and scolded him. Guess I would probably get arrested for that in 2018.
Anyway, my student business built as I toured around the world and people came
up at the end of concerts and asked "how the heck do you do that?"
Good luck!


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745565
06/19/18 08:07 AM
06/19/18 08:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 68
Canada
pianist_lady Offline
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Canada
It's great that you want to share your love of piano with others. As others have mentioned, teaching beginners is not easy! Unless you are being mentored by a more experienced teacher, you will probably make a lot of mistakes that will make things difficult for both the student and yourself.
An alternative might be looking for community choirs or churches that need pianists. If you are available to sub in for church services, or play for weekly choir rehearsals that could be a fulfilling side job. Perhaps easier than teaching beginner piano.


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745571
06/19/18 08:43 AM
06/19/18 08:43 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 122
Texas
Dr. Rogers Offline
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Texas
I would like to echo the point that young beginners are not the easiest group to start with. Furthermore, teaching beginners of any age is a grave responsibility. We must take pains to give beginners a firm foundation both musically and pianistically.

My first real teaching experience was with Spanish speaking adult beginners. I grew up in a remote area in the southern Appalachians, and took piano lessons from age three through age sixteen. There was one piano teacher in the area, and she had all the students she could handle. At the time, there was a large influx of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, some of whom wanted to learn piano. My piano teacher didn't speak Spanish, so she wasn't really prepared to deal with Spanish-speaking students. I learned Spanish as a teenager (originally for participation in home missions efforts), so I took the Spanish-speaking adult beginners, and also worked with them on English vocabulary related to music. As they progressed with both piano and English, I would turn them over to my former teacher. (IIRC only one lady progressed that far; she wanted to learn piano to play at the church her husband pastored.) It was a pretty good arrangement for all concerned, but it only worked because my former teacher had given me a firm foundation in the basics.

These days my studio is a mix of young beginners, adult beginners, and adult returners, with a few pushing into what I would term intermediate. (I don't really care for labels such as "beginner," "intermediate," or "advanced," but that's a different topic altogether.)

One last thing - it's pretty hard to get rich teaching music. If you have student loans, well, teaching piano may not be the best path to paying them off. Perhaps you could work a regular job and live off that income, and then teach in the lucrative afterschool hours, and dedicated the incoming from teaching to paying off the loans.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck!


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745594
06/19/18 10:00 AM
06/19/18 10:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,204
Canada
keystring Offline
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I want to explain my question about beginners yesterday. A lot of people have been writing about young beginners and the difficulty of that. My focus is on "beginner" and I included older students.

Often people want to get their feet wet with beginners because the music itself is easy. But the point at the beginning is underlying skills and concepts. You are laying down the foundations on which everything else rests at the higher level. There is the physical act of playing, the gradual skill and concept of reading music, how to work on a piece of music, timing etc. A teacher can quickly slip from piece to piece at the beginner level, teaching how to play the piece itself by rote or whatever, without giving those skills.

Adult beginners present another trap: being able to intellectually grasp things, knowing how to find examples of music on the Net to copy, wanting to play well for their teachers rather than getting at basic concepts of skills - later huge holes crop up. Imho, it should be an experienced teacher who starts off beginners. I've often seen the opinion expressed that early intermediate students, who already have a foundation (from a good teacher) is a good place to start.

Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745605
06/19/18 10:40 AM
06/19/18 10:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 166
FLORIDA
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pavane1 Offline
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Both the MTNA and the Suzuki Association of the Americas offer training and certification. That is a great place to start if you are non-degreed.

Find a teacher yourself that you can study with.

Join local piano teacher groups.

Check out Facebook for groups that focus on piano pedagogy and new piano teachers.

It's very important to know what you are doing, Learning to play the piano correctly is a complicated and long-term process.

Some things you must consider

Teaching proper technique

Teaching students to read music. (This may seem easy but I found that can be very challenging for some students)

Teaching rhythm and counting

Teaching how to memorize, how to perform, pedaling, fingering, dynamics, scales. chords, sight reading, improvisation and on and on.

You also need to know how to pace the lessons for each individual student and how to motivate them to practice.

In today's teaching world we deal with discipline issues from time to time.

We also have many more students presenting with learning differences.

I believe that a good teacher must be a strong player but not all excellent players are great teachers. This is not to scare you off. I don't know your playing level or teaching experience. Start with getting a certification or find someone that can mentor you.

There is a lot of free teacher training stuff on my website if you are interested.

Best wishes,


Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745626
06/19/18 11:56 AM
06/19/18 11:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,186
Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
You won't pay off the loans quite as quickly, but I think you should find a veteran piano teacher in your area to take lessons with in piano teaching. You could see this person regularly every two weeks, or just consult with them once a month. Or find two veteran teachers - preferably of divergent styles - and consult with each of them on a paid hourly basis, at least every other month.

This would be a great apprenticeship for a first year, and might even bring you students from these vets, who might themselves have a waiting list.

If you find such a mentor and see her or him regularly, I think you could handle young beginners right from the start.

Good luck!

Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 06/19/18 11:57 AM.
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: Rob Mullins] #2745698
06/19/18 04:27 PM
06/19/18 04:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by Rob Mullins
I stopped teaching that group many years ago as I watched exhausted parents
passed out on the piano store couch wishing they could sleep more than an hour.

I can picture that!


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: AZNpiano] #2745705
06/19/18 04:54 PM
06/19/18 04:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 4
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BNicole Offline OP
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No, I was a business major and work at a school for kids with autism in their HR Department, I play piano for fun.

Last edited by BNicole; 06/19/18 04:54 PM.
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: pavane1] #2745707
06/19/18 04:59 PM
06/19/18 04:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 4
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BNicole Offline OP
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Thank you, this is helpful!

Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: keystring] #2745712
06/19/18 05:34 PM
06/19/18 05:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 4
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BNicole Offline OP
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Originally I thought teaching young beginners would be a good start because I consider myself intermediate, not yet advanced. Therefore, I could start with teaching the basics at an elementary level which kids would understand.

However, after reading all of the comments here, I can see how this might not work. Teaching children requires possibly great knowledge of piano, because one would be setting the overarching foundation for kids to build their piano skills.

I think I might try taking lessons again or joining a church group to further enhance my skills, and then I could think about teaching beginners who are older (middle school, high school, etc.)

Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745723
06/19/18 06:38 PM
06/19/18 06:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 723
Union SC
monkeeys Offline
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I applaud your intentions as a beginner who would love to be good enough to teach one day but I don’t think I’ll have time now. Too many years of self abuse and I’m almost 50 now. I hope you do well in passing along the knowledge of this wonderful instrument.


Alesis Coda Pro
PianoVideoLessons.com Currently Unit 4
Alfred Adult Piano 1-ebook version
Grateful Dead fan since 1987
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745778
06/20/18 02:15 AM
06/20/18 02:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,186
Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Nicole, there's no oversight in piano teaching, and if you want to try teaching a beginning kid, go ahead. We'll never know. Despite what some of my fellow posters think, you won't do any harm, and you might have a blast.

In short, I'm easing up from my earlier post.

Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 06/20/18 02:16 AM.
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745782
06/20/18 02:42 AM
06/20/18 02:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by BNicole
Originally I thought teaching young beginners would be a good start because I consider myself intermediate, not yet advanced. Therefore, I could start with teaching the basics at an elementary level which kids would understand.

However, after reading all of the comments here, I can see how this might not work. Teaching children requires possibly great knowledge of piano, because one would be setting the overarching foundation for kids to build their piano skills.

I think I might try taking lessons again or joining a church group to further enhance my skills, and then I could think about teaching beginners who are older (middle school, high school, etc.)

On second thought, you might want to play piano for several more years and get to advanced level (Beethoven Sonatas, Chopin Scherzos, Rachmaninoff Preludes). It is not a requirement to play advanced repertoire as a piano teacher, but that would definitely give you more credibility for understanding the instrument.

For many years, I have been getting transfer students whose previous teachers did not play piano very well. Many didn't even major in piano. The amount of damage done to these students is beyond fixing.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2745914
06/20/18 04:10 PM
06/20/18 04:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,323
South Florida
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by BNicole
Originally I thought teaching young beginners would be a good start because I consider myself intermediate, not yet advanced. Therefore, I could start with teaching the basics at an elementary level which kids would understand.

Let me phrase this whole thing a bit differently. Suppose you, as a beginner, set out to learn a new language. Would you want to get basics from someone who did not always know what is correct and not correct? Or someone whose pronunciation may or may not be right?

Some beginners are never going to get far. They won't practice much, won't care much about music, so they won't go far. If someone plays for 6 months, badly, then quits, most likely there is no harm done because that person was never going to be successful if God Almighty were giving lessons - assuming God Almighty can only teach and can't supply any desire to work.

But every word-class player started as a beginner, and none of these world-class players would have become world-class players starting with teachers who did not have a deep mastery of the instrument.

Teaching beginners is HARD. Teaching very young or very old beginners is even harder.


Piano Teacher
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2746159
06/21/18 05:44 PM
06/21/18 05:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,659
Opus_Maximus Offline
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Welcome!

I would visit your local music store, spend a whole afternoon, and just browse piano methods. A decent music store should have in stock all of the go-to methods (Bastein, Faber, Alfred, Etc). Take about 4 or 5, and really study them, espeically the Primer's and level1. Compare them. Imagine yourself teaching out of each one, and figure out which you like best, and which you feel more comfotable with. Buy it (not just the lesson book -, but the whole set lesson, theory, technique), take it home, and work through it. Ask your boyfriend (or a friend), if you can give them a sample lesson out of it. If you have not taught before, this is an EXCELLENT, exhaustive pedagogical resource: (There are two volumes, one for advanced, this one for beginners).

https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/professional-piano-teaching-volume-1-sheet-music/20146567?utm_medium=cpc&adpos=1o2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKqUwOjl2wIVCAhpCh0dbQeREAQYAiABEgKn0vD_BwE&d=sem_sidecar&d=sem_sidecar&d=sem_ggl_%7Bcampaign_id%7D_&popup=false&popup=false&utm_source=google&ac=1&country_code=USA&sc_intid=20146567&scid=scplp20146567

Expensive, but worth every penny if you are serious about teacihng, and espeically if you are not a piano major and have no had pedagogy classes.

Everyone has to start somewhere, so the next step would just be to start advertising. Tell everyone you know you are teaching piano, and maybe hand out some flyers at school. Students really do come from the most random places. I can't say all of my students really come from one place any more than another. Some are:

1.) People who have attended my concerts
2.) Craiglist ads
3.) Referalls from current families
4.) Facebook
5.) Nextdoor.com
6.) Neighbors
7.)Referalls from fellow colleauges and teachers
8.) Fast-food workers who have served me

Since you are totally new to teaching and don't have a degree in music, naturally you will need to start our with a rate lower than average, and possibly cater towards low-income families or college students. But this does not necessarily need to stay the same, and your fees can grow in proportion to your education and experience.

Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2746321
06/22/18 10:33 AM
06/22/18 10:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 254
California, USA
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MomOfBeginners Offline
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Many teachers here advocate teaching non-beginners as a first step to starting to teach. You gave very good reasons.

The problem is that there's an abundance of beginners compared to the number of non-beginners who are willing to start with a new teacher. The non-beginner is either happy with their first teacher, or doesn't want to take piano lessons any more.


Mom of Two Girls Who Used to Be Beginners
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: Opus_Maximus] #2746322
06/22/18 10:35 AM
06/22/18 10:35 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,812
Philadelphia, PA
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jdw Offline
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Philadelphia, PA
Opus Maximus, I'm not about to become a piano teacher, but I really appreciate your helpful response, especially the recommendation of resources to help an aspiring teacher to study up and be better prepared.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: jdw] #2746426
06/22/18 08:03 PM
06/22/18 08:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 970
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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Originally Posted by jdw
Opus Maximus, I'm not about to become a piano teacher, but I really appreciate your helpful response, especially the recommendation of resources to help an aspiring teacher to study up and be better prepared.


+2. It was very helpful, and POSITIVE.

Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: BNicole] #2746564
06/23/18 02:46 PM
06/23/18 02:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 711
Wisconsin, USA
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Lakeviewsteve Offline
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Wisconsin, USA

You consider yourself intermediate and aren't taking lessons to further your piano skill? If that is correct, I don't feel you are qualified to teach anyone. All students must to taught correctly or risk exposing the student with bad information they could potentially carry with them for life. Why would you want to risk doing this to some one?

Last edited by Lakeviewsteve; 06/23/18 02:53 PM.

Bösendorfer 170
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: MomOfBeginners] #2746630
06/23/18 11:15 PM
06/23/18 11:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by MomOfBeginners
The problem is that there's an abundance of beginners compared to the number of non-beginners who are willing to start with a new teacher. The non-beginner is either happy with their first teacher, or doesn't want to take piano lessons any more.

Actually, that's not quite true.

Things happen. Teachers move, or quit. If the newbie teacher has connections, we actually do refer students to each other.

And, as I have observed over the years, most parents have absolutely ZERO clue on how to find a good piano teacher. I can write five novels on the horrors of bad piano teaching--AND people who actually put up with it, for YEARS! Unfortunately, by the time these kids get to me, there's virtually nothing I can do to set things right.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: I Want to Teach! [Re: Opus_Maximus] #2746633
06/23/18 11:30 PM
06/23/18 11:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,761
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Since you are totally new to teaching and don't have a degree in music, naturally you will need to start our with a rate lower than average, and possibly cater towards low-income families or college students. But this does not necessarily need to stay the same, and your fees can grow in proportion to your education and experience.

You'd think that's common sense, but I've seen "teachers" that charge the market rate despite their lack of credentials. Granted, a credential does not a good teacher make. I was just a little offended that they'd be charging what I was charging.

The rest of your post is very helpful, but I think the OP needs a little bit more than that.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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