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Asked to teach two kids #2750571
07/10/18 11:11 AM
07/10/18 11:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
G
Gene Nelson Online content OP
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Online Content OP
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
Im a piano technician.
I took piano (playing) lessons for 10 years and my last lesson was about 45 years ago but I retained the ability to read music and play at a basic level.
A good friend asked me to teach her 6 and 10 year olds to play.
I have never taught anyone.
All of my experience with lessons was the basics, and what I play are the classics.
Part of me wants to do this and I will do it for free.
Part of me thinks that what I have learned would only put these kids off and make them hate piano, kind of like I did when I took lessons.
I say that because kids want instant results these days and they like popular music, rock etc and I have never gone there in my playing. I know zero about chord progressions etc.
Also, I would have no idea where to start and my thoughts are that this is best left to the pros.
But it is a challenge that I cant resist right now.
One other thing that creates challenge and reservation is that their practice piano will be a baldwin acrosonic that has been in their grandmas home unserviced for at least 3 decades.
The family finances are limited.
Any advice would be appreciated.


RPT
PTG Member
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Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2750577
07/10/18 11:37 AM
07/10/18 11:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 106
NM
N
NMKeys Offline
Full Member
NMKeys  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 106
NM
I was going to say "don't do it" until you said that the family finances were limited.

I now must ask:
Does one of the kids really, really want to play?
Does one show some kind of natural talent?
Would this be something more than just another activity?


Either way, don't worry about what the kids like to listen to in their free time. I make an effort to point out that these are "teaching songs" and they will work no matter the path that you will choose on your own.


Private Piano Instructor M.M.
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2750589
07/10/18 12:30 PM
07/10/18 12:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
G
Gene Nelson Online content OP
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Online Content OP
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
Thx.
I have yet to interview the kids - I only have mom's perspective.

If anything I could get them aquainted with treble/bass cliff, major/minor scales, reading the notes and relating to keyboard, timing, fingering - this sort of thing I am comfortable with but not so with trying to pass it along to kids.

Beyond that Im not so comfortable ???

Anyway, thx for the feedback.


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2750609
07/10/18 02:30 PM
07/10/18 02:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,178
Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Peter K. Mose  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,178
Toronto, Ontario
Gene, since you are a piano tech, I think you should insist that the acrosonic be brought up to scratch, and subsquently tuned twice yearly. You could be the one to do this, and you should be paid your regular rates to do so.

Teaching for free is an iffy proposition that usually fizzles rather quickly. Not a good idea, in other words. Choose a low rate if you wish, even a bargain basement rate if you wish, but insist on regular payment.

You'll also have to decide whether you wish to teach these siblings together or separately. My vote would be for separately, if this is really about piano lessons. If it's more about general music exposure, through singing and percussion games, then teaching both kids at once could work.

You'll grow through this - give it a try. You might consider hiring a veteran piano teacher behind everyone's back for your own pedagogy coaching.

Last edited by Peter K. Mose; 07/10/18 02:31 PM.
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2750621
07/10/18 04:18 PM
07/10/18 04:18 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
G
Gene Nelson Online content OP
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Online Content OP
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
Thanks again.


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2750635
07/10/18 05:16 PM
07/10/18 05:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,647
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,647
Orange County, CA
My opinion would be to refer these kids to a professional teacher.

For example, if my students asked me to tune their piano, I'd say no. I have a basic idea of how tuning works, but I don't have the proper tools. I will probably do more damage to the piano.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: AZNpiano] #2750753
07/11/18 11:21 AM
07/11/18 11:21 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
G
Gene Nelson Online content OP
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Online Content OP
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My opinion would be to refer these kids to a professional teacher.

For example, if my students asked me to tune their piano, I'd say no. I have a basic idea of how tuning works, but I don't have the proper tools. I will probably do more damage to the piano.


I believe that their mom has come to me because the pro's are a bit beyond her budget.


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2750874
07/11/18 10:19 PM
07/11/18 10:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,144
C
Candywoman Offline
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Candywoman  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,144
Everybody's finances are "limited." The question is how limited? For instance she could start only one child with a professional piano teacher, and wait with the second child. She could have her child take three lessons per month instead of four, or she could cook in trade for the last lesson each month.

If I were you, I would not undertake this.

Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2750890
07/12/18 12:29 AM
07/12/18 12:29 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,945
W
Whizbang Online content
1000 Post Club Member
Whizbang  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,945
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Teaching for free is an iffy proposition that usually fizzles rather quickly. Not a good idea, in other words


Want to call attention to this. My hubby has done his share of work in his profession "for free" and worked his ass off and ... has worked his ass off.

It is a weird thing but if you give something away for free it is as if you are saying "this is not valuable" and for whatever reason, that is what people take away from that. So, charge something. If you think it should be a low amount, then say something like it is a "friends and family" rate given the rates of local piano teachers.

But if you give your skills away, for whatever reason, it changes the dynamic in a bad way, Speaking from the vantage of someone who has seen someone taken advantage of more than once.

(Don't disagree with the teachers here who are saying "a pro teacher would be better". It would often be and it comes down to your judgement as to the family's need.)


Last edited by Whizbang; 07/12/18 12:29 AM.

Whizbang [Linked Image]
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Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Whizbang] #2750903
07/12/18 02:29 AM
07/12/18 02:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,647
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,647
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Teaching for free is an iffy proposition that usually fizzles rather quickly. Not a good idea, in other words


Want to call attention to this. My hubby has done his share of work in his profession "for free" and ...

There is a living and breathing counterexample to this argument. She lives in the Los Angeles area and teaches for free. She only takes the most talented students.

When you have a rich husband, you can do whatever you like, including teaching piano prodigies for free.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Whizbang] #2750939
07/12/18 11:14 AM
07/12/18 11:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
G
Gene Nelson Online content OP
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Online Content OP
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,191
Old Hangtown California
Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Teaching for free is an iffy proposition that usually fizzles rather quickly. Not a good idea, in other words


Want to call attention to this. My hubby has done his share of work in his profession "for free" and worked his ass off and ... has worked his ass off.

It is a weird thing but if you give something away for free it is as if you are saying "this is not valuable" and for whatever reason, that is what people take away from that. So, charge something. If you think it should be a low amount, then say something like it is a "friends and family" rate given the rates of local piano teachers.

But if you give your skills away, for whatever reason, it changes the dynamic in a bad way, Speaking from the vantage of someone who has seen someone taken advantage of more than once.

(Don't disagree with the teachers here who are saying "a pro teacher would be better". It would often be and it comes down to your judgement as to the family's need.)



I take advice to use a pro seriously, thank you. However, in regards to doing work or giving my skills for free - I have done this in my life (not piano lessons) in regard to piano service and other things many times. My gift is mine and how it is recieved is not my problem. Some people may interpret a gift in unexpected ways but again, I feel good about what I give and who I give it to, that is where the real value is imho and I never feel taken advantage of - giving is not about what may come back to me. But thats my opinion for what its worth.


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2752360
07/18/18 10:49 AM
07/18/18 10:49 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 162
FLORIDA
P
pavane1 Offline
Full Member
pavane1  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 162
FLORIDA
Why not get some pedagogical training? There are many people out there that could help you. Facebook groups, websites the MTNA, the SAA you can get some help with any f these.

It is important to know what you are doing when teaching the piano. It is a very complicated and involved process. You never know if a student will decide that he loves the piano and wants to make it a career. You want to be sure your students have the proper training. This way they can realize their dreams.

None of us start out knowing everything. That's why there are forums like this. So we can all learn. Commit yourself to professional growth you made find a new and rewarding career.

Best wishes


Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2752737
07/20/18 06:35 AM
07/20/18 06:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 294
Toronto, Canada
T
thepianoplayer416 Online content
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thepianoplayer416  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 294
Toronto, Canada
If you want to do it for the parents as a favor, you can tell them upfront you can only go so far with music education and will go by a method book like Alfred's to give the kids some basic techniques and they can decide what to do from there. I'm sure people who have no experience with piano would have to start from the basics. When it comes to Pop songs, I'm sure in the first 6 months, beginners won't have enough playing skills to get into them.

Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2754016
07/26/18 03:31 PM
07/26/18 03:31 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 5
Rancho Santa Margarita
A
Alec Weesner Offline
Junior Member
Alec Weesner  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 5
Rancho Santa Margarita
Perhaps start with teaching from a piano book, rather than just from your own experiences. It's a lot easier to plan out lessons if you have material already presented to you.

Re: Asked to teach two kids [Re: Gene Nelson] #2756369
08/07/18 12:03 AM
08/07/18 12:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 637
California
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