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Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? #2763011
09/03/18 06:34 AM
09/03/18 06:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 31
Ireland
dmcgeown Offline OP
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Hi,

I am a latecomer tot he piano, beginning when I was age 29 and I have since achieved 1 grade per year and I am 32 years old. I am a teacher of IT for a living but would always be most interested in teaching private piano lessons.

I am just wondering is this something that people would consider 'wise' for someone that started so late and is it a realistic goal to achieve enough grades by age 40 (8 years away) to be teaching piano confidently to children and adult beginners?

I would love to know peoples thoughts on this and what your story for entering piano teaching was.


Piano beginner since november 2014, taking it slowly, one step at a time. Working towards grade 1 exams.
Completed grade 1 - June 2015. Onwards to grade 2
Completed grade 2 - June 2016. Let go for grade 3...
Completed Grade 3 - December 2017. Let's be having you grade 4
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Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763025
09/03/18 07:30 AM
09/03/18 07:30 AM
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Back in my school days I had a music teacher who specializes in teaching string instruments (violin, viola, cello & bass). His had a university degree in music with violin as his main instrument And he said he reached conservatory Gr. 6 piano. He was in a public school teaching string instruments. Not sure how old he started taking up music. I have a relative who took piano to at least a conservatory Gr. 6. She said at the time if she had continue for another year or 2 she would have enough qualifications to teach.

There are at least 3 routes to take: go through with a traditional music program and get a high enough conservatory level (passing all the exams). And there are music pedagogy courses in universities. Not sure what the requirements are.

And the last route is to get yourself certified as a Yamaha or Suzuki teacher. They have their own teachers training programs and their own certification requirements. When it comes to the Suzuki program in my area, you need to play through and know the pieces in Suzuki Book 1 - 4. You have to submit a video copy of yourself playing 2 pieces: a Bach Minuet & a Beethoven Sonata and get your playing approved by the Suzuki Association of America. Next you get hooked up with a Suzuki teacher in your area who does teacher training for a few weeks on how to work with children. And you have your name listed on the Suzuki Assoc. of America website as a certified Suzuki teacher.

When it comes to teacher training, don't think there is an age limit as long as you can play an instrument up to a certain level.

Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: Tomboy] #2763039
09/03/18 08:04 AM
09/03/18 08:04 AM
Joined: May 2015
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Originally Posted by Tomboy
Back in my school days I had a music teacher who specializes in teaching string instruments (violin, viola, cello & bass). His had a university degree in music with violin as his main instrument And he said he reached conservatory Gr. 6 piano. He was in a public school teaching string instruments. Not sure how old he started taking up music. I have a relative who took piano to at least a conservatory Gr. 6. She said at the time if she had continue for another year or 2 she would have enough qualifications to teach.

There are at least 3 routes to take: go through with a traditional music program and get a high enough conservatory level (passing all the exams). And there are music pedagogy courses in universities. Not sure what the requirements are.

And the last route is to get yourself certified as a Yamaha or Suzuki teacher. They have their own teachers training programs and their own certification requirements. When it comes to the Suzuki program in my area, you need to play through and know the pieces in Suzuki Book 1 - 4. You have to submit a video copy of yourself playing 2 pieces: a Bach Minuet & a Beethoven Sonata and get your playing approved by the Suzuki Association of America. Next you get hooked up with a Suzuki teacher in your area who does teacher training for a few weeks on how to work with children. And you have your name listed on the Suzuki Assoc. of America website as a certified Suzuki teacher.

When it comes to teacher training, don't think there is an age limit as long as you can play an instrument up to a certain level.



My teacher teaches both Suzuki and traditional methodology. The certification requirements, above, do not match her experience nor the certification requirements on the Suzuki website, linked below

https://suzukiassociation.org/teachers/training/

Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763060
09/03/18 09:14 AM
09/03/18 09:14 AM
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Posts: 21,660
Victoria, BC
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I think that someone in the early stages of learning the piano, as is the OP of this thread, would yet have a lot to learn about the various proper techniques of piano playing to disqualify him/her from teaching. Moreover, knowing how to play even at an intermediate level doesn't mean that one knows how to teach. Recognizing both the skills and the limits of some students, the qualified teacher will have at his/her disposal many teaching techniques to adapt to students with varying abilities.

Nevertheless, there are many teachers in various disciplines who do not have the qualifications to teach, yet they do with, occasionally, rather poor results.

Depending upon the demands for piano teachers in a given area, if the OP were to start teaching he(?) might find himself at serious odds with qualified teachers in the area, taking students away from those more qualified teachers.

Not knowing any of the personal circumstances surrounding this query other than what was written above, I would suggest that the OP continue studying while giving serious thought about whether teaching with his current skills would really benefit those he might want to teach.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763076
09/03/18 09:54 AM
09/03/18 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
[......]Not knowing any of the personal circumstances surrounding this query other than what was written above, I would suggest that the OP continue studying while giving serious thought about whether teaching with his current skills would really benefit those he might want to teach.

Regards,
In the OP's defense, he/she was in fact asking if teaching would be an option when he/she had been taking lessons for another eight years. IMO, his/her skill levels might be sufficient, but there would need to be some pedagogy skills learned in that time as well.


Originally Posted by dmcgeown
[...]I am just wondering is this something that people would consider 'wise' for someone that started so late and is it a realistic goal to achieve enough grades by age 40 (8 years away) to be teaching piano confidently to children and adult beginners?.......


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Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: BruceD] #2763077
09/03/18 09:55 AM
09/03/18 09:55 AM
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Virginia
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Bruce I agree, when I looked for a teacher the studio I signed up with had master's prepared instructors who were performing artist. I am in my 5th year, the person I take from now has a BA in Piano Performance and a MA in Music Education. I played as a child, but would not have enough knowledge to select a teacher. When I started lessons I had to select by qualifications. Not only does the person need to know how to play the instrument, theory is essential. I had taken music theory separately 2 hours a week for 2 and a half years. I feel I learned enough for what I need. Because the OP is young maybe in the distant future a degree in music would be beneficial if this is a goal. The studio I go to only hires musicians with a music degree.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: Stubbie] #2763083
09/03/18 10:06 AM
09/03/18 10:06 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,660
Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
[...]In the OP's defense, he/she was in fact asking if teaching would be an option when he/she had been taking lessons for another eight years. IMO, his/her skill levels might be sufficient, but there would need to be some pedagogy skills learned in that time as well.
[...]


Thanks for the correction of my misreading and my apologies to the OP.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763099
09/03/18 10:51 AM
09/03/18 10:51 AM
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USA
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Originally Posted by dogperson
My teacher teaches both Suzuki and traditional methodology. The certification requirements, above, do not match her experience nor the certification requirements on the Suzuki website, linked below

https://suzukiassociation.org/teachers/training/


You are probably referring to a music teacher who got certified sometime ago. The certification requirements was updated a few years back as far as I know. I probably haven't specify all the details about the Suzuki training requirements. I was looking into being a Suzuki certified teacher.

1. The Every Child Can course: it is a weekend information workshop for parents who want to enroll their child into the Suzuki program and teachers who are looking into obtaining Suzuki training.
The weekend info session is prerequisite because the Suzuki Assoc of America wants every parent & those looking for for teacher's training to be receiving all the info about the Suzuki method & the philosophy behind it.
You are required to sit through the entire session. If there is a reason you must leave early, you have to pay a fee and attend the workshop again.

I've already attended the weekend workshop a few months ago but due to my summer travel schedule had to postpone practicing for the audition video.

2. As a Suzuki teacher in the US you do become a member of the Suzuki Assoc of America. Your name eventually get included in the website directory as a Suzuki teacher in your area.

3. Before you attend the full teacher training course for module 1 - 4, you have to submit a video of yourself playing 2 audition pieces. Both of these pieces are found in Suzuki Book 4: The Minuet1 from Bach Partita #1 in Bb (BWV 825) & Beethoven Sonata #20 Op. 49 #2 in G (mvt1).
(Note: the Minuet2 & Gigue from Partita #1 is also in Suzuki Book4 but you are only required to submit Minuet1).
You need to have the videos uploaded and approved by the Suzuki Assoc of America before moving onto the next step of getting your teacher training.

I was told in the Every Child Can info session that the video audition requirement was only brought in a few years ago to make sure Suzuki teachers are up to a reasonable standard.

4. You get hooked up with a Suzuki teacher who is into teacher's training and you spend about half of your training session observing him/her teach an actual student.
Before students are expected to learn to read music, they are required to play through all the songs in Suzuki Book1 from memory. So every Suzuki teacher is expected to be able to play any of the songs in Book1 from memory as well starting with the "Twinkle Variations" (there are 4 of these starting from Var. A - D), "London Bridge", "Lightly Row", "Honey Bee", "Goodbye to Winter", "Chante Arabe", etc.

I haven't completed my teacher training but did observe a Suzuki teacher in several of her lessons.

Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763123
09/03/18 12:10 PM
09/03/18 12:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
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Canada
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Originally Posted by dmcgeown
Hi,

I am a latecomer tot he piano, beginning when I was age 29 and I have since achieved 1 grade per year and I am 32 years old. I am a teacher of IT for a living but would always be most interested in teaching private piano lessons.

I am just wondering is this something that people would consider 'wise' for someone that started so late and is it a realistic goal to achieve enough grades by age 40 (8 years away) to be teaching piano confidently to children and adult beginners?

I would love to know peoples thoughts on this and what your story for entering piano teaching was.

You would want to learn about teaching along the way. If you are with a good teacher, and you express this interest, then your teacher may start sharing pedagogy ideas in various ways with you - mention "I do this at this time in this way, because often students...." or whatever. You might get some teaching mentoring or a quasi internship or who knows. You want to learn about teaching.

I'm writing as a student. I've entertained the idea of teaching at least as a secondary thing. I have a teaching degree for the formative years (public school) with extra credentials in second language learning and learning disabilities; have also seen what poor teaching of an instrument can do - which was another reason why this part of it interested me. I have learned a lot about this side of things and continue learning. It will probably even help your own progress, by giving fresh insights.

Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763133
09/03/18 12:57 PM
09/03/18 12:57 PM
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We have a lot of teachers where I am, the majority of them do not possess any teaching experience, most are grade 8 piano. It really looks like the market caters towards new starters, I think maybe very few play piano to the point where they are past a beginner?

Maybe I am looking in the wrong place, but I have only found one teacher online who has "very good" credentials.

There is a piano teacher in my area who started in their 40's and is teaching in her 60's. She actually uses this as a unique selling point as she as the experience of having been a late learner.

Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: Tomboy] #2763141
09/03/18 01:42 PM
09/03/18 01:42 PM
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Just to clarify a few points about Suzuki:

Originally Posted by Tomboy
I was told in the Every Child Can info session that the video audition requirement was only brought in a few years ago to make sure Suzuki teachers are up to a reasonable standard.

Video audition has been around at least 15 years, maybe even 20-25 (I don't know about 30). I did my first video (not piano) on 8mm camcorder cassette tape though I can't remember if I sent it in on VHS or DVD. Everything is digital now of course and the last time I sent a video, someone had reviewed and approved it by the next day. If you're in a degree program for Suzuki pedagogy, you would have applied to the school already and don't have to do this separate video.

Originally Posted by Tomboy
4. You get hooked up with a Suzuki teacher who is into teacher's training and you spend about half of your training session observing him/her teach an actual student.

I'm not familiar with long-term training or degree programs or apprenticeship type arrangements but short-term training is done a week-ish at a time in the summer alongside a student program. The Unit 1 course takes 28 hours of lecture/demonstration/pedagogy class and 17 hours of observing classes (both students in the summer program and the trainer's home students on video). Suzuki is about ear first and reading later so first piano course won't cover teaching by reading except as a side topic of interest. If you're a reading first teacher, you might take the course just for your own study of pedagogy and the insight into different ways to interact with young children.

Originally Posted by Tomboy
2. As a Suzuki teacher in the US you do become a member of the Suzuki Assoc of America. Your name eventually get included in the website directory as a Suzuki teacher in your area.

You can actually join as a member and be included in the teacher directory without having taken any courses; your profile page just won't show that you took any. (Or if your training records are so old that they didn't make the transition from paper to electronic...) Some teachers might be interested in paying to be listed and others might not want to bother, for example if they don't want to be associated with the name "Suzuki".

Also, this is a losing battle in semantics, but buried in the training info page that was linked, it says specifically that training is not "certification" (despite that everyone uses the term). I've heard it said that it's because there is no exit exam to "certify" your competence. (However, would you really sit through 45 hours of that, paying quite a bit in course fees and travel and doing assignments, if you weren't going to at least try - which is really all that's needed to pass? You either use what you learned or you don't or maybe you use some ideas but not all.)

To the OP - teaching is a skill that can be learned, just as playing is a skill. Play to a certain level (and keep learning), then look at where and how you can acquire the teaching skills. Once you have gotten into teaching, if you're doing a good job with students (who then refer you more students), it doesn't matter how you got started.

Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763205
09/03/18 06:04 PM
09/03/18 06:04 PM
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What's wrong with your job teaching IT?

It's never too late to start anything, but the odds are stacked up against you. You will be 40 years old by the time you finish grade 8, and you won't have the college degrees or "credentials" to teach anybody past beginner levels. Yet teaching beginners is NOT an easy job! It's almost paradoxical. And then when you start teaching piano you'll realize it doesn't really pay that much $$$.

You might want to keep teaching IT.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763228
09/03/18 07:40 PM
09/03/18 07:40 PM
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AZN Piano, the OP never said they are giving up the current position. I guess I am making assumptions, I thought the OP would do this as extra for the the enjoyment of it. The teachers I have are part time music teachers (with degrees). They have full-time employment elsewhere. Let say the OP is 40 has reached grade 8, then decides to get a music degree part-time. Given the OP already has a degree from an accredited university, the second degree will require less credits, because the general education requirements are already met. The OP can go to school part-time and say in 4 years have a music degree at the age of 44. Now the OP has 15 (started at 29) years playing, grade 8, and a music degree. The OP also comes with teaching experience (in IT), so not new to teaching. In addition, the OP has life experience compared to someone coming out of college in their young 20s. Say the OP lives until 80 and maintains fairly good health, the OP can teach over 30 years. This may make a nice retirement job.

Can't assume the OP is doing this for the sole purpose of money, it may be a personal life goal and something very enjoyable. May be a nice escape from IT.

From the Social Security web site

A man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.3.
A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.7.
And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763314
09/04/18 09:08 AM
09/04/18 09:08 AM
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I just want to chime in on the leaning of pedagogy first, preferably under the tutelage of a professor.

Most everyone we know can read (books, newspapers, articles, websites, road maps, etc...) but how many people that you know can teach a child to read? And, piano is so much more than "just" reading!

That said, a great way to put time into perspective-

in 8-10 years, you will be 8-10 years older, AND you could be learning pedagogy and technique and theory etc...and be about ready to teach piano lessons,

OR you could just be...older. Which do you prefer?

Follow your dream. You have a goal. Enjoy the journey!


Learning as I teach.
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: missbelle] #2763480
09/04/18 07:40 PM
09/04/18 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by missbelle
I just want to chime in on the leaning of pedagogy first, preferably under the tutelage of a professor.

Most everyone we know can read (books, newspapers, articles, websites, road maps, etc...) but how many people that you know can teach a child to read? And, piano is so much more than "just" reading!

That said, a great way to put time into perspective-

in 8-10 years, you will be 8-10 years older, AND you could be learning pedagogy and technique and theory etc...and be about ready to teach piano lessons,

OR you could just be...older. Which do you prefer?

Follow your dream. You have a goal. Enjoy the journey!


+1 Go for it!

Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2763537
09/05/18 09:37 AM
09/05/18 09:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 31
Ireland
dmcgeown Offline OP
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I would like to thank everyone for their replies on this, it is all very interesting. Just to update my idea for the future, I was thinking that this could be a possibility to do in the evenings in my area just out of interest and possibly for a little retirement fund, as much as I would like to admit that money doesn't come into my head when thinking about this, I would be lying.

So I have lots to think about and some very positive opinions and encouragement so thank you!


Piano beginner since november 2014, taking it slowly, one step at a time. Working towards grade 1 exams.
Completed grade 1 - June 2015. Onwards to grade 2
Completed grade 2 - June 2016. Let go for grade 3...
Completed Grade 3 - December 2017. Let's be having you grade 4
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2764174
09/08/18 11:55 AM
09/08/18 11:55 AM
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Why not check out the music program at your local community college this would be a good place to begin. Also, find a mentor teacher to take you on and teach you.

You must be able to provide a solid foundation for your students. Good technique, the ability to read musical notation well, a balanced piano repertoire, basic music theory etc.

Imagine that each student would like to take the piano to the highest level. That's what I do. Even if I have to pass them on at some point I would like them to be able to continue without needing much remediation.

Best Wishes,


Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: AZNpiano] #2766672
09/20/18 12:20 PM
09/20/18 12:20 PM
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AZNpiano makes a very good point. I would also like to point out that just because you can play does not mean you are prepared to teach all different kinds of students with different learning needs from your own. This takes a lot longer to learn. You need a wide grasp of different techniques that you may not have encountered through 10ish years of lessons and a wide knowledge of repertoire.

I also think that beginners deserve the MOST experienced and qualified teachers in many aspects. The damage that could be done at the beginning of a students music education is astronomical. Piano teachers are constantly trying to undo other teachers ineptitudes.

If you are really interested you might consider a music degree or shadowing your teacher and learning pedagogy from them in some way when the time comes. In the meantime try to educate yourself as much as possible about pedagogy and different approaches to technique.


Piano teacher
BM Performance

Estonia L190
Re: Is it possible for a late beginner to teach? [Re: dmcgeown] #2768049
09/27/18 10:09 PM
09/27/18 10:09 PM
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I have a friend who is a beginner in piano (has a music degree but in vocal performance) but managed to land a job for Montessori schools teaching students who were interested. I guess it's one of their enrichment sort of things. You ask if you could teach confidently. She taught confidently, though I can't say I am confident in her teaching, but I sort of have perfectionist tendencies (as probably do many other people who spend unscheduled time posting on a pianoworld forum), so, it all depends on what your confidence tells you! :P


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