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Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? #2828290
03/18/19 12:40 PM
03/18/19 12:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,209
Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline OP
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A teacher on another discussion board I monitor asked advice on what the poster's 14yo daughter should charge when she starts giving piano lessons to children next fall. Apparently the girl is itching to get started teaching, and has the blessing of her private teacher.

I suggested that the daughter was too young to become a teacher, by maybe a decade or more. Well, that observation went over like a lead balloon. Then I suggested that this young girl might first try teaching adult early intermediate piano students, not 7yo beginners at the piano. I figure the adults might be more pliable and accepting of a young teen teacher than a little kid would. That suggestion was met with hostility.

Regarding fees, I suggested a range between teaching for free, or free in return for a donation to a local arts centre, to a high price of half the going rate in the community. Other teachers thought the fee should be somewhat less than the going rate in the community, maybe 75%.

I'd be curious to start a discussion on this board about these issues. I guess if piano teaching is purely technical rote learning, drawn from a beginner method book, a high school kid could pull it off. Could they pull it off as well as I can, after my decades of teaching? Who knows? Maybe their freshness would carry the day, and they would do a great job. Maybe they should charge as much as I do. Maybe they should charge more than I do.

But if one considers music education in the piano studio to be a broader and deeper cultural endeavor, then the 9th grade piano teacher is clearly not ready to do this.

In Canada and the US, anyone can declare oneself a studio piano teacher and plunge in. There is no minimum age, and no entry requirement. We all started at some point, and at some age, and we all learned on the job. Most of us likely did not specifically train to become piano teachers. I'm ok with this. But can one be a child prodigy piano teacher? Is there an age that is simply too young?

Thoughts?

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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828300
03/18/19 01:00 PM
03/18/19 01:00 PM
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Posts: 114
Canada
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My thought is that you are very brave to start this discussion here!


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828301
03/18/19 01:01 PM
03/18/19 01:01 PM
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South Wales
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Colin Miles Offline
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At the age of eleven I had one more exam to take before becoming qualified as a teacher. I was deemed too young - quite right. At the age of fourteen and with enthusiasm maybe it is different. Again, it depends on who she is teaching, her own maturity and personality and many other things, not least who she will be teaching. It sounds as this is likely to happen anyway, charge-free or not, so it will be interesting to hear the results.


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Colin Miles] #2828304
03/18/19 01:03 PM
03/18/19 01:03 PM
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Scotland
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
At the age of eleven I had one more exam to take before becoming qualified as a teacher. I was deemed too young - quite right. At the age of fourteen and with enthusiasm maybe it is different. Again, it depends on who she is teaching, her own maturity and personality and many other things, not least who she will be teaching. It sounds as this is likely to happen anyway, charge-free or not, so it will be interesting to hear the results.


In piano you mean Colin? You had Grade 8 at 11?

I will read the replies with interest and that is all I am saying. ;-)


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828305
03/18/19 01:06 PM
03/18/19 01:06 PM
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Texas
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Very interesting thread.

I started (or, rather, was thrust into) teaching at 16 or 17. At that time, I lived in a rather remote area of the Appalachian Mountains. We had in influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants, some of whom wanted to learn piano. There was one piano teacher in the county, and her studio was pretty full, and she did not speak Spanish. I was my teacher's most advanced student at the time, and I spoke Spanish. So my teacher and I came to an arrangement - after some instruction in how to teach, I started taking on the beginners who did not speak English. I taught them piano and also worked with them on the English skills they would need in music lessons. When I eventually went off to University, my teacher took on the ones who wanted to continue. She said I had done well with them, and that it was easy for her to pick up where I had left off.

I don't remember how much I charged, but it wasn't very much. Certainly nowhere near what I charge now.

Was I as good a teacher then as I am now? Certainly not. I'm always trying to improve, and I think my teaching is better now than it was 20 years ago, or even five years ago. Did I mess up any beginners? Not according to my teacher.

One idea I would suggest is have a qualified teacher somehow evaluate the teaching, something like quality control.

I'm looking forward to reading other folks' thoughts.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828335
03/18/19 02:51 PM
03/18/19 02:51 PM
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Spain
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The only reason I can see for parents to send their children to a 14 year old inexperienced teacher is the price. Honestly I would only have considered for my kids it if the classes were a lot less than half the price of an experienced older teacher, or maybe free. After all the young teacher would be learning as much from the classes as the kids.

It sounds like her own teacher will guide her through this, so she should do ok teaching beginners if she can actually find students!

Let us know how it turns out for her if you hear anything.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Suni] #2828358
03/18/19 04:21 PM
03/18/19 04:21 PM
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Greater Chicago Metro Area
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Originally Posted by Suni
The only reason I can see for parents to send their children to a 14 year old inexperienced teacher is the price. Honestly I would only have considered for my kids it if the classes were a lot less than half the price of an experienced older teacher, or maybe free. After all the young teacher would be learning as much from the classes as the kids.

It sounds like her own teacher will guide her through this, so she should do ok teaching beginners if she can actually find students!

Let us know how it turns out for her if you hear anything.


Funny thing is I have been asked to teach young ones because the parents don't think they will stick with it and slide it in a conversation with me. Hey Ed interested in making a few extra bucks. I had lessons and got to advanced level but not conservatory level. I probably could teach to intermediate level but I definitely would not want to teach friends kids shocked
Stopped playing and took it up again for my own enjoyment after I finished graduating college in a non-musical degree.
So I could actually see her getting students from cheap parents or from parents who have limited funds.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: ShyPianist] #2828367
03/18/19 04:42 PM
03/18/19 04:42 PM
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South Wales
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist


In piano you mean Colin? You had Grade 8 at 11?


I was force-fed exams every six months or so with the Trinity College of Music. Got to Senior grade in both practical and I think theory - long time ago.

But regarding young piano teachers, back even earlier it was not unusual for students to teach others. I have the certificate of a piano teacher who died at the age of 94 and I think she started very young when her teacher died or went to war - this is WW1.

Last edited by Colin Miles; 03/18/19 04:43 PM. Reason: additional comment

Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828396
03/18/19 06:26 PM
03/18/19 06:26 PM
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The OP was correct on both points. My advice to him is to try to forget that people like this exist.

That girl will not be able to retain students. She probably will move on to some other whim after this one. The whole point will be moot in about six months.

Wait til she has a six year old boy misbehaving and can't make the proper adjustments to his behaviour. Or she will get too friendly with another female student and not be able to assert a teacher's authority. Or she will be complaining that her student's parents want to skip lessons and not pay for them. Or students will not do what she asks them to do.

In fact, it's the interpersonal skills that she will most lack, the assertiveness. To each his own.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828405
03/18/19 06:49 PM
03/18/19 06:49 PM
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There are awful piano teachers at any age. Age alone is not the determining factor of the teacher's awfulness.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828412
03/18/19 07:14 PM
03/18/19 07:14 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
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It sounds as though she has the blessing of her teacher - and presumably the ability to check with her on any problems that arise. She should definitely charge less than the average rate for lessons in that area. She may not get good students, but you never know. And as long as the parent can be respectful of her, then she should give it a try.

I do hope her teacher has prepared her for some of the issues she will encounter. When I started teaching, I was around 25 but I looked 18. That caused a lot of problems, especially with adult students - they just couldn't get over the fact that they'd be learning from someone that much younger than they. It really offended their pride.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828465
03/18/19 09:50 PM
03/18/19 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
A teacher on another discussion board I monitor asked advice on what the poster's 14yo daughter should charge when she starts giving piano lessons to children next fall.

Thoughts?


Perhaps look at what 14 year olds are charging to mow lawns, compared with pro gardeners? Go for the same percentage of the adult teacher's price?


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828512
03/19/19 02:53 AM
03/19/19 02:53 AM
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Canada
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Vladimir Dounin Offline
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
A teacher on another discussion board I monitor asked advice on what the poster's 14yo daughter should charge when she starts giving piano lessons to children next fall. Apparently the girl is itching to get started teaching, and has the blessing of her private teacher.

I suggested that the daughter was too young to become a teacher, by maybe a decade or more. Well, that observation went over like a lead balloon. Then I suggested that this young girl might first try teaching adult early intermediate piano students, not 7yo beginners at the piano. I figure the adults might be more pliable and accepting of a young teen teacher than a little kid would. That suggestion was met with hostility.

Regarding fees, I suggested a range between teaching for free, or free in return for a donation to a local arts centre, to a high price of half the going rate in the community. Other teachers thought the fee should be somewhat less than the going rate in the community, maybe 75%.

I'd be curious to start a discussion on this board about these issues. I guess if piano teaching is purely technical rote learning, drawn from a beginner method book, a high school kid could pull it off. Could they pull it off as well as I can, after my decades of teaching? Who knows? Maybe their freshness would carry the day, and they would do a great job. Maybe they should charge as much as I do. Maybe they should charge more than I do.

But if one considers music education in the piano studio to be a broader and deeper cultural endeavor, then the 9th grade piano teacher is clearly not ready to do this.

In Canada and the US, anyone can declare oneself a studio piano teacher and plunge in. There is no minimum age, and no entry requirement. We all started at some point, and at some age, and we all learned on the job. Most of us likely did not specifically train to become piano teachers. I'm ok with this. But can one be a child prodigy piano teacher? Is there an age that is simply too young?

Thoughts?


In Russia all students with good marks at exams HAD to work as a teacher and teach beginners. I started teaching at age 14. as well. My salary was exactly 1 Canadian dollar per hour (0.62 USD). At the same year I started work as a Kindergarten Music Teacher. ($ 5 per hour). It is a wonderful experience for a whole life. I can explain everything in music to everyone after I did it for 2-3 years old students.

Good luck for your daughter!


Vladimir Dounin
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828515
03/19/19 03:35 AM
03/19/19 03:35 AM
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Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline OP
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I only described half the story. Little Janey at age 14 is apparently equally accomplished on both piano and violin, and wants to commence teaching both instruments this fall - apparently with the approval of both of her instrumental teachers. She won't be a teaching assistant to either of these teachers; she'll just hang out a shingle and compete for students against every seasoned piano and violin teacher in her small city. (Her mom, also a piano teacher, is willing to informally act as a consultant, if Janey needs advice on piano teaching issues.)

Janey will be competing against her own mother, unless Mom is looking to reduce her studio. The whole thing sounds daffy. My views coincide with Candywoman's.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828519
03/19/19 04:05 AM
03/19/19 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
I only described half the story. Little Janey at age 14 is apparently equally accomplished on both piano and violin, and wants to commence teaching both instruments this fall - apparently with the approval of both of her instrumental teachers. She won't be a teaching assistant to either of these teachers; she'll just hang out a shingle and compete for students against every seasoned piano and violin teacher in her small city. (Her mom, also a piano teacher, is willing to informally act as a consultant, if Janey needs advice on piano teaching issues.)

Janey will be competing against her own mother, unless Mom is looking to reduce her studio. The whole thing sounds daffy. My views coincide with Candywoman's.

Maybe you need to see what the student is capable of before you make age-based judgments.

If you have worked with as many teenage geniuses as I have, you will humble yourself to the capacity of young minds.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: AZNpiano] #2828534
03/19/19 06:13 AM
03/19/19 06:13 AM
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Canada
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
If you have worked with as many teenage geniuses as I have, you will humble yourself to the capacity of young minds.

If this child is in fact a "genius", which I guess means that everything came naturally and easily to her, does that put her in a position of also being able to teach skills to students ... and on two instruments? Do we know she is a genius? What does "accomplished" mean, if she is "equally accomplished" in two instruments? (which I think that Peter expressed somewhat tongue in cheek).

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828535
03/19/19 06:23 AM
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I have one central idea that I would like to put forth. Teaching is important, because learners are the recipients of teaching. It should be done well enough that the learner is not damaged. These are people, who will carry with them the results of this teaching, maybe for a long time. I am seeing discussions around who would be willing to be taught "not well", if it's free, or if it's a particular age group, or because they are more willing or more compliant. If it's a freebie or cheap teaching,does that mean that people with little money will be made to have their hopes dashed? Either this young lady is able to teach, or she isn't. If she doesn't have that ability, she should not be teaching. She might indeed be able to: none of us know her.

People try to make paper airplanes, and cookies, and hobby furniture. You throw your first attempts in the garbage if they don't turn out, learn from your mistakes and try again. But students are people who continue living and trying after those lessons.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: keystring] #2828539
03/19/19 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I have one central idea that I would like to put forth. Teaching is important, because learners are the recipients of teaching. It should be done well enough that the learner is not damaged. These are people, who will carry with them the results of this teaching, maybe for a long time. I am seeing discussions around who would be willing to be taught "not well", if it's free, or if it's a particular age group, or because they are more willing or more compliant. If it's a freebie or cheap teaching,does that mean that people with little money will be made to have their hopes dashed? Either this young lady is able to teach, or she isn't. If she doesn't have that ability, she should not be teaching. She might indeed be able to: none of us know her.

People try to make paper airplanes, and cookies, and hobby furniture. You throw your first attempts in the garbage if they don't turn out, learn from your mistakes and try again. But students are people who continue living and trying after those lessons.


For obvious reasons (I expect) I’m rather reticent about commenting here. I’m unsure if AZNpiano’s comments are serious or not (a dry wit can be hard to read without visual clues) but it’s correct, to a point, that age is not the only consideration. But we’re not talking age so much as experience, and I don’t even mean musical experience so much as I mean life experience and maturity. As you might expect I’m not gong to comment on the girl’s current lack of teaching experience because absolutely everyone has to start somewhere and without knowing more about her background it’s impossible to say whether she has sufficient knowledge to be starting now or not. If she has her teacher’s own blessing I can only assume she does, otherwise I would have to question her own teacher’s experience and suitability.

I totally agree with the comments above that doing something cheap doesn’t make it better if the result is bad. Either do something right and charge appropriately or don’t do it. No one should be paid less simply because they’re young incidentally, all that does is breed the mindset that Keystring rightly criticises.

Last edited by ShyPianist; 03/19/19 06:46 AM.

“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828621
03/19/19 10:44 AM
03/19/19 10:44 AM
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Boynton Beach, FL
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I had zero teaching experience when I began teaching. But I had the recommendation of my teacher - and the ability to ask her for advice - when I began teaching. Did I make mistakes? Of course. There's no getting around that. But I read lots of books and learned what I could.

I charged a lot less than the average rate at the time because I was new and I know that my students at the time knew that as well. But I knew piano well, and I also happened to be the kind of person who gives a lot of thought to how I do things and how I can improve, which are qualities that happen to work well in teaching.

This girl may be a talented teacher, just inexperienced - which her price should reflect. This does not means he will "ruin" kids in piano. I know many teachers that have decades of experience that ruin kids. One does not necessarily cause the other.

So I guess I'm not sure what the big deal is. How many people are going into piano teaching these days? How many people are taking up piano and not just resorting to youtube videos and self-teaching? I love what I do and I find it sad to see it dying as it is. So when there's someone enthusiastic and - allegedly - capable and recommended by professionals in the field, who am I to say no?

Last edited by Morodiene; 03/19/19 10:45 AM.

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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828627
03/19/19 10:52 AM
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What it all boils down to is that we don't know really know what the girl is like other than being enthusiastic and talented - two pluses - and very young - which might equal two minuses. But we don't know what she might charge or who she might teach. So basically we're just speculating. Be interesting to hear what happens, if it goes ahead. A case study for future debate.


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828629
03/19/19 10:55 AM
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Quote
This girl may be a talented teacher, just inexperienced - which her price should reflect. This does not means he will "ruin" kids in piano. I know many teachers that have decades of experience that ruin kids. One does not necessarily cause the other.


I guess that's the crux of the issue though. She is inexperienced, obviously, but that doesn't necessarily mean she will be any worse than an experienced, but still rubbish, teacher down the road. So when you think about it in those terms, why should she charge less? Obviously there are other considerations here, and very obviously you do have different levels of teaching and different rates as a result. But I'm also pretty sure there must be recommended minimum rates that all piano teachers should expect to charge, and be supportive of others (even newbies, and even youngsters) charging. Because otherwise you do get a situation where there's selection based on price and not on results/ability which isn't actually good for anyone in the profession. This isn't exclusive to piano teaching but to all professions, which is why there are normally recommended minimum rates (at least there are here in the UK in most professions).

Last edited by ShyPianist; 03/19/19 10:59 AM.

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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828630
03/19/19 11:04 AM
03/19/19 11:04 AM
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The violin teaching thing is interesting to me. From what I have observed, the physical actions necessary to produce a good violin sound are more complicated than for piano, and teachers need to pretty meticulous with beginners to ensure things develop in the right way.
To be able to teach well, you need to understand what you are doing on a "meta" level-- not just being able to play the instrument but understanding how you are doing it-- and I would be surprised if a young player possessed that level of knowledge. I started teaching a couple students while in high school, with the blessing of my teacher, who loaned me a pile of pedagogy books. Despite this, I'm pretty sure I messed up teaching those students how to read. Being a natural sight-reader I had no idea what goes into learning to read, because it just happened instantly for me. Keystring's point about students living with the effects of inept teaching seems really important, as I sometimes wonder how those first students felt about their lessons.
I also agree with Candywoman and Morodiene that the interpersonal dynamics may be most challenging to a young person. But perhaps that is a good challenge to face early in life!


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: pianist_lady] #2828633
03/19/19 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The violin teaching thing is interesting to me. From what I have observed, the physical actions necessary to produce a good violin sound are more complicated than for piano, and teachers need to pretty meticulous with beginners to ensure things develop in the right way.

You have just reminded me.

Peter - If she does go that route, can you please recommend this excellent course to her? It is free, though for a fee she can even get a certificate which in her case may be useful.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/teach-violin-lessons

I went through the course, in part to undo some of the damage from my own student experience. I was pleasantly surprised by the expertise. The head instructor worked with Mimi Zweig, which says a lot.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: pianist_lady] #2828637
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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The violin teaching thing is interesting to me. From what I have observed, the physical actions necessary to produce a good violin sound are more complicated than for piano, and teachers need to pretty meticulous with beginners to ensure things develop in the right way.
To be able to teach well, you need to understand what you are doing on a "meta" level-- not just being able to play the instrument but understanding how you are doing it-- and I would be surprised if a young player possessed that level of knowledge. I started teaching a couple students while in high school, with the blessing of my teacher, who loaned me a pile of pedagogy books. Despite this, I'm pretty sure I messed up teaching those students how to read. Being a natural sight-reader I had no idea what goes into learning to read, because it just happened instantly for me. Keystring's point about students living with the effects of inept teaching seems really important, as I sometimes wonder how those first students felt about their lessons.
I also agree with Candywoman and Morodiene that the interpersonal dynamics may be most challenging to a young person. But perhaps that is a good challenge to face early in life!


That's true pianist_lady (violinist here too). It's also a great deal more obvious at first when you have a bad violin teacher, because the results are very clear to see and to hear. I think from what I've seen there are possibly more poor violin teachers than there are good ones teaching at the early levels, and there's quite a lot of potential to do lasting damage. You also would have to contend with the shockingly terrible instruments that some poor learners have to try and play, or have the diplomatic skills to persuade the parents to get something better. I do actually respect anyone who teaches beginner level violin!

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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828658
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Plus, I find piano teaching very difficult emotionally, even after 22 years. There are some really dead students who give nothing back, even young kids. Sometimes they don't like piano. Sometimes they're depressed. Yes, I had a six year old boy student who was depressed and went on to be an adult on anti-depressants. Sometimes, kids are unkind. I've had students insult my hair. There's stuff you have to be able to take emotionally.

But even in the best case scenario, the students of the 14year old will not have the full range of her musical experiences to draw from. Because those experiences haven't happened. I'm speaking of things like performance experience, breadth of repertoire, encounters with strange time signatures and unusual editing, knowledge of harmony, analysis and composition, knowledge of conducting (which I teach my beginners in the first two months). Some people say you can't judge this girl, but you can judge her mother. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Candywoman] #2828662
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Some people say you can't judge this girl, but you can judge her mother. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


Probably kinder not to judge anyone though?


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828730
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Yes. But kindness doesn't result in learning anything. People make generalizations all the time because it's a survival skill. For example, snakes are generally to be avoided. Of course Steve Irwin was an exception in his expert handling of venomous snakes, but my rule still stands. People like to be right and think they are right more often than they are because it's a survival strategy.

Generally, parents of 14 year olds who plunge their children into teaching piano when they would be better off waiting can expect some censure from experienced piano teachers. It goes with the territory.

But they are free to continue on that course. I can't stop them. It's a free country and I will defend their right to teach prematurely if they want to.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828793
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I have meant to address this part.
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Then I suggested that this young girl might first try teaching adult early intermediate piano students, not 7yo beginners at the piano. I figure the adults might be more pliable and accepting of a young teen teacher than a little kid would.


The idea of "early intermediate" makes sense, because setting students up with everything brand new, as one does with a beginner, is the part where you build every foundation for the future and that's not for a novice teacher with zero experience. The "early intermediate" will hopefully have that foundation to build on.

Ok, but - Who is your "early intermediate adult"? Best case, she had an excellent teacher as a child who gave her proper foundations, and something unfortunate stopped lessons. The novice teacher can build on that. If she started as an adult, and has had an excellent teacher recently, why would she switch to a novice? This student is unlikely. What's left? The student who self-taught for a bit, shows up with page 143 of a method book, and is thus "early intermediate" or playing a self-taught piece that is at that level. Technique may be haywire; reading skills may be missing but you're fooled by the winging it. We get tale after tale where experienced teachers have been fooled and rushed the student along, unable to catch the signs. How would an inexperienced teen catch this?

From everything I have read, adults are complicated and difficult to teach. How then does it make sense to suggest that a young novice begin with an age group she can't even relate to, that is especially difficult to teach? Being "pliable and accepting" is only fine if what the student ends up accepting helps that student. Btw, mostly what I read is that teachers find adults to be stubborn, want to have their own way, won't listen etc. (pliable?)

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828843
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We are okay with 14 year olds babysitting, so I don't think it's out of the question to think of them as capable teachers, assuming we don't expect them to teach something they don't know.

I also think some children may prefer to be taught by someone closer to their own age. I used to train and supervise a number of teenaged soccer referees - when a 12 or 13 year old walked out to referee 6 and 7 year olds, the players seemed to love it, and listened really well to anything the referee had to tell them about the laws of the game and the practice of the game. Much better than getting refereed by their imposing parents.

Obviously we are not in possession of all the facts, but, looking at it optimistically, the 14 year old teaching a child the basics may have immense amounts of patience, and that might be just what a beginner needs. And right about when the child might need more advanced teaching, the 14 year old is probably heading off to college, so it could all come right in the end.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828849
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In my career I've only rarely found adult learners at the piano to be stubborn; generally they are very grateful for anyone taking them seriously and being willing to offer them help.

But as for little Janey the studio music teacher, I just scratch my head and hope she doesn't cause too much mischief or bad feelings among her students.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828872
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
In my career I've only rarely found adult learners at the piano to be stubborn; generally they are very grateful for anyone taking them seriously and being willing to offer them help.

But as for little Janey the studio music teacher, I just scratch my head and hope she doesn't cause too much mischief or bad feelings among her students.

I certainly was. Unfortunately adult students can also be too trusting, too careful to do everything to the letter as they are told to do, and get ruined by the results if the teaching is not good. Your "early intermediate" adult may be a self-taught or badly taught student with a dozen holes which the inexperienced young student will not be able to recognize. If it's a child with a parent, at least there as another guide who can say "Wait a minute - this doesn't seem right." Some adults have had to wait decades to finally try to realize a dream, and you don't want that dashed through carelessness.

Btw, did you see my reference to the coursera teaching course (violin)? It really is beyond excellent.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2828959
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
In my career I've only rarely found adult learners at the piano to be stubborn; generally they are very grateful for anyone taking them seriously and being willing to offer them help.

Lucky you. Most adult students I've had are very prideful as they are accustomed to being good at their profession. So to humble themselves and submit to what a teacher is telling them is very difficult. Some are thus subconsciously resistant to learning while outwardly being pleasant.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829018
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As an adult student, I so appreciate the direction my teacher provides. When I practise in the following days following her direction of what she tells I notice improvement. She seems to also appreciate the obvious practise I do between lessons. My lesson yesterday provided an interesting insight to her thinking.

On one piece she initially said she wasn't going to direct me on dynamics yet because I needed to get more practise on keeping the fingering right and consistent and less stumbling. But she then asked me to play the piece through a second time before moving on to the next piece, and this time I played it noticeably better and more like I had played at home recently and suddenly she switched to you need to start thinking about bringing out the melody and adding the volume ebb and flow. These sound like simple things but you can only move on to thinking about the next stage once you have progressed far enough with the previous stage and she helps to judge that for me.

My teacher is less than half my age, I suspect I'm older than her parents. But I only have respect for her skill in knowing what needs to be done and how quickly to progress.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Morodiene] #2829019
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
In my career I've only rarely found adult learners at the piano to be stubborn; generally they are very grateful for anyone taking them seriously and being willing to offer them help.

Lucky you. Most adult students I've had are very prideful as they are accustomed to being good at their profession. So to humble themselves and submit to what a teacher is telling them is very difficult. Some are thus subconsciously resistant to learning while outwardly being pleasant.

I gladly admit I am stubborn and my teacher agrees...however my stubbornness also means I do not give up easily when things are difficult smile

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829043
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Fourteen years old could mean just about anything with respect to general life maturity, which is important here. It's the Wild West where anything from the mad gunslinger to the wise, experienced sheriff roam. Hopefully she falls on the wise side of the spectrum, given that her teacher has given her the okay.

For myself, I would not want to be the "training student" for a new teacher, particularly one that age who likely is still young herself in musical experience and maturity. It might work out fine, but maybe not and then you, the student, have to deal with the results.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829098
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I don't think there is an age limit on people teaching piano. There are people who attends university at a young age skipping many primary & high school levels. There are people like Alma Deutscher who are young music prodigies. They have the technical know-how and the concert performance experience before age 20. Do we assume kids should socialize with people of their age group or do we break the generation gap?

Once a cousin tried to teach me the basics of playing piano. I was older 11 and she was 8. She passed a few conservatory levels already but I don't think she had the confidence to take on paying students.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829112
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When I was a high schooler dabbling in teaching, I had no intentions/delusions of going much beyond neighborhood kids and family friends (parents' friends' children, who were not old enough to be my social peers). I too was accomplished on two instruments and had a teacher mom to consult on teaching issues. I don't remember what my teachers thought, but now as an adult professional, there's no way I would consider a teenaged, new teacher to be "competition" because such a teen simply serves a different market - perhaps those choosing based on price or convenience or family relationship. (As a college non music student, I did teach adults if the opportunity arose.)

Why a new young teacher could end up charging less is a reality of economics. For example, if you set out to spend $50, would you willingly buy the "lower quality" option when the "higher quality" is available? If yes, then evidently it's not lower quality at least to you because it has something appealing that the so-called higher quality doesn't have - maybe you want the youngness/freshness of the young person, want to support the young person in her new endeavor, etc.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829250
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Mostlystrings - here is one reality. Someone setting out to have music lessons for the first time literally doesn't know anything. If the lower priced lessons are also lower quality, and if it is of a kind that will set the student up for failure, or years of very difficult fixing of what got set up, the student will not know about this. I would prefer a novice student get mentorship or guidance of some kind, or really have some idea about teaching that they get somehow, because lessons must be adequate enough. You're not making cookies where you can throw the first batch away. These are people who are learning. It is also why Peter rightly suggested that the first students be early intermediate, not beginners, so that they have some kind of first foundation.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: outo] #2829295
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Originally Posted by outo

I gladly admit I am stubborn and my teacher agrees...however my stubbornness also means I do not give up easily when things are difficult smile

I am persistent. When I make up my mind to do something, I do everything in my power to succeed. I'm also a person who examines all possibilities.

These two things together in an adult student makes things fantastic. There will be success.

But lets differentiate between this persistence and something else, a very thick-headed, self-destructive stubbornness that I also see in adults - and by the way children and teens can be this way. With such people nothing works.

I'm assuming that if I were working with your clone, and I could give you solid reasons for things I recommend, you would probably cooperate.

I don't expect anyone to take my word for anything I say unless I can either prove I'm right or give very strong evidence that I am right.

This is very different from looking for blind obedience or acceptance. I don't expect that from anyone, of any age, and no one ever got that from me when I was any age.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829300
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The bottom line: We can talk about age 14 or 16 or 18, and then we can generalize about teachers. Is it possible that somewhere there is a 14 year-old teacher who is clearly better than most teachers a decade or decades older?

I'd say yes. Without a doubt. I say that having seen what other teachers do who are clearly incompetent both as teachers and as musicians, sometimes with zero playing ability. As I have mentioned before, anyone in the US can charge any amount of money for teaching and there is no requirement for credentials - caveat emptor.

I first taught at around age 15, and I know very well that I was already better than some of the terrible teachers I've met or heard about. I taught again at around age 21, and I was way better then than most teachers many years old than me. First of all, I played by then on a very high level, with extensive performance experience. And I was interested in teaching, enjoyed doing it, so I was searching for out of the box answers from day one.

HOWEVER: in comparison to the teacher I became by age 31, I was vastly inferior. And any teaching I did at 31 was vastly inferior to what I did at 41 and 51.

At any time a teacher can become burnt-out, no longer interested in improving, so peak teaching can be at any age. But for those of us who care and continue investigate and ask questions, we continue to improve so long as we are physically able to move well and mentally able to function at a high level.

What disturbs me in this thread is the idea that people who have not played have no idea of the damage that is done by teachers who do not know what they are doing. There are others talking about this, and I believe next to no one is listening.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/21/19 01:00 AM.

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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Gary D.] #2829303
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by outo

I gladly admit I am stubborn and my teacher agrees...however my stubbornness also means I do not give up easily when things are difficult smile

I am persistent. When I make up my mind to do something, I do everything in my power to succeed. I'm also a person who examines all possibilities.

These two things together in an adult student makes things fantastic. There will be success.

But lets differentiate between this persistence and something else, a very thick-headed, self-destructive stubbornness that I also see in adults - and by the way children and teens can be this way. With such people nothing works.

I'm assuming that if I were working with your clone, and I could give you solid reasons for things I recommend, you would probably cooperate.

I don't expect anyone to take my word for anything I say unless I can either prove I'm right or give very strong evidence that I am right.

This is very different from looking for blind obedience or acceptance. I don't expect that from anyone, of any age, and no one ever got that from me when I was any age.


I consider my stubbornness a temperament trait (genetic) since I was like that from the very early age and it sort of runs in the family. Personality is something that is developed in the interaction with the environment and that I think has tempered down my stubbornness to be more functional. Even with a piano teacher smile

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829338
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I've heard that Leonard Bernstein at around age 14 did teach younger kids to make money to pay his own lessons because his father didn't want to waste money into piano

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Gary D.] #2829404
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by outo

I gladly admit I am stubborn and my teacher agrees...however my stubbornness also means I do not give up easily when things are difficult smile

I am persistent. When I make up my mind to do something, I do everything in my power to succeed. I'm also a person who examines all possibilities.

These two things together in an adult student makes things fantastic. There will be success.

But lets differentiate between this persistence and something else, a very thick-headed, self-destructive stubbornness that I also see in adults - and by the way children and teens can be this way. With such people nothing works.

I'm assuming that if I were working with your clone, and I could give you solid reasons for things I recommend, you would probably cooperate.

I don't expect anyone to take my word for anything I say unless I can either prove I'm right or give very strong evidence that I am right.

This is very different from looking for blind obedience or acceptance. I don't expect that from anyone, of any age, and no one ever got that from me when I was any age.

This is exactly what I mean. Having that perseverance to see something through and find solutions - which I think are the qualities you have, outo - are excellent in any student. Like Gary, I have reasons for everything and if a student wants to know them, I'm all too happy to share that information. Asking "why" is not resistance to learning that I was referring to.

This resistance is a mostly subconscious, "self-destructive" behavior, where they will not even try what you ask them to do, even when you give them valid reasons for doing so. It's almost as if they don't believe you know what you're talking about.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Gary D.] #2829416
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
The bottom line: We can talk about age 14 or 16 or 18, and then we can generalize about teachers. Is it possible that somewhere there is a 14 year-old teacher who is clearly better than most teachers a decade or decades older?

I'd say yes. Without a doubt. I say that having seen what other teachers do who are clearly incompetent both as teachers and as musicians, sometimes with zero playing ability. As I have mentioned before, anyone in the US can charge any amount of money for teaching and there is no requirement for credentials - caveat emptor.

I first taught at around age 15, and I know very well that I was already better than some of the terrible teachers I've met or heard about. I taught again at around age 21, and I was way better then than most teachers many years old than me. First of all, I played by then on a very high level, with extensive performance experience. And I was interested in teaching, enjoyed doing it, so I was searching for out of the box answers from day one.

HOWEVER: in comparison to the teacher I became by age 31, I was vastly inferior. And any teaching I did at 31 was vastly inferior to what I did at 41 and 51.

At any time a teacher can become burnt-out, no longer interested in improving, so peak teaching can be at any age. But for those of us who care and continue investigate and ask questions, we continue to improve so long as we are physically able to move well and mentally able to function at a high level.

What disturbs me in this thread is the idea that people who have not played have no idea of the damage that is done by teachers who do not know what they are doing. There are others talking about this, and I believe next to no one is listening.

The your first part of the post, that is my point. We just don't know if she can be a decent teacher or not at the age of 14. She might be disastrous, and have disastrous teachers guiding her. She might be an excellent teacher but just not experienced.

If it's the latter case, then we *all* were there at one point. I had experience in playing and performing but not in teaching when I started teaching. I didn't even have a piano pedagogy course under my belt. But I had the guidance of my teacher, and I read lots of books by trusted educators to get me started. Because of this fact that we all have to start somewhere and no amount of books or classes can completely prepare us for the challenges we experience in teaching, I feel that no one here is really able to assess whether or not this 14 year old should teach.

Now to the second point (in bold): I always say that having no teacher is far better than having a bad teacher - and I do include self-teachers under the "bad teacher" category, because how can you teach yourself something you don't already know? And if you don't know anything about it, then your playing will be rife with bad habits and misconceptions. Some people don't care, and that's just fine, people can do whatever they want - but I digress.

Speaking of people who call themselves teachers but in fact are not teachers, I've heard of some pretty terrible examples. There was an old lady who taught for decades and only charge $5/hour, and she would drink from her nipper bottle and fall asleep while the student played. Why someone would call themselves a teacher, I don't understand, and charging such a low rate probably because she knew she wasn't worth much doesn't help much.

But that's not the worst. I think the worst are the abusive kind, that believe you must tear down a student before building them up (in your own image). There's just no place for that kind of behavior in any profession, but especially not in music where people are especially vulnerable.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: keystring] #2829721
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Originally Posted by keystring
If the lower priced lessons are also lower quality, and if it is of a kind that will set the student up for failure, or years of very difficult fixing of what got set up, the student will not know about this. I would prefer a novice student get mentorship or guidance of some kind, or really have some idea about teaching that they get somehow, because lessons must be adequate enough. You're not making cookies where you can throw the first batch away. These are people who are learning. It is also why Peter rightly suggested that the first students be early intermediate, not beginners, so that they have some kind of first foundation.

The two questions here are: 1) should the young lady teach and 2) what to charge. Of course the second is useless without the first, which I glossed over because many have chimed in already. I agree that it's unfortunate when "lower quality" teaching is detrimental to a student's learning although ultimately no one can prevent that, except the student once s/he is no longer ignorant. Being outsiders to the situation, we can only offer knowledge of potential pitfalls and suggestions.

I understand the reasoning for a new teacher to start with early intermediates rather than complete beginners but just wonder how realistic it is that a beginner who got a good foundation would want to move on from a presumably good teacher to a new/unproven one. Perhaps it happens when someone had self-taught, had prior knowledge of a different instrument, moved to a new area, the first teacher is no longer available, etc.

Originally Posted by Morodiene
I feel that no one here is really able to assess whether or not this 14 year old should teach.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2829756
03/22/19 12:14 AM
03/22/19 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
A teacher on another discussion board I monitor asked advice on what the poster's 14yo daughter should charge when she starts giving piano lessons to children next fall.


I have no basis for comparison.

Would a kid, say 7, view a 14 yo teacher more as an adult teacher or more as a kind of role model. (Only experience here is my experience where adults were these kind of pure authority figures.)

Does a 14-to-7 relationship change the dynamic into more peer/older-sibling than otherwise?

Cynical me: the 7 yo will like as not quit anyway. Can't we grow 14 yo into a teacher?

Huge amount depends on the personalities, of course, but even as recent as 100 years ago, early teens were doing pretty adult things.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: mostlystrings] #2829900
03/22/19 10:53 AM
03/22/19 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mostlystrings
[....]I understand the reasoning for a new teacher to start with early intermediates rather than complete beginners but just wonder how realistic it is that a beginner who got a good foundation would want to move on from a presumably good teacher to a new/unproven one. [....]
I think you are correct, that most students who already had several years of instruction under their belt would not be inclined to move to a young teen with no experience in teaching.


A case can be made for the 14-yr old to charge less: it would be in the (unwritten) agreement between the student (or parent) and teacher that in return for being the new teacher's first student (i.e. the student upon whom the teacher learns how to teach), the student agrees to accept the risks involved in being the teacher's first student. The difference between the standard charge and the new teacher's lesser charge covers the risk to the student.

For a new teacher who has taught under the supervision of an experienced teacher or had other training regimens and thus gained some insight, that risk is greatly reduced and the standard fee would seem to be appropriate. (But as I understand it, the 14-yr old can consult with her teacher but does not intend to 'apprentice' teach under the older teacher.)


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Morodiene] #2830109
03/22/19 05:26 PM
03/22/19 05:26 PM
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I agree with everything you said but want to stress these:
Originally Posted by Morodiene

Now to the second point (in bold): I always say that having no teacher is far better than having a bad teacher - and I do include self-teachers under the "bad teacher" category, because how can you teach yourself something you don't already know?

For traditional playing self-teaching is a horrendous idea. The worst thing - and students never know this - is that only a very good teacher makes great recommendations re fingering, and good technique is impossible with bad fingering. There are so many other things. When is the last time you saw a self-taught student pedal right?
Quote

Speaking of people who call themselves teachers but in fact are not teachers, I've heard of some pretty terrible examples. There was an old lady who taught for decades and only charge $5/hour, and she would drink from her nipper bottle and fall asleep while the student played. Why someone would call themselves a teacher, I don't understand, and charging such a low rate probably because she knew she wasn't worth much doesn't help much.

But that's not the worst. I think the worst are the abusive kind, that believe you must tear down a student before building them up (in your own image). There's just no place for that kind of behavior in any profession, but especially not in music where people are especially vulnerable.

That's a helluva choice, between total incompetence and abuse. The worst is therE are teachers who both.

Also, there are teachers who are emotionally cold and incompetent. That kind of coldness is a mild kind of abuse, and I know because I had such a teacher. I don't think anyone has ever love music more than I did as a teen. It was my life. But I almost quit because of her. Now, after many years, I realize she was not as bad as I thought.

SHE WAS FAR WORSE.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/22/19 05:28 PM.

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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2830183
03/22/19 10:26 PM
03/22/19 10:26 PM
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Thinking out loud.

I've conversed with two or three fellow students who at some point studied with a teacher who was new to teaching. These tended to be older, attending college as music majors, but they weren't practising teachers yet. Some things that came across from their tales was that the teachers were full of enthusiasm and ideas, not yet jaded, and also maybe identifying with their students more, putting themselves in their shoes.

One student I remember had gone the exam circuit, acing every exam, and started to feel something was missing. She wanted to go into music in a broader and more whole manner, beyond exam preparations. The teacher was older and set in his ways and routines. There was an absolute incomprehension. This young lady joined up with a college music major about to graduate, whose enthusiasm and interest matched her own. It went quite well from what I could see.

The other is the plus and minus of experience. "Students of your category all do xxx / all think like xxx" - which can pigeon hole a student, which a fresh new teacher won't do as readily, one may think. It's a slippery slope, because if students of my category do tend to make typical mistakes, maybe the experienced teacher can head off the disaster before it occurs; but if I'm atypical maybe that's a wrong move.

What you want is a decent teacher; neither experience nor age can guarantee that.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2830557
03/23/19 07:23 PM
03/23/19 07:23 PM
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I taught one girl when I was in high school. Her mom would have never taken her to formal piano lessons. They didn't have much money, and I was a family friend, her daughter was showing interest and could play by ear already. We only lasted a few weeks, but that is besides the point. Since "competing for students" was brought up, I want to point out, I seriously doubt that the market of students who would go to a teacher like you Peter would be the same group of students that would take lessons from a 14-year old.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Whizbang] #2830607
03/23/19 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
A teacher on another discussion board I monitor asked advice on what the poster's 14yo daughter should charge when she starts giving piano lessons to children next fall.


I have no basis for comparison.

Would a kid, say 7, view a 14 yo teacher more as an adult teacher or more as a kind of role model. (Only experience here is my experience where adults were these kind of pure authority figures.)

Does a 14-to-7 relationship change the dynamic into more peer/older-sibling than otherwise?

Cynical me: the 7 yo will like as not quit anyway. Can't we grow 14 yo into a teacher?

Huge amount depends on the personalities, of course, but even as recent as 100 years ago, early teens were doing pretty adult things.

I think you are missing something important about young kids and teens. You are thinking that a slightly older person is super cool because of being able to connect, but think about this:

When I first started teaching I was in my early 20s, and I looked about 5 years younger. I mean I was REALLY young looking. So my hook when teaching teens was pretty much to appear as someone like them, a bit older. This can be a powerful thing, and I'm not denying that.

When I was 40, I was roughly the age of a lot of the parents of kids, a very different thing, but you can work with that too. Many kids have parents who don't listen, who don't value their opinions, and meeting an adult who is listening is another huge hook. And it's not fake or a game. It's powerful.

Now I'm 70. Not sure how I got here, but I'm the age of the parents of older adults (30 years older than someone 40), and a lot of my younger students are the age of my grandchildren. That could make me so out of date, so old, so crystalized that I'm irrelevant. That's how it COULD go.

The fact is that I just spent about 20 minutes with my own grandson talking about music from right now, and why current video game music is mostly very much in the Romantic tradition. We listened to several things he really likes, YouTube, and I showed him both music I grew up with but also some music I am teaching a boy his age which the boy brought in, from anime.

We make connections. When I was young I spent a huge amount of time with people my age, like all young people, but I enjoyed my parents, and I was super close to my grandmother, who was the best piano teacher I ever had.

Bennevis always talks about his piano teacher, the one who was only 19. It's all about finding someone special who knows something and who wants to give it to you, and when that works nothing else matters. If you find one teacher like that in a life time, count yourself incredibly lucky. It does not happen often.


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2830646
03/24/19 01:26 AM
03/24/19 01:26 AM
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Gary D., I want to say that I like reading your posts very much, I think you are a wonderful teacher. You cultivate love for music, and it's the most important part. My respect and best wishes to you.

Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2830673
03/24/19 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Gary D., I want to say that I like reading your posts very much, I think you are a wonderful teacher. You cultivate love for music, and it's the most important part. My respect and best wishes to you.


+1


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: ShyPianist] #2830750
03/24/19 09:34 AM
03/24/19 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Gary D., I want to say that I like reading your posts very much, I think you are a wonderful teacher. You cultivate love for music, and it's the most important part. My respect and best wishes to you.


+1


+2 !!!


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Re: Piano teacher at age 14: thoughts? [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2831271
03/25/19 03:12 PM
03/25/19 03:12 PM
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One side arguing for what is possible.

Another side arguing what is probable.

As an adult consumer of piano lessons for both myself and an adolescent offspring, I would not professionally engage a 14 year old teacher. I'm a musician on several instruments. I value the craft and the profession too much to not seek a seasoned professional. OTOH, there's quite the market of people who don't see the value of experience and professionalism; they only want the cheapest lessons, "To see if he/she 'has any talent'"

That is not to say I don't think the 14 year shouldn't be allowed to try; to me, it's just a false enonomy but far be it for me to suggest how others should spend their money.

Kurt


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