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Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
GraceNotes #2887708 09/06/19 08:33 PM
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In other words I should go to college for a piano performance degree. Go to college for a "useful" degree. Go to college for piano teaching. Not go to college because it's a waste of time. Move to someplace without any other piano teachers (but close enough to a place were I can work in my "useful" degree). Win a couple piano competitions. Work as an accompanist. Follow my dreams - but not too far because I need a job that pays well. Wait until I'm old to follow my dreams.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY
marry a rich guy so I don't have to worry about making money.

Thanks.

I not in this for money. I want to share my love of music with as many people as possible - be that be teaching, performing, or randomly spewing off facts about Mozart in the middle of a conversation about washing machines.
I understand that I cannot make a living off of JUST teaching piano or JUST performing. I wish I could play piano all day every day and get paid for it - but that's not realistic.
To be honest, after reading all of your comments, I've decided that I mostly likely won't go to college. Unless I go to a prestigious school with AMAZING teachers (which I can't afford even in my wildest dreams) going to college just isn't worth it.
I plan to start a YouTube page and already have an Instagram account where I can share my music.
Maybe I'll get lucky and "get discovered" one day.
but maybe not.
That's fine.
I'm not in this for fame, fortune, or a husband to pay the bills.

I'm going to do what I love.


Just a girl chasing the moon.
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Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
Candywoman #2887714 09/06/19 08:59 PM
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Candywoman, interesting you said that. I had one piano teacher BA and MA from New England Conservatory of Music and Oberlin. He left to pursue other interests. His mother who owns the studio told me now he works in the computer field with a 6 digit income. My current piano teacher with a master's in music is going back to school next year to get a computer science degree. He is late 20s. The other teacher I had left in his late 20s as well. Both talented performing artists that play multiple instruments. The studio owner told me musicians learn how to make do, I guess her son wanted more than that. Depends on how you want to live your life. I am 59, I have always preferred security of a job and opportunities. My current piano teacher said gigging and teaching will be good part-time as a second job. Study something that you can make a decent living that has ample opportunities. Later you can afford to go back to school, pay cash, and get your music degree and enjoy it.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
GraceNotes #2887746 09/06/19 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by GraceNotes
In other words I should go to college for a piano performance degree. Go to college for a "useful" degree. Go to college for piano teaching. Not go to college because it's a waste of time. Move to someplace without any other piano teachers (but close enough to a place were I can work in my "useful" degree). Win a couple piano competitions. Work as an accompanist. Follow my dreams - but not too far because I need a job that pays well. Wait until I'm old to follow my dreams.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY
marry a rich guy so I don't have to worry about making money.

Thanks.

I not in this for money. I want to share my love of music with as many people as possible - be that be teaching, performing, or randomly spewing off facts about Mozart in the middle of a conversation about washing machines.
I understand that I cannot make a living off of JUST teaching piano or JUST performing. I wish I could play piano all day every day and get paid for it - but that's not realistic.
To be honest, after reading all of your comments, I've decided that I mostly likely won't go to college. Unless I go to a prestigious school with AMAZING teachers (which I can't afford even in my wildest dreams) going to college just isn't worth it.
I plan to start a YouTube page and already have an Instagram account where I can share my music.
Maybe I'll get lucky and "get discovered" one day.
but maybe not.
That's fine.
I'm not in this for fame, fortune, or a husband to pay the bills.

I'm going to do what I love.


I won’t belabor this forever but if you want to teach or perform you do need to have really good skills: for your student’s sake if you teach, for your own ability to perform high level music, to further advance your own skills even if you don’t teach others. What plan do you heave for this if you don’t go to college? You can find quality piano teacher’s at many colleges other than Ivy League; go look for them is my advice.

Now I’m done. I will let the ‘find a rich husband’ or ‘do what will pay you $$$ crowd’ take over. I don’t believe either group is right from my perspective..... but I can only write from my own perspective of making $$$ but with personal regrets for the heart path I didn’t try. Dreams vs pragmatism: an argument as old as the hills.

Just have a plan for whatever you choose. And best wishes!


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
Tyrone Slothrop #2887757 09/07/19 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
My question should not be thought to imply I think an intermediate level pianist should be able to teach beginners. I have no educated opinion on this. My uneducated opinion is that no, an intermediate level pianist should not teach even absolute beginners as they will likely set off on their piano learning on the wrong foot.

I know exactly what you mean. What I tried to exaggerate is that most parents are ABSOLUTELY CLUELESS when it comes to hiring a piano teacher. I have gotten Transfer Wrecks from non-majors posing as piano teachers. The damage is done.

I'm proficient on several instruments and I do teach music lessons other than piano. But I'm always upfront about my limitations, and I have voluntarily terminated lessons with students who have gone beyond what I had to offer.


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Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
GraceNotes #2887768 09/07/19 04:49 AM
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Since I always have been fortunate to have had highly qualified teachers, I have been shocked that are so many ‘teachers’ that think there is really nothing needed to teach piano except throwing out a shingle. Advanced training? ‘Hogwash’ is the attitude. Just skip college and start teaching. Trained in a different instrument? No big deal. Just do it anyway.

IMHO, it shows deep disrespect to the music, the student and the skill of teaching. I guess it won’t change as long as there are students and parents that don’t check.... but the harm is done. I’m surprised the mtna doesn’t at least have an educational advertising campaign. Not only might it improve the quality but possibly teachers’ pay scales if parents become educated.

Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
GraceNotes #2887779 09/07/19 06:48 AM
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I know that what I'm going to say is utterly foreign to most others here, but it matters - and it mattered to me, because it meant that I always had teachers who knew how to teach (not necessary the same as 'good' teachers, as that can be subjective and dependent on student-teacher compatibility). It wasn't something that I ever thought of until I joined PW and read posts here and in ABF, which left me scratching my head and wondering: how is this kind of thing possible?

Everyone I knew who had pianos lessons (from the time when I was a child student in my home country onwards, right up to the present day) had been properly taught. Everyone took for granted that music teachers - like school teachers - had to be qualified, and expected nothing less than proper teaching. (And everyone did exams, just as all teachers had to go through exams themselves to be qualified).

If there's no culture of learning a (classical) musical instrument as an education (as opposed to 'pastime', hobby, fun, showbiz thing etc), you get no widespread expectation that a teacher has to be properly qualified in teaching that instrument, and therefore it becomes a crapshoot and a free-for-all. Self-taught 'pianists' who 'learnt' to play with YT Synthesia can put up signs advertising themselves as teachers, and no-one is the wiser, least of all prospective students. The number of YT videos from such people purporting to "teach" piano is legion......

Whereas if learning piano (or violin etc) is regarded generally as an education, and there is something akin to a 'national syllabus' - and a grade system with exams - that all qualified teachers follow, and which even the general public know of, no one who fancies himself/herself as a teacher yet can barely play Minuet in G properly will find employment. People who want to learn for fun will just teach themselves from YT videos - they don't want any structure, they can't be bothered with the basics of piano playing and fundamental skills, they just want to play what they want to play, ergo, they don't need a teacher. (Which was what I did with the guitar, and why I never had a guitar teacher). Those who are serious will have no difficulty finding teachers who actually know how to teach - and they know that their teachers will be properly qualified. (Apropos of which, what I read of one or two teachers' teaching methods here leave me wondering how their students will fare, but let's leave that aside for the present).

Of course, there is always that X factor of compatibility (crucial with adult students, as I've seen from posts in PW) but at least, if the student-teacher relationship doesn't work out and the student goes to someone else, he/she will have the basic skills that should mean that the new teacher can just pick up where the previous one left off, with no gaping holes the size of the Grand Canyon in that student's skill & knowledge set.

I've mentioned before - lots of times - about how I had two teachers in my home country (teaching in a mixture of English and my native language), followed by two teachers in the UK (teaching entirely in English, of course), yet my piano education progressed entirely seamlessly all the way. All I needed to do was to adapt to the teaching 'styles' and personalities of my new teachers, but what they taught was a natural progression following what I learnt with my previous one. And I had no gaping holes - in fact, no holes at all - in my skills and knowledge whenever I moved to a new teacher. And that was also the case for all my fellow students - and is the case now when I chat to ex-students, adult re-starters etc about what they know and have learnt, or are currently learning.

And that's simply because we have something close to a national system of instrumental teaching (and syllabus) here - and the same in my home country -, which all teachers follow. And which is so ubiquitous that everyone knows about it, even if all they know about music is the latest boy band's hits.

To the OP, I'd say, do yourself - and your prospective students - a favor, and learn as much about piano playing and teaching as possible, before setting yourself up as a teacher. If you love music and the piano, you want to make sure that your students develop the same love (and never lose it), by giving them all the necessary skills to play well - and able to keep learning and playing well after they leave you.......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
dogperson #2887947 09/07/19 05:27 PM
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Dogperson, I agree. As a student looking for a teacher 6 years ago (age of 54) I had played as a child and did not know what I didn't know. I would not have been able to assess the skills of a teacher. I requested a teacher with a degree in piano performance. The owner informed me she only hires degreed pianist who perform. I feel I have received an excellent education. Since local piano schools do not have to undergo an accreditation process such as colleges, the buyer of service has to be responsible to determine some type of qualifications.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
bennevis #2887948 09/07/19 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I know that what I'm going to say is utterly foreign to most others here, but it matters - and it mattered to me, because it meant that I always had teachers who knew how to teach (not necessary the same as 'good' teachers, as that can be subjective and dependent on student-teacher compatibility). It wasn't something that I ever thought of until I joined PW and read posts here and in ABF, which left me scratching my head and wondering: how is this kind of thing possible?

Everyone I knew who had pianos lessons (from the time when I was a child student in my home country onwards, right up to the present day) had been properly taught. Everyone took for granted that music teachers - like school teachers - had to be qualified, and expected nothing less than proper teaching. (And everyone did exams, just as all teachers had to go through exams themselves to be qualified).

If there's no culture of learning a (classical) musical instrument as an education (as opposed to 'pastime', hobby, fun, showbiz thing etc), you get no widespread expectation that a teacher has to be properly qualified in teaching that instrument, and therefore it becomes a crapshoot and a free-for-all. Self-taught 'pianists' who 'learnt' to play with YT Synthesia can put up signs advertising themselves as teachers, and no-one is the wiser, least of all prospective students. The number of YT videos from such people purporting to "teach" piano is legion......

Whereas if learning piano (or violin etc) is regarded generally as an education, and there is something akin to a 'national syllabus' - and a grade system with exams - that all qualified teachers follow, and which even the general public know of, no one who fancies himself/herself as a teacher yet can barely play Minuet in G properly will find employment. People who want to learn for fun will just teach themselves from YT videos - they don't want any structure, they can't be bothered with the basics of piano playing and fundamental skills, they just want to play what they want to play, ergo, they don't need a teacher. (Which was what I did with the guitar, and why I never had a guitar teacher). Those who are serious will have no difficulty finding teachers who actually know how to teach - and they know that their teachers will be properly qualified. (Apropos of which, what I read of one or two teachers' teaching methods here leave me wondering how their students will fare, but let's leave that aside for the present).

Of course, there is always that X factor of compatibility (crucial with adult students, as I've seen from posts in PW) but at least, if the student-teacher relationship doesn't work out and the student goes to someone else, he/she will have the basic skills that should mean that the new teacher can just pick up where the previous one left off, with no gaping holes the size of the Grand Canyon in that student's skill & knowledge set.

I've mentioned before - lots of times - about how I had two teachers in my home country (teaching in a mixture of English and my native language), followed by two teachers in the UK (teaching entirely in English, of course), yet my piano education progressed entirely seamlessly all the way. All I needed to do was to adapt to the teaching 'styles' and personalities of my new teachers, but what they taught was a natural progression following what I learnt with my previous one. And I had no gaping holes - in fact, no holes at all - in my skills and knowledge whenever I moved to a new teacher. And that was also the case for all my fellow students - and is the case now when I chat to ex-students, adult re-starters etc about what they know and have learnt, or are currently learning.

And that's simply because we have something close to a national system of instrumental teaching (and syllabus) here - and the same in my home country -, which all teachers follow. And which is so ubiquitous that everyone knows about it, even if all they know about music is the latest boy band's hits.

To the OP, I'd say, do yourself - and your prospective students - a favor, and learn as much about piano playing and teaching as possible, before setting yourself up as a teacher. If you love music and the piano, you want to make sure that your students develop the same love (and never lose it), by giving them all the necessary skills to play well - and able to keep learning and playing well after they leave you.......



Well written and right on point, imo.



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Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
dogperson #2887949 09/07/19 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
AZN
Since I always have been fortunate to have had highly qualified teachers, I have been shocked that are so many ‘teachers’ that think there is really nothing needed to teach piano except throwing out a shingle. Advanced training? ‘Hogwash’ is the attitude. Just skip college and start teaching. Trained in a different instrument? No big deal. Just do it anyway.

IMHO, it shows deep disrespect to the music, the student and the skill of teaching. I guess it won’t change as long as there are students and parents that don’t check.... but the harm is done. I’m surprised the mtna doesn’t at least have an educational advertising campaign. Not only might it improve the quality but possibly teachers’ pay scales if parents become educated.


Amen to your points!



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Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
GraceNotes #2888013 09/07/19 09:55 PM
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Some parents are determined to find poor instruction for their kids and go for the cheapest teacher. They start on an electric keyboard with 51 notes and no pedal. Secretly, they want this to all end. They do things to sabotage their kids' instruction.

Last year I had a parent desire to pay me the third week of the month. When I said no, she called me rigid and left the studio. Then she called asking for the name of one of our illustrious piano teachers who mostly takes Asian kids playing on grand pianos. I gave it handily, excited to see if they had a hope of passing the audition or paying him on time for that matter. They never got that far. Four months later, she called and asked me to take them back. I said yes, but her kids must have said no, because that was the end of that. They had a great thing going, but turned it into mashed potatoes.

Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
GraceNotes #2888036 09/08/19 12:59 AM
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Of course, Candywoman, information will not change some parents (nor all adult students. either) but I prefer to think many parents are well-intentioned but lack the education about what constitutes good music training and the skills needed to be a good teacher. Even if it only enlightens a few.... it would be an improvement.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
Candywoman #2888171 09/08/19 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Some parents are determined to find poor instruction for their kids and go for the cheapest teacher. They start on an electric keyboard with 51 notes and no pedal. Secretly, they want this to all end. They do things to sabotage their kids' instruction.

Last year I had a parent desire to pay me the third week of the month. When I said no, she called me rigid and left the studio. Then she called asking for the name of one of our illustrious piano teachers who mostly takes Asian kids playing on grand pianos. I gave it handily, excited to see if they had a hope of passing the audition or paying him on time for that matter. They never got that far. Four months later, she called and asked me to take them back. I said yes, but her kids must have said no, because that was the end of that. They had a great thing going, but turned it into mashed potatoes.



This parent sounds clueless. Sabotage would at least require some degree of understanding and ability to plan.


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Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
malkin #2888379 09/08/19 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
This parent sounds clueless. Sabotage would at least require some degree of understanding and ability to plan.

Well, I work for many parents who--while not really intentionally sabotaging their children's piano progress--are definitely not doing anything to help, either. Piano is just another activity after school, and not much attention is paid at home. I also work for several talented students whose parents have other aspirations for them, so they choose to emphasize activities OTHER than piano.


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Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
Tyrone Slothrop #2888603 09/09/19 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
All of these newly hired piano teachers from there, were voice majors who taught "beginner piano."

Oh, this happens WAY more frequently than you think. And it doesn't even have to be a reputable conservatory!

Try listening to these poor kids as they plow through an advanced piece. It's murder in the first!

I understand that a non-piano major at a conservatory typically only has to take 2 years of a keyboard skills course to graduate. Is that about right? Doesn't two years of a keyboard skills course just put them about at an intermediate level or advanced intermediate level?

Barely, but a lot depends on whether or not those two years were their first exposure to playing keyboard. Besides, IMO, intermediate level pianists shouldn't be teaching, even 'beginner piano.' They've either been taking lessons for years and haven't advanced much, or they've just started and haven't had time to become really familiar with and expert at the skill.


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Re: Should I to go to college to be a piano teacher?
GraceNotes #2890456 09/14/19 10:33 PM
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Name-Brand schools are overrated - especially if your dream is to open a private studio. The most famous (and Richest!) private teacher in the Southern California area got his muisc degrees in performance at a modest state school.

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 09/14/19 10:33 PM.
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