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Should I start teaching piano?

Posted By: sforzandissimo

Should I start teaching piano? - 04/25/19 05:32 PM

so basically, im almost 17 and i still dont know what i wanna get a part time job as or volunteer at since idk what career i wanna do, and i think i know enough about piano to teach beginners/children.
my first piano teacher i went to was 17 at the time and she was on grade 5 and wasn't actually a teacher but i still learned loads from her, and my piano teacher now says she started teaching when she was 14 so im guessing there should be no problem with my age/experience? or would there?
as for my own experience, im getting onto grade 7 and been learning for 5 years. (feels longer than it is lol)
I've also been thinking of what the lesson plans would be like, first week will be discussing goals and stuff, then after we'll start on keyboard geography, scales, naming notes, you know, the foundation stuff. Then learn a bit of theory during the lesson and set tasks to do at home. I'll probably only think on what comes after if I ever get to this point in teaching though.
I was thinking that this might be a good change for me since I'm starting A levels (pretty much college) and I think by teaching, I can also learn some things on organising my own studies to get them done effectively.
Would teaching be worth a shot? Or am I not ready yet? Is it silly that I think I can teach?
And if im good enough, how much would I charge? is £10 for half an hour too much?
sorry loads of questions lol whistle
Posted By: keystring

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/25/19 06:56 PM

If you do a search I think you'll find that starting with beginners is the worst place to start, because you are giving foundations. There is a difference between knowing how to play piano, and knowing how to teach. If you teach early intermediate students, preferably who have been taught properly by a decent teacher, then you can build on those foundations.

I don't know if anyone can link to any discussions on this. A search should give you a few hits.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/25/19 09:01 PM

I'd recommend asking your present teacher for specifics on whether she has confidence you could teach well, and if she could help give some tips to help you start well. She knows you better than anyone on the internet does, so ask for her direct, straightforward opinion. She might not necessarily think every 14-year-old (or older) would be fine to begin teaching just because she herself started at that age.

My opinion -- but remember, I'm just an internet person who doesn't know you -- is that if you don't know what you want to do, piano teaching might not be the route to go. You need a passion for teaching. If you do have that, I can't hear it in your post. Your students, if you do teach, will need someone who is enthusiastic about embarking on the teaching journey, not someone who has a vague idea that this might be one possible career area.

Be on fire to start out with enthusiasm, and acquire the needed teaching skills, per your teacher's recommendations, before you start looking for students.
Posted By: Candywoman

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/26/19 05:18 AM

Teaching piano requires communicating effectively. That doesn't mean you have to use long words. Sometimes, you simply say "stop" to a young beginner.

Your post indicates you need to learn more about speaking clearly and effectively. Always edit what you write so that you learn to boil things down to the essential message.

Only time will tell if teaching is right for you. Right now, concentrate on your own piano studies, and try many other jobs to improve at working with others.
Posted By: Animisha

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/26/19 07:30 AM

Originally Posted by sforzandissimo
And if im good enough, how much would I charge? is £10 for half an hour too much?

I would say, your first one should be an adult, or almost adult, whom you teach for free. Just tell them that you have never taught before, and in exchange for the free lesson, both of you spend time on feedback to you. Now of course, this is only one student and all students are different, but you should get some experience with teaching before you start charging.

(I am not a pianoteacher myself, but I have taught in a school for a couple of years)

Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/26/19 09:42 AM

I'm 22 years old and now I'm a professional piano teacher. I started teaching around age 15. I taught two kids, and I feel sorry for those two kids as I did not know what I was doing now that I look back. I didn't start teaching again until I taught college students beginning piano in college. Teaching someone near your age is definitely a great start. Before I started my studio, I did A LOT of research and I thought deeply about how my past professors and teachers taught me. Eventually after teaching a bunch of kids I created my own style which is still developing. I even talked to other teachers about how they teach and what they suggest. I recommend you do the same. If you want to really teach young students, purchase some method book (I love Alfred Premiere Piano Course) and STUDY it inside and out. Play their parts and feel how the progression is. Imagine yourself teaching each concept from notes, rests, intervals, scales, etc. Also, please understand a lot of bad PHYSICAL playing habits can happen in the first few lessons, and you must correct it immediately. This is not easy. You have to understand how to demonstrate and explain proper playing technique, and if you aren't exhausted from saying the same things over again such having curved fingers with uncollapsed joints, then you are doing it wrong.

I can go on and on, but please do not be like me and start teaching without any advice from real teachers!
Posted By: keystring

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/26/19 01:34 PM

Originally Posted by Animisha
And if im good enough, how much would I charge? is £10 for half an hour too much?

I would say, your first one should be an adult, or almost adult, whom you teach for free. Just tell them that you have never taught before, and in exchange for the free lesson, both of you spend time on feedback to you. [/quote]

What is your reasoning for this?

Personally I disagree with this. As an adult when I started a new instrument, I wanted to learn to play it. There were problems with how I was taught as a beginner, and I could not tell (let alone give feedback) because I had no experience in studying music with a teacher. Worse, I've had to quit the instrument, and relearn / unlearn which is thanklessly difficult.

Many kinds are forced to have lessons and don't want to learn to play. And adult usually does want to learn, so the damage is greater. Any teaching activity should be for the benefit of the learner, to learn, the the teacher's learning to teach is a happy secondary outcome. The learner matters.
Posted By: Michael P Walsh

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/26/19 01:58 PM

I'm in the early stages of learning to play the piano so take this as being from someone with little experience (much more on another instrument though). I say you should start learning to teach, now. There are many good players/teachers on youtube. They might be a good resource. In 3 months, 6 or 12 months you'll be far better equipped to teach beginners/early grade learners. I think there's quite a bit more to it than being able to play and suddenly deciding you want to teach others. It's a skill in itself. It's always about your pupil and you may well be trying to solve problems that you never experienced yourself.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/26/19 02:03 PM

Originally Posted by sforzandissimo
so basically, im almost 17 and i still dont know what i wanna get a part time job as or volunteer at since idk what career i wanna do, and i think i know enough about piano to teach beginners/children.

You may want to take a look at the ABRSM teaching diploma, or at a minimum, looking through the syllabus for it even if you can't take the exam until you finish your ABRSM Grade 8.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/27/19 05:38 AM

Be sure that you are familiar with pre-staff music and intervallic reading. When you teach rank beginners, you need to help them build a solid foundation, which includes being oriented around the keyboard and being able to read music directionally and intervallically. Once this connection is formed solidly, your job will be much easier.

MUCH easier.
Posted By: RyanThePianist

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/27/19 08:28 AM

I've also learned that the method books only provide the bare minimum of what to teach. My students learn particularly from fun activities that the books don't even suggest. For example, I do rhythm games where my students must clap a rhythm I draw on a whiteboard, and then I have them write a rhythm for me to clap ensuring that it fits the chosen Time Signature. I also have a staff whiteboard for various topics such as Landmark notes, intervals, etc. You must be very colorful and creative in your teaching. Printed paper compiled into a book can only teach so much.
Posted By: Animisha

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/28/19 09:32 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Animisha
And if im good enough, how much would I charge? is £10 for half an hour too much?
I would say, your first one should be an adult, or almost adult, whom you teach for free. Just tell them that you have never taught before, and in exchange for the free lesson, both of you spend time on feedback to you.


What is your reasoning for this?

Personally I disagree with this. As an adult when I started a new instrument, I wanted to learn to play it. There were problems with how I was taught as a beginner, and I could not tell (let alone give feedback) because I had no experience in studying music with a teacher. Worse, I've had to quit the instrument, and relearn / unlearn which is thanklessly difficult.

Many kinds are forced to have lessons and don't want to learn to play. And adult usually does want to learn, so the damage is greater. Any teaching activity should be for the benefit of the learner, to learn, the the teacher's learning to teach is a happy secondary outcome. The learner matters.


Hi Keystring!

First of all, I thing bad teaching is worse for children than for adults - simply because bad habits learned as a child stick more than bad habits learned as an adult.
But most of all, if I am an adult and decide to take lessons for free (or at a low rate) with a 17 y o in exchange for giving them feedback, and if the lessons are not good - it is all on me. I took a risk, I did not pay what I should have, and this is the result, and I can take responsibility for the effects of my choice.
But for a child, it is an adult who decides to take chance with cheap lessons, and if it is not good, poor child. They didn't chose this. And this may make the child feel that piano is not for me, and that would be a pity.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/28/19 04:05 PM

Animisha, thank you for responding. smile My suggestion early on was that if a student is taken this early on, then it should be an intermediate or early-intermediate student, one who has been given some kind of decent foundation, so that the novice teacher has something to build on that. What do you think of this alternative? (It's also what we see cited most often by teachers).

Quote
..... simply because bad habits learned as a child stick more than bad habits learned as an adult.

For learning a new musical instrument for the first time, I have never heard this cited. What I have been told, and experienced myself, is that an adult beginner will tend to be overly diligent with every instruction, even to the point of following instructions too precisely. Children are more likely to do what feels ok and are not always "good listeners" and that may save them from the worst of poor instruction.
Have you talked to adults who have been taught bad habits or learned them otherwise, to see how easy it has been for them to turn this around? I can tell you that with another instrument, trying to undo what I learned wrongly by following such instructions has been a horrible thing to go through. It is extremely difficult, and I would not wish that on anyone else.
Quote
....If I am an adult and decide to take lessons for free (or at a low rate) with a 17 y o in exchange for giving them feedback, and if the lessons are not good - it is all on me.

If you are a novice, you will not be in a position to give any kind of meaningful feedback. When I got the kind of teaching that has left me with having to turn around my "foundations", at best I felt something might be off but doubted myself. Now, with the knowledge I have, I'm able to assess in retrospect, but not then. Btw,it would have been worse, and it was a "17 y o" - a student who cared and took my progress seriously, who prevented it becoming worse than it was.

No student of any age should be put at risk though poor instruction, regardless of price. I have an ethical problem with the idea of lower quality or higher risk due to price, for any profession. In my present profession, I sometimes run into clients who are in dire straits, and when I charge half or less of my fee, I nonetheless give them the same quality. My first trained profession is teaching, and if anything, I am even more passionate about this here - it is a responsibility we hold toward the student, who can be harmed.

Consider, also, that an older adult is at greater risk for injury because the body is not as forgiving.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/28/19 05:13 PM

I think it is interesting to note that for the RCM piano pedagogy certification, the first level of the certification is "Elementary Piano Pedagogy," followed by "Intermediate Piano Pedagogy," followed by "Advanced Piano Pedagogy." One cannot earn a level without meeting the requirements for the prior pedagogical level. Each of these pedagogical levels is then qualified to teach piano students as follows:
  • Elementary Piano Pedagogy—pedagogy for teaching beginners through to Level 4 piano students
  • Intermediate Piano Pedagogy—pedagogy for teaching piano students at Levels 5 through Level 8
  • Advanced Piano Pedagogy—pedagogy for teaching piano students at Levels 9 and 10

While these levels can apply to both children and adults, it is clearly the intention of the Royal Conservatory that the least trained teachers teach the lowest level students, teachers with more training teach intermediate students, and the most trained teachers teach advanced students, irrespective of whether those students are children or adults though.

I believe ABRSM is the same way.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/28/19 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
While these levels can apply to both children and adults, it is clearly the intention of the Royal Conservatory that the least trained teachers teach the lowest level students, teachers with more training teach intermediate students, and the most trained teachers teach advanced students, irrespective of whether those students are children or adults though.

That does not mean that whoever put this together also understands the nature of teaching and learning. There are other flaws in these programs. I've done more than just read about them or study the material on my own. I was given this material as a student, discussed approaches, pros and cons later on with a teacher who taught it, another who taught ABRSM, and still another who wrote material for some of the programs as well as going through national and later international lecture tours, teaching teachers.

It would be interesting to hear from teachers who have gone through any of these programs (RCM, ABRSM, AMEB) and who have at least 10 years of full time teaching under their belts, to find out how useful such teacher programs were, and what strengths, weaknesses, and flaws they might have found.
Posted By: Animisha

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 12:03 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Animisha, thank you for responding. smile

Thank you Keystring! I can be slow in responding but I try to always respond.

Originally Posted by keystring
My suggestion early on was that if a student is taken this early on, then it should be an intermediate or early-intermediate student, one who has been given some kind of decent foundation, so that the novice teacher has something to build on that. What do you think of this alternative? (It's also what we see cited most often by teachers).

I like your thinking, however, as an intermediate student, I would be doubtful as to how much a 17 y o can teach me.

Originally Posted by keystring
Quote
..... simply because bad habits learned as a child stick more than bad habits learned as an adult.

For learning a new musical instrument for the first time, I have never heard this cited. What I have been told, and experienced myself, is that an adult beginner will tend to be overly diligent with every instruction, even to the point of following instructions too precisely. Children are more likely to do what feels ok and are not always "good listeners" and that may save them from the worst of poor instruction.

I was just thinking generally, from my own experience. The things I have learned before I was 15 compared to what I have learned after 45 - it's a huge difference. Older habits are just so much stronger. I did not think about the aspect you mention, adults following instructions too precisely,

Originally Posted by keystring
Have you talked to adults who have been taught bad habits or learned them otherwise, to see how easy it has been for them to turn this around? I can tell you that with another instrument, trying to undo what I learned wrongly by following such instructions has been a horrible thing to go through. It is extremely difficult, and I would not wish that on anyone else.

My experience has not been like this. Yes, it is hard to learn new good habits, but not because it is difficult to unlearn my bad old habits. But for instance just understanding, not only with my mind but with my body, what is meant by playing using the weight of your arm took me more than half a year.

Originally Posted by keystring
[quote] ....If I am an adult and decide to take lessons for free (or at a low rate) with a 17 y o in exchange for giving them feedback, and if the lessons are not good - it is all on me. [quote=keystring]
If you are a novice, you will not be in a position to give any kind of meaningful feedback. When I got the kind of teaching that has left me with having to turn around my "foundations", at best I felt something might be off but doubted myself. Now, with the knowledge I have, I'm able to assess in retrospect, but not then. Btw,it would have been worse, and it was a "17 y o" - a student who cared and took my progress seriously, who prevented it becoming worse than it was.

I understand what you are coming from. But wouldn't it be even worse for a child? Especially when the teacher is nice and the child bonds to the teacher.

Originally Posted by keystring
No student of any age should be put at risk though poor instruction, regardless of price. I have an ethical problem with the idea of lower quality or higher risk due to price, for any profession. In my present profession, I sometimes run into clients who are in dire straits, and when I charge half or less of my fee, I nonetheless give them the same quality. My first trained profession is teaching, and if anything, I am even more passionate about this here - it is a responsibility we hold toward the student, who can be harmed.

That is a wonderful stance.


Originally Posted by keystring
Consider, also, that an older adult is at greater risk for injury because the body is not as forgiving.

That is certainly true.
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 02:32 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
If you do a search I think you'll find that starting with beginners is the worst place to start, because you are giving foundations. There is a difference between knowing how to play piano, and knowing how to teach. If you teach early intermediate students, preferably who have been taught properly by a decent teacher, then you can build on those foundations........
The OP is herself at the intermediate level (Grade 6 and 5 years of lessons). I'm not sure how much she could teach fellow intermediate students technically. Having no experience teaching, she would be at a distinct disadvantage pedagogically.

Yes, you don't want to give a beginner bad foundations, but a novice teacher jumping into teaching someone who is already playing at your own level seems unlikely to succeed. For someone considering making teaching their profession, spending some time apprenticing with an experienced and respected teacher would be a productive way to spend some time before taking on a student (at any level or at any age).
Posted By: keystring

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 03:13 PM

Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by keystring
If you do a search I think you'll find that starting with beginners is the worst place to start, because you are giving foundations. There is a difference between knowing how to play piano, and knowing how to teach. If you teach early intermediate students, preferably who have been taught properly by a decent teacher, then you can build on those foundations........
The OP is herself at the intermediate level (Grade 6 and 5 years of lessons). I'm not sure how much she could teach fellow intermediate students technically. Having no experience teaching, she would be at a distinct disadvantage pedagogically.

Yes, you don't want to give a beginner bad foundations, but a novice teacher jumping into teaching someone who is already playing at your own level seems unlikely to succeed. For someone considering making teaching their profession, spending some time apprenticing with an experienced and respected teacher would be a productive way to spend some time before taking on a student (at any level or at any age).

Well, ** IF ** teaching at all, and I was thinking maybe gr. 3 as "not beginner" - but I agree with you. But definitely not beginners.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 05:11 PM

Originally Posted by Stubbie
The OP is herself at the intermediate level (Grade 6 and 5 years of lessons). I'm not sure how much she could teach fellow intermediate students technically.

Originally Posted by keystring
Well, ** IF ** teaching at all, and I was thinking maybe gr. 3 as "not beginner" - but I agree with you. But definitely not beginners.

The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto believes that piano students should be able to earn elementary and intermediate piano pedagogy certificates for teaching piano (which they recommended for teach RCM grades 1-8), when you have completed RCM grade 8 yourself and then do the work to actually earn those pedagogy certificates. From what I've read, RCM grade 8 is the equivalent to ABRSM grade 6-7. For further information on what RCM grade 8 is equivalent to, you can check their piano syllabus - note it's at the level of many Bach two-part inventions.

While I respect the opinions of forum members in this matter, and more so if you are a piano teacher, it can't be denied that the RCM is a professional body dedicated to piano education for the last 133 years, and I certainly give their opinion considerable weight. Clearly if RCM thought additional "minimum" piano experience was required to properly teach piano at an RCM grade 1-8 level, they would have changed their requirements for their piano pedagogy certificates long ago. See the above link yourself for their syllabus and requirements.

This said, I'm in that RCM grade 1-8 range, and I would not personally want a teacher with only an RCM grade 8 level of experience.
Posted By: GMacdonald

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 05:54 PM

I would recommend taking any students you can get, but it's usually best to start with family friends or maybe some people who are familiar with you in your area. I wouldn't worry about age as you will have to learn to teach all ages at some point.
I would say £10 an hour initially would be more realistic until you have at least a year of experience in teaching a few students.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 06:10 PM

I have really hesitated to do this, but here goes. The OP is just getting to Grade 7 standard and is 17 years old. It wasn’t so long ago that I was getting roasted on here for having the temerity to be considering teaching my own child when at diploma standard, albeit without a formal qualification as yet. I seem to remember asking for suggestions for reading material beyond the diploma reading lists and having some very condescending replies from some forum members.

My point being twofold.

1) Having had that reaction to my own circumstances I really don’t want to do the same to someone else, especially a youngster.

But also

2) Can people on here please make up their minds as to whether you need a “degree in pedagogy” to dare even consider teaching or whether it’s something that can be done by an intermediate level player?

OP, can I make a suggestion? I think one of the most important things for successful teaching (based on my many years of experience as a student) is a high level of musical knowledge and general musicianship so that you can grab and maintain your students’ interest. What about considering tutoring in the early grades of music theory, or perhaps there’s a local Kodaly class or similar that you could help out with? I’m suggesting things that could build your experience while your own playing and musicality matures.

I really hope that came over OK and that it’s helpful.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 06:47 PM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
2) Can people on here please make up their minds as to whether you need a “degree in pedagogy” to dare even consider teaching or whether it’s something that can be done by an intermediate level player?

As a non-teacher, I would not even venture a guess at the answer to that.

My example of RCM above was only to "factually" point out that the Royal Conservatory of Music - an institution dedicated to the teaching of piano in North America for 133 years - obviously thinks that people at the RCM grade 8 (ABRSM 6-7) standard can, once they've separately earned the proper pedagogy certificates, teach piano pupils at a RCM grade 1-8 level. I'm not saying I necessarily know anything about this, nor am I saying that I think piano pedagogy certificates are necessary for teaching piano. I was only using this specific example to infer what RCM obviously believes about this issue of piano teaching by lesser skilled/experienced teachers.

Also, I am not saying that I believe it's a "best practice" for RCM grade 8 level pianist (which even RCM calls only "advance intermediate" level) to teach another RCM grade 8 student, even if they had an RCM intermediate pedagogy certificate. As I pointed out, I wouldn't hire such a teacher myself even though I'm below the RCM grade 8 standard.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 07:08 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
2) Can people on here please make up their minds as to whether you need a “degree in pedagogy” to dare even consider teaching or whether it’s something that can be done by an intermediate level player?

As a non-teacher, I would not even venture a guess at the answer to that.

My example of RCM above was only to "factually" point out that the Royal Conservatory of Music - an institution dedicated to the teaching of piano in North America for 133 years - obviously thinks that people at the RCM grade 8 (ABRSM 6-7) standard can, once they've separately earned the proper pedagogy certificates, teach piano pupils at a RCM grade 1-8 level. I'm not saying I necessarily know anything about this, nor am I saying that I think piano pedagogy certificates are necessary for teaching piano. I was only using this specific example to infer what RCM obviously believes about this issue of piano teaching by lesser skilled/experienced teachers.

Also, I am not saying that I believe it's a "best practice" for RCM grade 8 level pianist (which even RCM calls only "advance intermediate" level) to teach another RCM grade 8 student, even if they had an RCM intermediate pedagogy certificate. As I pointed out, I wouldn't hire such a teacher myself even though I'm below the RCM grade 8 standard.


I’m sure you know you weren’t one of the people I had in mind Tyrone 😊 but I probably shouldn’t have allowed myself to make that particular point. The wider point, however, is that there are massively mixed messages throughout the music community. Here in the UK there’s a piano teaching course that does NOT require you to have achieved ABRSM or similar Grade 8, but DOES require you to have existing students. So the very clear implication is that you don’t need to be an accomplished pianist OR a qualified teacher in order to already be teaching. Now I will always believe that the number one goal of any instrumental teacher must be to teach musicality and that requires maturity as wide musical experience, so maybe that’s what this course is getting at too. But surely a piano teacher does also need to be able to play at advanced level, to have experience of a wide range of repertoire and the full musical context of the pieces they are teaching? I don’t think being able to find their way around graded method books is in any way sufficient.
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 07:19 PM

Aargh, can’t edit any more. Requires maturity *as well as* wide musical experience,
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 07:27 PM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
2) Can people on here please make up their minds as to whether you need a “degree in pedagogy” to dare even consider teaching or whether it’s something that can be done by an intermediate level player?

My minimum requirements would be:
Advanced level of playing piano (app. 10 years of learning)
Having 3 books read about piano pedagogy
Having a week-by-week teaching plan made for a student for a semester

Posted By: bennevis

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 07:49 PM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
But surely a piano teacher does also need to be able to play at advanced level, to have experience of a wide range of repertoire and the full musical context of the pieces they are teaching? I don’t think being able to find their way around graded method books is in any way sufficient.

I agree with that.

My first teacher (who was then nineteen) had excellent musical and technical skills, as well as a wide range of knowledge: I well remember her telling me stories of Mozart's childhood when I started learning his childhood pieces, for instance. And she could sight-read just about anything, as well as play almost anything (she played Stravinsky's Danse russe from Petrushka as one of her 'after-lesson pieces' for example) and was instrumental in inspiring me to be the best pianist I could be, within the limitations of my mediocre talent (not much better than Salieri's wink ).
Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 04/30/19 08:08 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
But surely a piano teacher does also need to be able to play at advanced level, to have experience of a wide range of repertoire and the full musical context of the pieces they are teaching? I don’t think being able to find their way around graded method books is in any way sufficient.

I agree with that.

My first teacher (who was then nineteen) had excellent musical and technical skills, as well as a wide range of knowledge: I well remember her telling me stories of Mozart's childhood when I started learning his childhood pieces, for instance. And she could sight-read just about anything, as well as play almost anything (she played Stravinsky's Danse russe from Petrushka as one of her 'after-lesson pieces' for example) and was instrumental in inspiring me to be the best pianist I could be, within the limitations of my mediocre talent (not much better than Salieri's wink ).


Your first teacher sounds exceptional bennevis, and of course it does go to remind us all that a young age is certainly not a categorical barrier to musical maturity.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 05/01/19 02:08 PM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Your first teacher sounds exceptional bennevis, and of course it does go to remind us all that a young age is certainly not a categorical barrier to musical maturity.

...as age is not a barrier to mathematical maturity or maturity of any kind. I've told this story to some, but in my distant youth, I was on a competitive mathematics team representing my high-population county, nationally. One of the other members of this team of mostly upper-level high school students was a 3rd grader from a rural area of the county, whose parents were farmers and whose elementary school teacher would personally drive him to UMCP about 30 miles away for calculus classes.

In the musical realm, who would turn down music lessons from a 12yo Mozart or even the 12yo Alma Deutscher? Age does not determine maturity. Maturity determines maturity.

That said, I think few of the comments above were about age, however, only about experience and skill of the teacher, regardless of age.
Posted By: pianist_lady

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 05/01/19 02:14 PM

It seems that when this type of question is posed, the only desired answer is "yes, you should start teaching, you are definitely qualified and you will be great at it". There have been several helpful and thoughtful responses, but the OP has not commented again.

Originally Posted by Andamento
I'd recommend asking your present teacher for specifics on whether she has confidence you could teach well, and if she could help give some tips to help you start well. She knows you better than anyone on the internet does, so ask for her direct, straightforward opinion. She might not necessarily think every 14-year-old (or older) would be fine to begin teaching just because she herself started at that age.

My opinion -- but remember, I'm just an internet person who doesn't know you -- is that if you don't know what you want to do, piano teaching might not be the route to go. You need a passion for teaching. If you do have that, I can't hear it in your post. Your students, if you do teach, will need someone who is enthusiastic about embarking on the teaching journey, not someone who has a vague idea that this might be one possible career area.

Be on fire to start out with enthusiasm, and acquire the needed teaching skills, per your teacher's recommendations, before you start looking for students.


I fully agree with this. There are definitely easier and more lucrative ways for a young person to get into the working world. Musical knowledge and experience has to be complemented by a genuine interest in teaching.
Posted By: hello my name is

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 05/30/19 06:33 PM

Hi sforz,
This would be a great question for your current teacher, assuming you have one, who knows you better than all of us.

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
2) Can people on here please make up their minds as to whether you need a “degree in pedagogy” to dare even consider teaching or whether it’s something that can be done by an intermediate level player?


Don't think that's going to happen. Different folks have different visions. Can it be done? Surely, it can be done. Will it be done to your standards? Depends on what your standard is. My dad can teach me how to play tennis. But he isn't a professional player, how dare he! Can I play tennis? Oh sure, enough to exercise, but not much beyond that. Am I ever going to find a tennis teacher and pay them to teach me? Nah. Do I appreciate being able to hit a ball around with my friends? Yes!

Anyhow, back to Sforz.
Since your question is "I don't know what to do", have you ever had friends who flippantly begged you to teach them how to play piano? I did. How would you feel teaching them? This would give you a way to dip your toes in and see if you even enjoy it. I agree with Animasha that it's totally on the student who agrees to you teaching them how it goes. The way I see it is, you're going to have to sacrifice some students for your learning. Of course with full disclosure for conscience sake! In college, I typically avoided "new teachers" for this very reason, lol, but someone's gotta take the hit for the rest of us!
Posted By: hello my name is

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 05/30/19 07:07 PM

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
2) Can people on here please make up their minds as to whether you need a “degree in pedagogy” to dare even consider teaching or whether it’s something that can be done by an intermediate level player?

My minimum requirements would be:
Advanced level of playing piano (app. 10 years of learning)
Having 3 books read about piano pedagogy
Having a week-by-week teaching plan made for a student for a semester



This sounds reasonable to me. Again I think it's natural for different people to have have different minimum requirements. I saw one of my family friends post a video of herself playing piano on Instagram. I don't know how many years she has taken piano lessons for, but her fingers were doing what to me looked all sorts of weird. Collapsing joints and unnecessary movements.. Didn't help she was wearing prob fake nails. I had to turn it off. Does that make me snobby or am I standing up for ethical treatment of piano students? *shrug*

Do a quick hashtag search of piano and watch the videos and you can see what looks to me all kinds of funky fingers.

But then Horowitz is famous for flat fingers so I'm not too sure how to dissect what's going on here.

Posted By: ShyPianist

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 05/30/19 07:27 PM

Quote
Does that make me snobby or am I standing up for ethical treatment of piano students? *shrug*


My point was really that a degree does not necessarily a good teacher make. I don’t believe intermediate level player should be teaching though.
Posted By: hello my name is

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 05/31/19 03:49 AM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist
Quote
Does that make me snobby or am I standing up for ethical treatment of piano students? *shrug*


My point was really that a degree does not necessarily a good teacher make. I don’t believe intermediate level player should be teaching though.


I think it's fair. A degree isn't a guarantee of teaching ability, but the education and training which gets you that degree surely is value added.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 05/31/19 03:31 PM

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by ShyPianist
2) Can people on here please make up their minds as to whether you need a “degree in pedagogy” to dare even consider teaching or whether it’s something that can be done by an intermediate level player?

My minimum requirements would be:
Advanced level of playing piano (app. 10 years of learning)
Having 3 books read about piano pedagogy
Having a week-by-week teaching plan made for a student for a semester


Maybe it's because most of the kids I teach aren't looking to be professional musicians, but I cannot possibly plan out a semester. Who knows how much practice a student will do in a given week? If they practice as I want to, and I know the pace they learn at, then sure. But most students I teach have things that come up, have erratic practice times, and so to plan a semester would be a complete waste of time. The best I can do is think of what we'll work on for that week (depending on what they come to their lesson having done) and talk about goals for the semester or school year and then tell them once in a while how they're doing toward their goals.
Posted By: BigIslandGuy

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 06/02/19 03:47 AM

I am not a teacher, but I am married to one (school teacher) who lives and breathes for her teaching work. It has been her passion for over 30 years and I think that is what, in my admittedly biased opinion, makes her a great teacher. It sounds like at this point you're, very understandably, not sure what you want to commit to, yet committment is, again just my opinion, key to being a good teacher of anything, be it piano or riding horses. I wish you success in whatever you decide to pursue.
Posted By: Leon T

Re: Should I start teaching piano? - 06/02/19 03:59 AM

Originally Posted by ShyPianist

I don’t believe intermediate level player should be teaching though.


Unless it's a war zone and there's absolutely no other alternatives, I totally agree with this statement. I don't care so much about the age, but I will question the music maturity and musicianship of any individual who wants to be in charge of any type of music studies for a beginner.
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