2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
28 members (dhts, BlakeOR, Calavera, Bett, CyberGene, Carey, 4 invisible), 732 guests, and 437 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 269
M
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 269
Hey Folks,

One of my lifelong dreams is to finish my degree and find a job at a University, or Conservatory. And I have been curious lately about the essential knowledge a college teacher should have, in terms of rep (and other things if you have anything to add!)


A general knowledge of the style of Mozart, and the ability to teach any of the Sonatas or Concerti

An insight into any of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas. (also, Haydn's style)

An approach to all of the Chopin Ballades, and Concerti. A mastery of many of the Chopin etudes, and the ability to teach the techniques of these works.

An ability to teach any of the WTC of Bach, and knowledge on the English and French suites, their Rhythms, and the history of the dances and forms.

A basic understanding of music after the Second World War.

A basic understanding of music before JS Bach, its ornaments and performance on the modern piano.

Okay, so these are some of the very basics! I left my list incomplete, because I am mainly concerned with what you fine folks think are essentials for an educator. I know there are very esteemed and professional educators involved in these forums, so your wisdom and advice is highly valued!

Thanks!

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 638
D
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 638
MinscandBoo, I am an educator however my PhD is in nursing. I have been taking piano lessons for 7 years. My first teacher master's prepared, I had about 2 years of lessons with him. He graduated from The New England Conservatory of Music and Oberlin. He was versed in French Horn and piano and played for a symphony. He went into computer programming and gave up teaching. My current teacher, master's prepared, BA in Piano performance, BA Music Education, MA Choir Education, is now working on his master's in accounting and hopes to become a CPA and teach music as a second job. He plays professionally, drums, euphonium, piano, and organ for the church.

Now, I understand it is not all about money, however, there may be limited well paying jobs in music. I personally think, music teachers should be financially valued more and there is such a need for this type of education.

Now I know a man who has a BS in Nursing, went to school to get a masters in music and gave up nursing. He told me as a band director he makes about 40,000 a year. However, he did tell me he thought about going back to nursing and teaching music part-time.

My point, before you opt into this full time, if that is the case, make sure you are making an informed decision. If this is going to be a retirement endeavor, go for it and have fun. I'm 60, and I know people who have retired and work part-time for fun, money is not an issue.

Wishing you well in your endeavor.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 11,095
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 11,095
Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
Hey Folks,

One of my lifelong dreams is to finish my degree and find a job at a University, or Conservatory. And I have been curious lately about the essential knowledge a college teacher should have, in terms of rep (and other things if you have anything to add!)


A general knowledge of the style of Mozart, and the ability to teach any of the Sonatas or Concerti

An insight into any of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas. (also, Haydn's style)

An approach to all of the Chopin Ballades, and Concerti. A mastery of many of the Chopin etudes, and the ability to teach the techniques of these works.

An ability to teach any of the WTC of Bach, and knowledge on the English and French suites, their Rhythms, and the history of the dances and forms.

A basic understanding of music after the Second World War.

A basic understanding of music before JS Bach, its ornaments and performance on the modern piano.

Okay, so these are some of the very basics! I left my list incomplete, because I am mainly concerned with what you fine folks think are essentials for an educator. I know there are very esteemed and professional educators involved in these forums, so your wisdom and advice is highly valued!

Thanks!
That's a good start - but you are missing essential repertoire by 18th century composers Scarlatti and Handel, 19th century composers Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms, and works by Debussy. Ravel, Prokofiev, Bartok, Copland and Barber. among others.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,299
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,299
I will be frank and admit that I find the question confusing. Are you a music major now? Education? Performance? Pedagogy? What kind of music school? All of your questions are answered and your knowledge is built-up during the journey of an academic.

During your undergrad, grad school, and DMA/PhD, you will cover all the major genres, sub-genres, music history, theory, modern lit, rep, composition, probably have to have a secondary or third instrument, multiple ensembles, more performance opportunities than you will be able to keep track of, internships where you teach and present, accompany other students for pretty much every instrument, and so on. Oh, and take general courses, too (if you are at a liberal arts college). I had classes and rehearsals from 8am-10pm, six days a week, for four years. I even ate food sometimes! (I was 6'4" and 145 pounds through college.)

Oh, and then you better specialize in something to make yourself exceptionally desirable because the pool is so over-saturated with academics in pretty much every field. I know well-trained musicians that have DMAs but they work at bookstores and teach on the side if they can find students, simply because we all know 100 other well-trained DMAs that have the jobs. Academics never seem to retire, either. They just die in their offices. In my wife's field, she is the last in her generation to get a tenured gig because the profs never retire (everyone else is adjunct). Once the generation before her dies off, my wife will be in her 50s and there will be finally room for the generation after her.

I guess my point is that you "learn it all" as you go. Or are you trying to get a head start like I did? (I tested out of a several music courses when I was a freshmen. You take some tests, write some papers, and get the credits on your transcript. But this was over 20-25 years ago. Maybe they don't do that anymore. I finished in four years with room to spare compared to my fellow students' five years.)

ETA: You will also have to take music tech and music industry classes, too. Those are funny because they get outdated so fast that whatever you learned is obsolete by the time you graduate.


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 269
M
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
I will be frank and admit that I find the question confusing. Are you a music major now? Education? Performance? Pedagogy? What kind of music school? All of your questions are answered and your knowledge is built-up during the journey of an academic.

During your undergrad, grad school, and DMA/PhD, you will cover all the major genres, sub-genres, music history, theory, modern lit, rep, composition, probably have to have a secondary or third instrument, multiple ensembles, more performance opportunities than you will be able to keep track of, internships where you teach and present, accompany other students for pretty much every instrument, and so on. Oh, and take general courses, too (if you are at a liberal arts college). I had classes and rehearsals from 8am-10pm, six days a week, for four years. I even ate food sometimes! (I was 6'4" and 145 pounds through college.)

Oh, and then you better specialize in something to make yourself exceptionally desirable because the pool is so over-saturated with academics in pretty much every field. I know well-trained musicians that have DMAs but they work at bookstores and teach on the side if they can find students, simply because we all know 100 other well-trained DMAs that have the jobs. Academics never seem to retire, either. They just die in their offices. In my wife's field, she is the last in her generation to get a tenured gig because the profs never retire (everyone else is adjunct). Once the generation before her dies off, my wife will be in her 50s and there will be finally room for the generation after her.

I guess my point is that you "learn it all" as you go. Or are you trying to get a head start like I did? (I tested out of a several music courses when I was a freshmen. You take some tests, write some papers, and get the credits on your transcript. But this was over 20-25 years ago. Maybe they don't do that anymore. I finished in four years with room to spare compared to my fellow students' five years.)

ETA: You will also have to take music tech and music industry classes, too. Those are funny because they get outdated so fast that whatever you learned is obsolete by the time you graduate.

I thought it was a pretty simple and fun question, nothing to be confused about. I currently have a BA in Piano Performance, and took some time off to teach in a private studio. Im no spring chicken! Im 31 years old, and plan to continue and get my masters and doctorate in the next few years. But I didn't want this post to be about me, that was just a detail. I just thought it could be fun to consolidate in one place the fields of mastery required regarding rep.

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 258
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 258
Hi MinscandBoo,

This is a good question, and it's something I'm working towards too (I've taught at college-level but in a small music school and without a DMA, so it's something I might pursue in the future). My teacher in grad school often told us, "In the long run, your knowledge of the repertoire will get you further than the pieces you have studied and performed." In a conservatory or a university music program, there are plenty of opportunities to expand one's repertoire: hearing as many recitals and concerts as possible, watching masterclasses (always knowing the repertoire beforehand and coming with a score, always taking notes), playing piano in ensembles (orchestra, new music, besides of course chamber music), sight-reading new repertoire often, and in general, learning so much from courses outside the piano studio (history, advanced theory, performance practice, conducting, etc). A wonderful advice from that same teacher was taking lessons in harpsichord and early music, something I am so grateful I took to heart, and having some first-hand experience with fortepianos (if one has access to them at a conservatory or a music university, not losing the chance to try them out long enough to appreciate how the repertoire was written with those instruments in mind and the kind of technique and sound that composers had access to). This changes one's approach not only to Baroque composers, but also to Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn and the early romantics. French Baroque music is a treasure really worth exploring (Louis and François Couperin, Rameau), and one would probably gain the most by studying them with a harpsichordist, even if one wants to perform them on modern instruments later. For Bach, a wonderful book I found really helpful was Playing Bach on the Keyboard: A Practical Guide by clavichordist Richard Troeger.

To your list I would also add solid knowledge of the orchestral and vocal repertoire. I feel like one can't teach Brahms without intimately knowing the symphonies and some of the vocal music with orchestra, or Mozart without being intimately familiar with his operas, their stories, their characters and their music. People say these things often, but their practical applications and the horizons they open up are enormous, and they require first-hand playing experience of the scores (or at least a piano reduction) as well as repeated, active listening to the works. The sound of Brahms' orchestra and choir is essential to understanding the colors he sought at the piano. He often wrote for instruments (e.g the cello) more as one would for a piano, and for the piano like other instruments, or for the voice more instrumentally.
I resolved to remedy my superficial knowledge of Mozart's operas after a fascinating chamber music masterclass where the professor kept referring to scenes in "Entführung" (the Abduction from the Seraglio) and inviting us to think here of Osmin, there of Konstanze. To him, the humor and the dramatic meaning of many of Beethoven's "subitos" (e.g. subito piano after a crescendo) can only be understood from Mozart's operas. Indeed, much of Beethoven's music and the tricks he did with dynamics and form were meant to make people laugh, and it is so sad that this humor passes us by today and we often play everything too seriously (e.g. the opening of Op. 31 no.3 in E flat major- mystery, ambiguity, a most dramatic crescendo, then almost laughing it off with a funny, traditional V-I cadence. A similar moment occurs in Op.28- a development of so much searching, hammering the wrong dominant at the end, then with a quiet, almost apologetic "oops, there you go" gives us the correct dominant of D major). Beethoven's music is full of him inviting us into the compositional process- getting lost in distant keys and then saying: now watch me get myself out of this mess, or composing a written-out memory slip, or hands that can't play together (Op.31 no.1), or two players that won't give a chance to the third, then the third stealing the chance and playing an extended solo, or a long trill that takes us suddenly into a most unexpected harmony, surely a joke, or allusions to people chasing one another- the examples are endless. In most performances one will come across, the humor is ironed out (that Op.11 performance by the Camerata Pacifica is a wonderful, rare example of performers understanding and conveying humor). It is thanks to a new generation of performers and conductors inspired by knowledge of historical performance practice that we are regaining the freshness, humor, energy and rebellion of much of Beethoven's music. This requires the right tempi, usually faster than we are used to hearing in 20th century recordings. (Compare, for example, this performance of the second symphony with this).

Understanding this humor also requires solid knowledge of the classical forms and the way they were used for vehicles of drama and of expression- Charles Rosen's "The Classical Style" is a highly recommended classic, and for me a graduate course in Hepokoski and Darcy's sonata theory and Schenker really opened up new horizons. The public for these works, then highly-cultured amateurs, well very well-versed in these traditions (even before they were theorized), so they mostly got the joke or the reference. Beethoven's biggest achievement was infusing the larger form with more dramatic meaning and turning it into a vehicle to express struggle and victory or struggle and despair (middle-period works) and sublimated struggle (late period). For a very enlightening series of lectures on the Beethoven's sonatas (the best I've found so far, unparalleled in the depth they uncover), I really recommend the 6-part series by Jonathan Biss on Coursera (Exploring the Beethoven Piano Sonatas). In these lectures, Biss also often brings up important parallels in Beethoven's string quartets and in Mozart's chamber music and piano concerti, works that one must also know. Solid knowledge of Beethoven's achievements and experiments in form are also essential to understanding almost all of the composers he inspired. E.g. from Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and many others derived that very special mediant relationship between themes or between movements or sections, which often has the effect of a ray of light (e.g. in Brahms, the movement from F major to D major). A large element of Brahms' entire style can be said to derive from Beethoven's ninth.

The most inspiring lessons I had or masterclasses I watched were by people who were able to offer much more than pianistic knowledge. Some of them I will never forget: a teacher who told us one can't play the Prokofiev sonatas without knowing something about the Years of Terror, or that one can't play Rachmaninoff or Russian music in general without having heard Russian bells ("go hear Rimsky Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture"). Yet another who explained the change in conducting technique over the years- years ago, musicians used to play on the "down" of the baton- now, you play on the "up", as a reaction to the "down" and not "on" it, something that can be easily applied to one's approach to the instrument. Or one who advised listening to a Bellini aria- against something one reads and hears a lot, but very important to actually do, in order to understand the inspiration behind Chopin's melodic writing, his appoggiaturas and flourishes (it's fascinating how the melodic line in this famous Cast Diva, for example, can be so easily replaced with a piano right hand and become a Chopin nocturne. The tempo here is too slow, but I chose the recording for the accompanying score).

I would also add knowledge of French piano music to the list- Fauré, Franck, Debussy, Ravel. Even in prestigious conservatories around the world, French music (and music inspired by the French sound, e.g. Scriabin) is often played with too Romantic or "German" an approach, with the same kind of rubato that one applies to Schumann and Brahms. Here, too, familiarity with Debussy's vocal music and with Péleas et Melisande sheds so much light on the kind of understatement he sought in his music and the way his lines very carefully derive from the natural rhythm of spoken French (his opera was criticized for being "continuous recitative", with no true singing). Studying and playing one of his vocal cycles, e.g. Ariettes Oubliées or Chansons de Bilitis, is a great introduction to this. Fauré is an important father to this approach of understatement, reserve, and lightness, and his piano and chamber music are unjustly neglected in conservatories. I have also often felt that knowledge of the French language is a great plus in performing French piano music.

It is also important to know some of Wagner's work and to have played through at least the prelude and the Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde (both lend themselves beautifully to the piano).
I would aim to know at least 5 operas from different composers very intimately, then adding one or two a year.

Finally, I am very guilty of this, but it makes me sad that one can aim to be a pianist or a piano professor and get away with knowing very little of contemporary music of our own time. The greatest composers and pianists of the past played almost only contemporary music. It's something I think often about, and I feel like one can't be a complete musician without active work with great composers of our day.

Sorry this was long. All the best to you!

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 258
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 258
Another quick comment- I've also often felt a marked difference between teachers who only play solo, and those who have an extensive experience playing not only chamber music but also orchestral piano, new music and song accompaniment. The latter have a much clearer approach to teaching students how to practice effectively, because practicing the same solo pieces for months is very different from learning and performing collaborative works regularly, and the skills one uses are very effective when transferred to learning and teaching solo music.


"Love has to be the starting point- love of music. It is one of my firmest convictions that love always produces some knowledge, while knowledge only rarely produces something similar to love."
Arthur Schnabel

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 845
I
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
I
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 845
If you're a college professor you'd better be a walking musical encyclopedia. You have to do it ALL

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,221
Silver Subscriber
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,221
My teacher, who was a college professor, does not have full command of the repertoire. I personally think that would be impossible. In fact, her musical interests are very different than mine, so she has played little of what I am learning.

Was she does very well, is play snippets of new music to illustrate a point..... just a measure or a phrase here or there. It works well.


"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
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,299
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,299
Originally Posted by dogperson
My teacher, who was a college professor, does not have full command of the repertoire. I personally think that would be impossible. In fact, her musical interests are very different than mine, so she has played little of what I am learning.

Was she does very well, is play snippets of new music to illustrate a point..... just a measure or a phrase here or there. It works well.
My favorite and most influential professor of piano in college could hardly play the piano (compared to what you would 'expect' a DMA to be able to do). And, as expected, our professor who actually did famous things was a terrible applied instructor. smile


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
pianoteq keystroke sound control
by ronlefebvre - 06/23/21 10:16 PM
Bachendorff Piano
by trr04002 - 06/23/21 09:56 PM
Hardware for Pianoteq on an NV5S
by Vikendios - 06/23/21 07:39 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics207,676
Posts3,106,737
Members101,892
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5