Here is the second part of last week’s blog post. A heart for teaching piano teachers.
Everything has a downside
While it true that sharing and posting are 99.9% fantastic and I learn so much, I can’t help but think of my younger self. The Doreen who’d just graduated from college not feeling so confident. Let’s face it, music school isn’t for the faint of heart. I worked hard, but when I came out I didn’t feel prepared for the real world of the working musician or the piano teacher. Even if I’d had the courage to pipe up and ask a question on social media I surely would have been easily discouraged if someone would have come back with a judgmental comment.
What’s the point?
Actually, this is hard because there are so many teachers. Piano teachers who run the gamut from highly qualified teachers with advanced degrees to skilled teachers without degrees. From those just starting out who really want to learn more to those who don’t want to learn and probably shouldn’t be teaching at all (yes these people do exist, unfortunately).
I am going to take a stand and say that I believe that in order to teach the piano effectively you should know how to play it. You need to have a command of the instrument, be able to read music well, understand how to teach good technique. You also need to be knowledgeable about the repertoire of the genre you are teaching (classical, jazz etc).
I am passionate about this because I myself was negatively impacted by bad teaching as a young person. Suffice it to say that my teacher (who was a very nice man with good intentions I am sure) did not teach me to play correctly. My parents are not musicians and I was a student who depended upon my teacher to guide me. Thankfully, I found a good teacher who saved the day and set things straight.
That being said, we are all on a journey. Any teacher who cares enough to be trying to improve should be given credit for that. I totally get the whole degree vs. non-degree debate. If you have one you worked your but off for it and probably paid through the nose while you were at it. I know I did. If you don’t have a music degree you may feel as though you can never catch up no matter how much you practice how well you play or how hard you work.
No matter where you fall on the piano teaching continuum we all have the same goal in mind. To pass the gift of music to our students. Why? because we love the piano and we love them. That’s why we are teachers with a heart for teaching piano teachers.
A Heart for Teaching Teachers
So we’ve come full circle. Who better to teach piano teachers than piano teachers? Who better to set high standards for new teachers than successful experienced teachers? Who better to take our profession to the next level and teach new teachers so that piano education can continue to flourish?
No one, that’s our job.
So as they say at Nike “Let’s do it!”
I just started a brand new Facebook group called “Piano Teacher Apprentice”. I need experienced teachers with a heart for teaching teachers to come on board and…well…teach teachers. Teachers with a heart for teaching piano teachers.
I also want to cordially invite new teachers or anyone who wants a safe compassionate place to learn about piano pedagogy. A group where no question is too silly to ask and everyone is respected.
I hope to see you in the group!
Thanks for reading
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