Can I Become a Piano Teacher?
Have you been playing piano for a while? Maybe you could try teaching others. You have heard that it can help your own learning, and the money is always welcome!
But do you have what it takes? You don’t consider yourself a virtuoso, and you still struggle with many things yourself. Maybe you’ll do more harm than good…
Try not to worry, I am here to give you an overview of teaching piano to young students (and other beginners), so you can form an opinion, and, who knows? maybe you will end up joining our list of qualified teachers!
Am I Good Enough?
So you said you are not a virtuoso. You don’t need to be one to teach. In fact, it could be detrimental. A great player doesn’t necessarily make a great teacher. When you possess an innate ability to do something, you may find it hard to explain “how” to do it to somebody else. And that’s exactly what a teacher needs to be best at.
But you do need to have your basics in place. It is true that you don’t need to be much more advanced than your alumni, but lately, there’s a current of thought that defends that to be a teacher you only need to be one lesson ahead of your pupil. I don’t believe in that, and it can be the source of many errors and technical deficiencies that take a long time to repair. Don’t try to do more than you are capable of or it will backfire.
So don’t worry about being a Chopin, but make sure you have the full command of what you are trying to teach.
A quality that is mandatory for a teacher is patience. You may find it easy to perform some movements and pieces that you have played for years, but you have probably forgotten how long it took you to learn it until it became effortless.
Give your pupils the time and space needed for their brains and muscles to understand. And help them overcome the frustration as well. Take it easy, and make sure they take it slowly as well.
But don’t let them stay too comfortable or they will become lazy. Remember that parents are paying you for results, not to be an expensive pastime. Push the children just the right amount so they keep advancing at a slow, but steady, pace. This is the mark of a great teacher.
As you get more experience as a teacher, you will find that you learn more from your alumni than you thought. This is because the act of teaching makes your brain work harder to understand the concepts.
When you have to form words to explain something, your brain has to organize your thoughts so what you say makes sense. As you refine your message, it becomes clearer and clearer what the essence of it is. You will gain a much deeper understanding, and in turn, will also learn how to communicate it even better. It is a virtuous cycle.
If you want to know more about this phenomenon I recommend you to research the ‘Feynman technique’ (named after the famous physics teacher Richard Feynman).
Keep in mind that you still need a teacher for yourself. You need to advance on your own musical journey, and at the same time, it will help you implement new teaching methods in your own practice.
Have a look at our list of experienced teachers and try some lessons if you don’t have a teacher right now.
Now that you’ve read the article, you could even apply to join as one of our teachers. Read the requirements carefully and contact us if you have any question. Your journey helping others could start today!