Sophomore Music Education Major...Piano teacher? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Hi, My name is Mary Beth. I just recently started College at Evangel University in Springfield, MO. I am a Music Education major with emphasis in voice but I have had about 8 years, and growing, experience in piano. I was wondering if I can get someone's advice about me teaching piano at beginning level here in my home town. I think its a good idea, good experience, and good way to earn extra money for school....HELP! MBB

-- Mary E. Bryant (, May 08, 2003


Mary Beth.. Here's my 2 cents.. Feel free to become a piano teacher, but be sure to know your limits. Before starting teaching go to the music store and do a survey of ALL the music methods to get the one that you feel is the best for you to teach. Talk with piano teachers in your area.. see what their teaching and why they use that method. Ask if you can see their methods library. Observe as many teachers as you can, i've learned most of what i do or don't do from other teachers, and have them also observe you. Play games and see how fun you can make your lessons.. Teaching really keeps you on your feet.

-- Shannon (, May 09, 2003.

Hello Mary Beth, Have you thought of visiting Springfield Music and getting acquainted with the music people there? Maggie is in charge of piano music and I'd talk with her about your plan. She can show you lots of materials for use with the beginner student. Also it would be helpful to get involved with the local teaching organizations. They have monthly meetings and discussions and you'd receive lots of input from experienced teachers. Springfield, Missouri has a lot of great teachers that I believe would be willing to help you get started and answer some of your questions.

Good luck.


-- Glenda Austin (, June 08, 2003.

Go for it! With 8 years of piano experience, you've accumulated enough knowledge to start teaching, but please be aware that teaching beginners, especially very young ones, is much harder than teaching early intermediates, with more potential for doing some damage. Early intermediates have already accumulated some skills (note- reading, counting etc.) for you to build on. You should do some reading and study in how to teach the little ones, and definitely take a piano pedagogy course if one is available. Try to find a mentor teacher who can help you when you have questions (you'll have a lot!), and speak with other teachers in your town to ask for advice, referrals, etc. If there is a student division of a music teachers' association nearby, it would be worthwhile to join it. As for method books, I didn't have much luck with Alfred, Bastien, Aaron etc.--they rely too much on "position" reading, so the kids don't really learn to read the notes, they just sort of memorize the finger number. I've had much more success with the Faber series and Music Tree series. Study them thoroughly so you understand how they present their concepts. All that being said-- Teaching piano is a joyful, fulfilling experience, so enjoy, enjoy!!!

-- anon (, June 14, 2003.

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