I Want To Teach Piano

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I am an early intermediate to intermediate level player. I have a college degree but not in music. I took accordion lessons as a child and recently took 3 years of piano lessons although I stopped almost 2 years ago. I'd like to teach beginners, both children and adults and maybe take them to the early intermediate level and then encourage them to continue somewhere else. I'm not looking to make a lot of money. I'd just like to pass on my love for the piano, and use teaching as a way to motiviate myself to keep playing and learning. I can't afford lessons anymore. Could I pick up a few students with my current background? I could teach out of my home or in a students home. Thanks for any advice.

-- John Haight (haightjr@yahoo.com), January 01, 2005


Beginners are most impressionable and improper piano technique will cause them to sustain injuries that show up when they go off to college. I don't want to discourage you from teaching but I would seriously check out how to play piano properly before teaching others!! There are doctors that specialize in trying to UNDO what damage has been done by ignorant teachers (of beginners and also on the college level). Read this from one person: "I studied (at one of the Colleges of Music) in London around 1973 and your comments ("Stress in Piano Playing") on the practise of certain exercises and the injury that can be incurred without a clear understanding of anatomy reminded me of the way my teacher made all her students practise Hanon very slowly with the wrist right down pressed against the front of the piano lifting each finger in turn as high as possible holding for a few seconds and then descend with a sharp blow!!! It would take around twenty minutes to play one exercise with each hand separately - needless to say we concentrated on one per week. Still, at the time I did as I was told with great dedication not understanding the long term possible consequences."

- John.

John goes on to say:

"It makes me quite sad to think about her as she was a remarkable pianist in her time and apart from her misguided approach to the Hanon a truly dedicated teacher who gave you her total attention during the lesson and ironically encouraged freedom from the wrists and shoulders and also advocated an extended finger position."


-- Sandy Wilkinson (singpraises2God@yahoo.com), January 02, 2005.

Here's and idea. It's what I'm doing, and I'm in a similar situation except that I'm pursuing music as a career. Why don't you continue lessons yourself and have your teacher hear your students sometimes. That way you keep getting new ideas and she can kind of guide you in your teaching by attending your recitals or you could have them play in her recitals. I do think it's important to make sure you play it safe like this, (unless you definately know what you're doing), when you start teaching kids or adults in "grades." Note learning isn't too stressful, but when you have them doing scales and such, then it's important to be careful. My teacher has a permanent injury from her teacher not teaching technique properly.

-- Ann (la_ginn@yahoo.ca), January 20, 2005.

Have you heard about "Fundamentals of piano practice"? This is realy a wonderful book and I'm pretty sure it's going to help you more than you imagine. And finaly, it's free from internet. http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm

-- Alex F. Caballero (afcaballero@prodigy.net.mx), February 06, 2005.

I began teaching piano and flute lessons 4 years ago. I do not have a degree in music, but I have had great success with beginner students. I think as long as you know your limitations and do not teach beyond that, it is great to teach piano. I have had several parents who have had there children take lessons from a "professional" and have been disappointed because they tend to be too strict, especially for young kids. If you love music, I encourage you to pass that along.

-- Heidi Toomer (thetoomers@sbcglobal.net), February 13, 2005.

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