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Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching? (Read 4824 times)

Offline cometear

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Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
« on: December 14, 2013, 04:45:32 AM »
I'm 13 and I am not the most advanced pianist in my age bracket but for some reason I have an undying urge to try teaching younger, complete beginner students. I would be interested in trying it and building a basic technique with students before passing them on to my teacher when they reach a level I cannot improve on. I'm not sure if I'm too young to try teaching. Give your forthright opinion.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline cabbynum

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #1 on: December 14, 2013, 05:19:58 AM »
I think you should atleast have gone through or are most of the way done with puberty before you start teaching.
You should wait a while. There's a certain amount of maturity you'll need for teaching that you simply don't have at 13
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Liszt Sonata B minor
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Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #2 on: December 14, 2013, 05:59:19 AM »
"Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach.

^It's sad, but true.

Most of my piano teaching was done early in my piano learning. I wasn't the best teacher and it wasn't very beneficial for me since i didn't know what I was doing. That's the key to any teacher: you have to know what you are doing.  I eventually gave up teaching piano simply because I didn't feel comfortable teaching what I had been teaching.

You already have the mindset that beginning teachers aren't important at all, which is why you indicated that you wanted to be a feeder teacher.  Just like in the education school system, the most important teachers are the early ones.  If a kindergarten teacher screws up, she risks having students who can't read, write, or do basic math well which means these students are at higher risk of dropping out, increased rates of drug abuse, truancy, etc.  The early years of instruction really are the most important.

So if you genuinely want to be a piano teacher, ask your own piano teacher to teach you how to teach.  S/he may be happy to help since you are expressing an interest in what s/he is doing.

Offline cometear

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #3 on: December 14, 2013, 06:26:42 AM »
"Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach.

^It's sad, but true.

Most of my piano teaching was done early in my piano learning. I wasn't the best teacher and it wasn't very beneficial for me since i didn't know what I was doing. That's the key to any teacher: you have to know what you are doing.  I eventually gave up teaching piano simply because I didn't feel comfortable teaching what I had been teaching.

You already have the mindset that beginning teachers aren't important at all, which is why you indicated that you wanted to be a feeder teacher.  Just like in the education school system, the most important teachers are the early ones.  If a kindergarten teacher screws up, she risks having students who can't read, write, or do basic math well which means these students are at higher risk of dropping out, increased rates of drug abuse, truancy, etc.  The early years of instruction really are the most important.

So if you genuinely want to be a piano teacher, ask your own piano teacher to teach you how to teach.  S/he may be happy to help since you are expressing an interest in what s/he is doing.

Thanks for not being rude to me like I was to you. I apologize for that. Thanks for the advice.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 07:38:30 AM »
You know, I generally don't pay attention to who posts but what is posted so I don't bear grudges against people unless they really make it a point to be consistently obnoxious.

Anyway, even though I no longer teach, if someone asks me to teach them, I won't decline the request and I also won't accept payment for it, either.  Part of this has to do with my insecurities as a piano teacher and because I haven't thought about teaching it in years.  The other part simply has to do with the fact that I can actually play the piano now, ("those who can, do") so I've lost interest in teaching.  I actually that I'd be a piano teacher for life many years ago.  It's really weird how true that aphorism is once you've experienced it yourself. :P

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 02:13:27 PM »
"Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach.


This doesn't make much sense. How can you teach what you can't do?

My professors were incredible pianists!

I had a few composition professors who weren't incredible composers, but that's more a matter of taste...

Offline arashtarafar

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Also teaching with a little experience here...
«Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 04:13:20 PM »
I'm playing piano for nearly 7 years now, so I can't consider myself a beginner  :)

Yeah, I teach too. that's because I've moved to a new town to attend university, and, unfortunately, I couldn't bring my piano with me (just guess how much that would cost ;D )...
So, I agree to teach those of my classmates who can't afford piano lessons, or want a quick start on piano. I don't fine them, of course (I'm not a TRUE piano teacher), but I take my work rather seriously...

... And, yeah! as long as your teaching won't interfere with your own lessons (in general, not just piano), I can't think of it as a wrong way... Just for an advice, if you can take it from me, try not to teach the wrong methods, if you've ever learned them, to your students. this is a part of teaching honesty.

Thanks for taking time to read this!

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 01:32:13 AM »
This doesn't make much sense. How can you teach what you can't do?

My professors were incredible pianists!

When I first heard it, I understood it to mean that those who achieve very high levels at something don't teach it.  But those who don't achieve very high levels os something do teach it.  It's an aphorism that extends beyond music teaching and into various other arts.

One of my teachers was/is a concert pianist who could play Debussy's music the best I've ever heard, but he was a terrible teacher.  His students kept injuring themselves, one after the other.  It's a give and take kind of aphorism.

Offline kevin69

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #8 on: December 15, 2013, 02:04:06 AM »
This doesn't make much sense. How can you teach what you can't do?

In top-level sport, its pretty common to have coaches who lack the abilities of the sports(wo)men
they are coaching. The skills needed to diagnose and solve problems aren't the same as
the skills required to perform at the highest level. In professional sport its also pretty common to have specialist coaches who concentrate on one particular aspect of a performance whereas the athlete needs to do everything.

At one extreme, we see sports psychologists employed by athletes who may have no athletic ability at all, but they assist the athlete to perform at a higher standard by (for example) giving them tools to cope with self-doubt and presssure.

Similarly, specialist coaching could help even the best musicians (if their egos allowed it).

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 02:41:32 AM »
Music is not sport!

It's an art.

In order to be skilled at teaching it, you must be skilled at practicing it!

Offline chicoscalco

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 03:23:50 AM »
I don't know about one pianist that, at some point in their lives, hasn't teached.
Richter's favorite teacher was the great Neuhaus.
I believe that normally people who excel at performance don't take interest in teaching others, but that's not a rule.
Chopin First Scherzo
Guarnieri Ponteios
Ravel Sonatine
Rachmaninoff Prelude op. 32 no. 10
Schumann Kinderszenen
Debussy Brouillards
Bach, Bach, Bach...

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 03:33:27 AM »
Even though music is not a sport, Kevin wasn't talking about it as a sport.  His analogy is still apt on the differences between performing and teaching/coaching.

Performing and teaching are two different skill sets.  People who attain very high levels of achievement at performance can do so without ever developing any kind of teaching skills.  Elite performers spend most of their effort at perfecting their craft.* The time spent perfecting it is time not spent practicing the instruction of this craft.  This is why such elite performers make for lousy teachers.

Using my former teacher as an example, because he was famous in his day and because he was a very good pianist, his students (as well as one other teacher on the piano faculty) gushed over him.  They thought they were getting the very best instruction simply because of his own accomplishments.  If they couldn't do something that he instructed, they blamed themselves for it so they continued to practice until they injured themselves.  And even after they injured themselves and bandaged their wrists, they continued to follow his instructions.  The sad thing was that these students, while being able to play difficult repertoire, couldn't play them with any kind of fluency.


*Music, IMO, at the highest levels, is NOT an art - it is a craft.  Just like elite levels of teaching is a craft.  Those who consider teaching an art have not achieved the skills at very high levels.

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #12 on: December 15, 2013, 03:44:42 AM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline chicoscalco

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 03:56:56 AM »
*Music, IMO, at the highest levels, is NOT an art - it is a craft.  Just like elite levels of teaching is a craft.  Those who consider teaching an art have not achieved the skills at very high levels.
Sorry, I think you didn't mean that. Music is not an art?
Chopin First Scherzo
Guarnieri Ponteios
Ravel Sonatine
Rachmaninoff Prelude op. 32 no. 10
Schumann Kinderszenen
Debussy Brouillards
Bach, Bach, Bach...

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #14 on: December 15, 2013, 04:28:45 AM »
Sorry, I think you didn't mean that. Music is not an art?

At the highest levels, is NOT an art - it is a craft.  Just like elite levels of teaching is a craft.  Those who consider teaching an art have not achieved the skills at very high levels.

Offline chicoscalco

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #15 on: December 15, 2013, 04:43:26 AM »
At the highest levels, is NOT an art - it is a craft.  Just like elite levels of teaching is a craft.  Those who consider teaching an art have not achieved the skills at very high levels.

Ok I understand that you feel this way about teaching. But my reply was about music in general, not teaching. You really think that music is not an art?
Chopin First Scherzo
Guarnieri Ponteios
Ravel Sonatine
Rachmaninoff Prelude op. 32 no. 10
Schumann Kinderszenen
Debussy Brouillards
Bach, Bach, Bach...

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #16 on: December 15, 2013, 05:23:27 AM »
Ok I understand that you feel this way about teaching. But my reply was about music in general, not teaching. You really think that music is not an art?

At the highest levels, is NOT an art - it is a craft.

Offline chicoscalco

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #17 on: December 15, 2013, 05:34:57 AM »
At the highest levels, is NOT an art - it is a craft.

Wow, I didn't know someone could even think that. Would you care to further explain your point of view? And not about teaching, about music as a whole not being an art.
Chopin First Scherzo
Guarnieri Ponteios
Ravel Sonatine
Rachmaninoff Prelude op. 32 no. 10
Schumann Kinderszenen
Debussy Brouillards
Bach, Bach, Bach...

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #18 on: December 15, 2013, 05:46:30 AM »
You do realize that I copied and pasted my previous reply a few times?  ;)

Craft is a method of doing things that gets consistent and reliable results.  Art does not necessarily get consistent nor reliable results.  That's why it's an art and not a craft.  At the highest levels of art, it's no longer just art; it also becomes craft.  The very best musicians and composers do things that get consistent and reliable results.

Offline swagmaster420x

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #19 on: December 15, 2013, 08:36:38 AM »
You do realize that I copied and pasted my previous reply a few times?  ;)

Craft is a method of doing things that gets consistent and reliable results.  Art does not necessarily get consistent nor reliable results.  That's why it's an art and not a craft.  At the highest levels of art, it's no longer just art; it also becomes craft.  The very best musicians and composers do things that get consistent and reliable results.
f u c k that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline outin

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #20 on: December 15, 2013, 01:13:02 PM »
f u c k that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How mature  ::)

Faulty_damper wrote some very wise words about the (inter)relationship between art and craft.

One has to be able to do to a certain level to be a good teacher, but being good at doing does not mean one can or will be good at teaching. I would expect this to be obvious to anyone who knows something about teaching. But then again, I have noticed that many who do teach seem to know absolutely nothing about teaching or learning  ;)

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #21 on: December 15, 2013, 01:28:47 PM »
-
No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #22 on: December 15, 2013, 02:26:48 PM »
"Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach."

Excuse me... I find that quote to be false. If there are those who can't - why the *** would you want them to teach??? Even Daniel Barenboim gives masterclasses (basically, teaching).

I find that being a teacher helps to inspire me to be a better pianist. Although I also do teaching, through that it helps me develop as a teacher and by trying to help my students achieve their highest possible potential - I feel it's only fair that I continue to reach mine.

The best teachers are those who can... not those who can't.

Offline chicoscalco

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #23 on: December 15, 2013, 03:15:23 PM »
You do realize that I copied and pasted my previous reply a few times?  ;)

Craft is a method of doing things that gets consistent and reliable results.  Art does not necessarily get consistent nor reliable results.  That's why it's an art and not a craft.  At the highest levels of art, it's no longer just art; it also becomes craft.  The very best musicians and composers do things that get consistent and reliable results.

So now you're saying music at its highest levels is not just art but also craft. That's pretty different from what you said earlier.
Chopin First Scherzo
Guarnieri Ponteios
Ravel Sonatine
Rachmaninoff Prelude op. 32 no. 10
Schumann Kinderszenen
Debussy Brouillards
Bach, Bach, Bach...

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #24 on: December 15, 2013, 03:46:39 PM »
Arts and crafts can usually be found in the same store.  ;)

Offline outin

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #25 on: December 15, 2013, 03:57:42 PM »
Arts and crafts can usually be found in the same store.  ;)

Any chance they are having a sale sometime?  :P

Offline cometear

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #26 on: December 15, 2013, 04:08:35 PM »
I think it is both an art and a craft. Not one or the other.

Let's get back on track shall we? I would be interested in just teaching friends for free to see how I feel with them. I would just start with the basics (i.e. how to sit at the piano, posture, note names and the keys, and the staff). It would be interesting I think.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #27 on: December 15, 2013, 04:13:47 PM »
I teach both for a competitive price.

Faulty damper makes an interesting point about the relationship between art and craft.

Art is craft and craft is art. Level of quality is all that separates the two. Good art contains great craftsmanship. There is no art in mediocre craftsmanship. There is no craftsmanship in poor-quality art.

We tend to think of craft as being homemade, self-taught, DIY, etc.

We tend to think of art as being institutionally-taught, the knowledge passed down from master to apprentice via multiple generations of scholarlyness, etc.

The best musicians are master craftsmen (and women)!

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #28 on: December 15, 2013, 04:30:16 PM »
I would be interested in just teaching friends for free to see how I feel with them. I would just start with the basics (i.e. how to sit at the piano, posture, note names and the keys, and the staff). It would be interesting I think.

This is a good idea to start with.  What age and level are your prospective students?

My first experience teaching, when  I was about your age, was helping a slightly younger friend of mine who couldn't afford regular weekly lessons  prepare for a late-intermediate exam. He had had lessons in the past, and could play decently considering.

I was quite a bit older before I started teaching beginners and students of varying ability levels.

Offline cometear

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #29 on: December 15, 2013, 06:07:25 PM »
This is a good idea to start with.  What age and level are your prospective students?

My first experience teaching, when  I was about your age, was helping a slightly younger friend of mine who couldn't afford regular weekly lessons  prepare for a late-intermediate exam. He had had lessons in the past, and could play decently considering.

I was quite a bit older before I started teaching beginners and students of varying ability levels.

The ages could be anywhere from 11-14 I would assume. I wouldn't be interested in working with people younger than 11 YET at least. I also wouldn't be ready for very serious students.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #30 on: December 15, 2013, 07:17:57 PM »
You'll never be ready until you've done it. Like parenting, or even piano playing, you can read 100s of books, and not even be near ready when your first student arrive. I would suggest to talk to your teacher, and tell her about this.


Apart from that, this thread could probably compete for the title "most bull".

Neither cortot or schnabel were great pianists in their later days, but only idiots would argue about the art they made. And how is reliable art?! I would never listen to a pianist because of the reliability! Richter was far from reliable. Cortot, schnabel, Gould, horowirz, sofronitzky...! Some of the greatest pianists there ever was were probably the most unreliable. Mediocrasy is reliable. You know exactly what you will get - not more nor less.

That is exactly what's wrong with music today. Reliable doesn't make art - it makes right notes and a snoring audience.

Offline outin

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #31 on: December 15, 2013, 07:45:14 PM »


Apart from that, this thread could probably compete for the title "most bull".

Neither cortot or schnabel were great pianists in their later days, but only idiots would argue about the art they made. And how is reliable art?! I would never listen to a pianist because of the reliability! Richter was far from reliable. Cortot, schnabel, Gould, horowirz, sofronitzky...! Some of the greatest pianists there ever was were probably the most unreliable. Mediocrasy is reliable. You know exactly what you will get - not more nor less.

That is exactly what's wrong with music today. Reliable doesn't make art - it makes right notes and a snoring audience.

Your problem is that you cannot see consistency and reliability in art as being something else than being able to play the right notes every time. That is not the essence of the craft of creating art. But at the same time it is required to some level for the listeners to be able to enjoy the performance.

Art is only a meaningful as a concept when it is defined as having the element of craft as well as the element of creativity. Otherwise we just have to consider anything as great art if the creator defines it as such.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #32 on: December 15, 2013, 08:03:27 PM »
I have a different view:
Art is simply impossible without excellent craft,
but
any level of craft is very well possible without any level of art. :)

To counter:
Artist's Sh1t (1961), by Piero Manzoni.  The work consists of 90 tin cans filled with sh1t.
The labels says:
"Artist's Sh1t
Contents 30 gr net
Freshly preserved
Produced and tinned
in May 1961"

One tin was sold for 124,000 euros in 2007. ::)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist's_Shit

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #33 on: December 15, 2013, 08:18:05 PM »
So now you're saying music at its highest levels is not just art but also craft. That's pretty different from what you said earlier.
There are two ways you can look at it.  Something that is incredibly well crafted may not even seem like art because it's so innocuous as to be looked over.  A rice paper screen, for example, isn't created so that it's a focal piece of a room so it isn't considered art.  However, the screen can be considered art simply because it is a creation of some sort.  Bad art and good art are still art.  But craft is held to a far higher standard.  See the Artist's Sh1t example.

Offline cometear

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #34 on: December 15, 2013, 08:18:48 PM »
Apart from that, this thread could probably compete for the title "most bull".

What do you mean?
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline cometear

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #35 on: December 15, 2013, 08:21:30 PM »
I would suggest to talk to your teacher, and tell her about this.

I just mentioned it to her this morning and she says I could try with friends to see how I feel (i.e. if I'm comfortable, if they're comfortable, and if I'm getting my concepts across to the other person smoothly and accurately). I'm going to ask around and see if anyone I know is interested in free lessons. You guys can continue fighting over your arts and crafts now.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #36 on: December 15, 2013, 08:23:15 PM »
So give me examples of some legends that were reliable. Zimmerman and pollini (if you count them as legends, which I wouldn't agree with, but that's not the point..) might be, but, in both cases, so is the snoring audience.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #37 on: December 15, 2013, 08:28:48 PM »
Let's get back on track shall we? I would be interested in just teaching friends for free to see how I feel with them. I would just start with the basics (i.e. how to sit at the piano, posture, note names and the keys, and the staff). It would be interesting I think.

The point of my initial digression was that even though I taught, I wasn't very good at it.  Teaching skills aside, I was teaching things that later turned out to be incorrect or wrong such as how to sit, posture, technique, etc.  But I didn't know that it was incorrect because that's what my teachers taught me and I had very limited knowledge of it.

How do you know that what you will be teaching will be correct?  Have you attained technical mastery?  What about music theory?  (My first teacher didn't even know what una corda meant and she had been teaching for decades.)

Offline cometear

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #38 on: December 15, 2013, 09:05:42 PM »
The point of my initial digression was that even though I taught, I wasn't very good at it.  Teaching skills aside, I was teaching things that later turned out to be incorrect or wrong such as how to sit, posture, technique, etc.  But I didn't know that it was incorrect because that's what my teachers taught me and I had very limited knowledge of it.

How do you know that what you will be teaching will be correct?  Have you attained technical mastery?  What about music theory?  (My first teacher didn't even know what una corda meant and she had been teaching for decades.)

No I, myself, have not achieved technical mastery yet but I believe that the method I would teach is correct.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline fleetfingers

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #39 on: December 15, 2013, 09:19:46 PM »
Yes, you should teach some of your friends! You will not become a good teacher if you do not gain any experience. Can you imagine waiting to play piano until you had studied all there is to study about it, just so you wouldn't ever do anything wrong? You would know everything in theory, but you would not actually know how to play anything on the piano. If you never allowed yourself to try it and perhaps to make mistakes along the way, then you would never learn from those mistakes and get better.

The quote above from faulty contradicts what he's arguing anyway. If you were good enough to teach your friends the absolutely correct way, then you wouldn't teach them. Because you can, so you would do; not teach. But, he's arguing that you do not know enough or play well enough to teach properly, so you therefore shouldn't teach. But, according to the quote, if you can't then you teach. So, there you go. Teach! ;)

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #40 on: December 15, 2013, 10:04:41 PM »
It's not a contradiction.  The fact is, the very best, do.  The less than the very best, teach.  That's why the very best don't teach, because they know they were taught wrong and they play so damn well anyway that they don't need to teach for a living.  ;)

Offline cometear

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #41 on: December 15, 2013, 10:10:47 PM »
It's not a contradiction.  The fact is, the very best, do.  The less than the very best, teach.  That's why the very best don't teach, because they know they were taught wrong and they play so damn well anyway that they don't need to teach for a living.  ;)

But you just said that I shouldn't teach unless I have achieved technical mastery. How can I have technical mastery and not be the very best?
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #42 on: December 15, 2013, 10:13:26 PM »
It's more of a paradox, not a contradiction.  See, once you achieve technical and musical mastery, you wouldn't want to teach anyway.  That's the rub. :P

Offline j_menz

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #43 on: December 15, 2013, 11:07:53 PM »
once you achieve technical and musical mastery, you wouldn't want to teach anyway.

Explain Liszt.  ::)
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline cometear

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #44 on: December 15, 2013, 11:32:09 PM »
It's more of a paradox, not a contradiction.  See, once you achieve technical and musical mastery, you wouldn't want to teach anyway.  That's the rub. :P

So why do I have to do it to teach if when I do it I won't want to teach? I'm a bit confused.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #45 on: December 16, 2013, 01:34:48 AM »
Explain Liszt.  ::)

In his own words, regarding technique: "Do your dirty laundry at home."

That's not very good advice, is it.  That's like my piano teacher telling me to practice more if I couldn't play a certain passage.  Not helpful at all when the reason for the difficultly was technical.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #46 on: December 16, 2013, 01:40:31 AM »
So why do I have to do it to teach if when I do it I won't want to teach? I'm a bit confused.

You won't know it until you get there.  Just as I thought I would be a piano teacher for the rest of my life, I didn't even think not teaching was an option.  But here I am now.  I'd rather just play.  But if I did have a student, I would not have the same kinds of policies that I once had, e.g. they must have a piano, must practice, must come regularly, etc.  Hypothetically, they don't need a piano, nor need to practice, and they can come by for "lessons" however often they feel like it.  If they want to come by everyday, that would be fine, or every few months, that would also be fine.  But, I'm not tied to teaching for income which allows this kind of flexibility but more important, it allows students to progress as they are comfortable, without any kinds of pressure.  And should they give up, that would also be fine.

Offline arungargstl

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #47 on: December 16, 2013, 02:08:14 AM »
Regardless of music being an art or a craft, or both, it is often true that highly skilled performers cannot teach what they play, and that highly trained teachers cannot play what they teach. However, the greatest performers alive today (for the most part) sit on faculties at big music schools. I'm not talking about currently active pianists, but the old masters that still live today (Graffman, Lipkin, Fleisher, Watts etc.) that sit on faculties at major music schools. Thus, overtime, these great performers become equally skilled in their pedagogical work.

Having studied with Fleisher, it is true that his teachings can injure a student. However, there is a reason why these masters only accept students that already have a solid technical foundation. Thus, physical barriers have no place in this level of instruction; only tone production, phrasing, voicing, and overall structure are discussed. At this level, piano playing becomes a craft of the ear more than of the fingers and hands.

So, these great performers who have become great professors teach both art and craft. At a level where physical technique is still being developed, the only danger is knowing too little of how the human body works to create the most efficient apparatus possible. Damaging a youthful pianist's physical ability is almost more detrimental than not developing one's musical instincts. Thus, it would be wise for you to wait some years to teach.

If you already feel the passion to share your abilities, this passion will only grow with you. Your desire to share more of your knowledge will grow as your own ability to physically play, AND YOUR ABILITY TO HEAR become more refined and acute.

GOOD LUCK!!

AG


Offline j_menz

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #48 on: December 16, 2013, 02:27:57 AM »
In his own words, regarding technique: "Do your dirty laundry at home."

That's not very good advice, is it.  That's like my piano teacher telling me to practice more if I couldn't play a certain passage.  Not helpful at all when the reason for the difficultly was technical.

But he did teach. A lot.  And "pupil of Liszt" was a badge people wore with pride (whatever their actual entitlement).

Oh, and anyone trying to teach you anything has my very greatest sympathy.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline dima_ogorodnikov

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Re: Am I too young or inexperienced to start teaching?
«Reply #49 on: December 16, 2013, 02:51:09 AM »
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No amount of how-to information is going to work if you have the wrong mindset, the wrong guiding philosophies. Avoid losers like the plague, and gather with and learn from winners only.