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Am I qualified to teach? (Read 617 times)

Offline ggrant4569

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Am I qualified to teach?
« on: September 05, 2020, 12:33:21 AM »
Hello. I am an 18 year old casual pianist. I have my level 10 RCM certificate, and am able to play ARCT level pieces. I have a younger sister that I have helped practice before, and I am a tutor in non-music related classes, but that's the extent of my teaching experience. I have been told by a music teacher (not mine) that I should start teaching on the side during university to make some money, but I don't feel entirely qualified. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Offline klavieronin

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Re: Am I qualified to teach?
«Reply #1 on: September 05, 2020, 02:05:14 AM »
My feeling is that virtually nobody is qualified when they start teaching piano. I certainly wasn't, and I had a music degree and had taken two semesters of Piano Pedagogy.

Still, you may find at this stage that students will ask a lot of questions that you have no answers for.

My suggestion is that you do some research, read some books, and really think out how you plan to run your lessons for students at different ages and levels.

Definitely don't do what I did which was just to wing it and hope nobody notices how unprepared you are.

Do those things and you'll be fine, I'm sure.

Online lostinidlewonder

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Re: Am I qualified to teach?
«Reply #2 on: September 05, 2020, 03:26:20 AM »
You have experience teaching classes, have a RCM certificate and can play ARCT level. You obviously understand requirements for examinations and have gone through them yourself. Of course not all students will want to do examinations so you will have to come up with programs which allow them to learn the piano successfully and enjoyably. All teachers had to start out somewhere with little teaching experience. In my experience as a student and peer I have found teachers with teaching experience are better than those without experience but lots of qualifications.
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Offline quantum

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Re: Am I qualified to teach?
«Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 10:06:38 PM »
You are likely better qualified than teachers employed by certain questionable "music schools."

What you need is some teaching experience.  There is only so much you can learn from pedagogy texts, there comes a time when you have to teach in person so you have perspective of what those text are talking about. 

Maybe start off by tutoring music theory students, and that will get you in the frame of mind for teaching music. 

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Offline michaellanglois

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Re: Am I qualified to teach?
«Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 01:22:41 AM »
You can absolutely do this. You'll learn as you go. Charge a very modest fee commensurate with your lack of experience, but read everything you possibly can on the topic and spend plenty of time (especially in the beginning) preparing for the lessons. Whether or not your pianism is casual as you say, don't let your teaching be - and both you and your students will gain much.

Mike

Hello. I am an 18 year old casual pianist. I have my level 10 RCM certificate, and am able to play ARCT level pieces. I have a younger sister that I have helped practice before, and I am a tutor in non-music related classes, but that's the extent of my teaching experience. I have been told by a music teacher (not mine) that I should start teaching on the side during university to make some money, but I don't feel entirely qualified. Any suggestions? Thanks.
B.M. Indiana U, M.M. UMaryland, D.M.A. UMaryland

Offline bethany

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Re: Am I qualified to teach?
«Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 07:58:00 PM »
I was less qualified than you when I started, honestly! I have a Bachelor of Music now and 5 years experience (which I am aware is still not much) and still feel a little out of control at times! As others have said, read widely and learn as much as you can. Maybe ask to sit in on a few lessons given by your teacher, with permission from the student/their parents.  Also, accept that you will make mistakes and feel embarrassed at times, but that's okay, you are learning, and as long as you make that clear to families you aren't doing the wrong thing. Just do your best and over time you'll get really good!

Also, choose your first set of students wisely. Mine consisted of two sassy teens who saw right through me and two naughty 6 year olds, which made things hard. Try to find students with families that are supportive of you and children who WANT to learn. It will make life a billion times easier for you.  ;D

Offline Bob

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Re: Am I qualified to teach?
«Reply #6 on: March 29, 2021, 09:54:07 PM »
Yes, go teach.  Not all students and parent are that serious about it.  Use them to practice teaching and get paid.  If you want to be a better teacher, you need more experience.  Teach beginners.  You'll get whatever you get for students.  Whatever you make for money isn't much.  Even what an experienced teacher makes isn't much.  You also get "paid" with the experience.  After you've got enough and know the type and level of students you end up with, you don't have to put as much effort into it.  But at first, you get paid less and do more prep work.

Look for any teacher guides for a piano series that will guide you as a teacher.  It's more paint-by-numbers that way.

You'd probably end up with some 8-10 year old and a parent who doesn't want to spend money on a more experienced teacher.  Maybe they only have a keyboard.  There you go.  You've already got some experience of helping your sister in music and actually teaching others in whatever topic.  That's not nothing. 

If you can find a more experienced teacher who can kind of guide you, great.  I doubt you'd really be competition for them.  You probably won't have students knocking down your door.  Plus, if you're 18, you might be moving on before the students are.  Your student(s) might end up with a teacher who gives you a nudge of help at the start.  Otherwise, there are forums like this one.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Am I qualified to teach?
«Reply #7 on: March 30, 2021, 03:11:44 PM »
I dove headfirst into teaching without any real qualifications, and it was a real challenge. But you learn a lot. As long as you are coming from a space of genuinely wanting to create a safe space for the student where they feel respected, and wanting to do your best to support and teach them, and take a honest look at where you are doing well and where you need to improve, you'll likely be fine. Don't be afraid to ask other teachers for help and support.

Oh, and at least one person was less than supportive and said "you shouldn't teach unless you got a degree first" but I had already signed a contract to teach for six months at that point, so I just had to roll with it, and I did ok.

So it can be challenging and uncomfortable, but coming out the other end you'll have grown, and you'll definitely know if you want to keep doing it or not :P