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Experienced pianist, inexperienced teacher...how to start teaching? (Read 311 times)

Offline bettyboop93

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Hi all, Iím new to using forums so please bear with me  :-*

A little bit of background: I have a B.Mus from a Canadian university, did a comprehensive major and my instrument was piano. I have my RCM up to Level 10. I havenít been playing seriously since I finished my degree over two years ago.

So I had been meaning to get into teaching and performing since I graduated, but got drawn into a more lucrative gig - something that was meant to be temporary. I now feel I am rusty in my playing and out of the loop. I want to get back into music.

1) Should I get my teachers ARCT? I would like to teach but donít know where to start and feel unqualified with my little teaching experience.

2) Should I get my performers ARCT? I would like to improve my playing and have a hard time doing it without any structure...

3) Any advice is appreciated!


Offline j_tour

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Re: Experienced pianist, inexperienced teacher...how to start teaching?
«Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 03:23:44 AM »
I'm sorry to say I don't know anything about Canadian sole-proprietership businesses, such as piano teaching.  I do know plenty of Canadian musicians, but they're just performers.

In the US, I'd say the royal road to acquiring credbility, it's the MFA in music that goes on your business cards that seems to open doors for a semi-lucrative career.  In the US, the MFA is a terminal degree, unlike, say, an MD. 

That credential alone opens doors to academic teaching positions, and all kinds of work as an accompanist, rehearsal pianist, and, of course, teacher.

I'm not sure I'd bother, at least in the US, with a third-party certification:  after all, you're not being grepped by HR people from a big company, but you're trying to attract students.

I've taught quite a bit of piano, but it's not on your level, just word of mouth from people who've heard me play, or "friends of friends." 

To make a career of it, I wouldn't waste time with private industry certifications, and either go for academic credentials the average person would know about, or build up a solid CV of collaborations and performances, and likely create a website that doesn't look like 1990s geocities.

The other route in the US is to be hired (or perhaps "hired") by a music-teaching-related shop, and they'll accept just about anybody as a teacher.  The pay is not good, IME.
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Offline quantum

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Re: Experienced pianist, inexperienced teacher...how to start teaching?
«Reply #2 on: September 13, 2020, 09:57:53 PM »
Hi and welcome to Pianostreet.

BMus caries more weight than ARCT.  If you want to do an ARCT, do it for the right reasons.  IMO, do ARCT if you want an additional goal to work up to, or there is something in the ARCT syllabus that you want to learn.  If it is credentials you are after, I would recommend a Masters program over ARCT.  Masters gives you a path forward in education if you so desire after completing it, ARCT is more of a diploma.

If you want to work as a professional musician - teacher, performer, or both - you have to find ways of moving forward using your own motivation.  You can't always be relying on academic institutions to push you forward.  Find an aspect of music that interests you and explore it.  You say you like structure, so this is a perfect opportunity to create a structured plan based on your own musical interests. 

If you want to do ARCT for more experience, then that is fine.  However, think about how you are going to get experience when you finish the ARCT.  Don't rely on it to hand you experience, but rather use it as a starting model from which you can seek out and create your own new experiences. 


What you can do in the meantime is start learning new repertoire and perform it.  Current circumstances may not allow you to perform in person, but you can record and share the recording with others. 

For teaching experience, look for a teacher to serve as a mentor.  Join an ensemble with a conductor.  Good conductors are often excellent teachers. 
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