Everybody who starts learning music for the first time needs guidance from a professional. Even in the times we live now, where everything is very accessible online, guidance is something we seek and we need. Guidance from people who know it all, and already have walked the steps future musicians are planning to walk. But what does it mean to be a good teacher. How do you, as a future student be sure you are making the right choice and that you found the “best teacher in the world”. “What does it take to be a great piano teacher?” is a question which I have some thoughts about.
“What does it take to be a great piano teacher?”
As a teacher you have big responsibilities towards your students. Being DEDICATED is a must. That is why when teaching; the first big concern would be TIME.
Most professional musicians just don’t have enough time. Committing to a new student is like committing to a new friendship or partnership in your life. As a teacher you have to make sure you would have time for them not only during the lesson but outside the classroom as well. Everybody has their own individuality and different needs. Some students need more attention than others. As a teacher you have to make sure you will be always there for your students.
So time is a big concern since most of professional musicians are extremely busy. They don’t only teach. They tour, travel all over the world, rehearse, and practice themselves. Sometimes even more than the students do! And they go to rehearsals, recording sessions. The list can continue. All of that is very time consuming. Time and Dedication are the two main issues and something to think about when talking about “What does it take to be a great piano teacher?”
Teachers are expected to be SENSITIVE about who their students are, what their goals are. Where they want to go professionally and how you will get them there. That is very delicate issue since every one of us has their own ideas of how things should be done and achieved. But working with your students, the work becomes a team work. You have to TRUST each other and help each other walking the way. Teaching, especially teaching how to play a musical instrument is a long process. It is something that you wouldn’t learn how to do over night. And besides, both the teacher and student have to have the PATIENCE to learn and grow.
In my next post I will talk about educating yourself and how important is to know details about the instruments you are teaching, as well as the connection between being a great performer and being a great teacher. These are just couple of the things which are important when asking ourselves “what does it take to be a great piano teacher?”, and when choosing a teacher.
Part 1 – Part 2