There’s only one lesson in this final module, but it’s a big one. This lesson is about your FUTURE as a piano teacher. 😯
Part of being an educator – a good one at least – is committing to a lifetime of learning. We’re never finished. You’re not going to get to a certain point and say to yourself, “Now, I know how to teach piano.”
The music changes, the generations change and the research goes deeper. You must invest in yourself, stay curious and keep learning new things for your entire career.
But you also need to pace yourself.
If you understand that your learning will never be done, then you should also know there’s no rush. There’s no finish line – so don’t race to get there!
The most successful and innovative teachers I know are always trying something new. But they’re never trying all the things all at once.
Commit to a pace of trying one new thing at a time and you will see progress. Try to do everything and you’ll probably swim in circles and then burn yourself out.
I like to call myself a perpetual 3-year-old because I’m always asking WHY?
You might think this is a pretty annoying habit…maybe so. But I believe it makes me a great teacher. I’m always diving deeper to try to find the why behind the why. I find this journey fascinating because there’s always another layer to uncover.
Being forever curious can help you to stay passionate about your teaching, too.
There are lots of answers out there to many of the challenges you will face as a teacher. I highly encourage you to seek out the wisdom of the community to find solutions when you need them.
There will come a day, perhaps in the not-too-distant future, when you come across a challenge for which you can’t find a solution.
Don’t throw your hands up in despair. Consider this an opportunity to experiment.
Take on the mindset of a scientist and propose a few possible solutions to the issue. Weigh them up, decide the most likely to work and then just try it. And if at first you don’t succeed, try again.
You don’t have to wait for others to come up with the answer. Experiment, fall flat, and experiment some more. You’ll get there.
Speaking of falling flat, here’s my final advice to you:
Be prepared to look silly.
Don’t let your own inhibitions or insecurities get in the way of you teaching your students. You’re bound to try some things which don’t work. You’re going to make mistakes. If you’re honest about it with students, they won’t mind. And if you stay open to new ideas, then some musical magic might unfold.
Try something you’re apprehensive about in a lesson or with a friend who’s prepared to act as a mock student.
In your Music Journey Journal, make some notes beforehand about how you expect it to go and afterwards about the reality of how it went. Then ask a question about this lesson in the community when you’re ready.
These are some of the best resources out there for piano teachers. Consider subscribing to or reading just one or two at a time and come back to this list any time you need fresh inspiration.
The world of podcasts changes more rapidly than the world of blogging! For that reason, here’s a list of music teaching podcasts which I keep up-to-date on Podchaser.
I’ll start with my three books, just to get them out of the way. 😊
And now some other fabulous authors!