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Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

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Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

Post by millershull on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:16 pm

Hello there!

I came across your videos while browsing performance and memorization for piano. (I've yet to watch your lesson on performance; I just found it last night.) These are some wonderful lessons you've made up! You were certainly made to be a teacher.

So, this might be an ask Angela question (Beautiful playing! I love Chopin's prelude in Db. It's a bit different playing it or being there than watching a video, isn't it?) as well as an ask you question.

I haven't had lessons since I was about 17, because I've been very busy Smile - got married @ 18, had son @ 20, working, moved last year, more working, etc. etc. etc., and have pretty much plateaued for the last six, seven years in piano. But, I've always loved piano and have always at least kept it up especially now I have a house it will fit in (it used to stay at my parents), and I would really love to do something with it instead of just dinking around sight reading pieces and being over with them, hence looking up memorizing and performing. I've never been good at performing because of nerves. Believe it or not I was able to get out of all piano recitals and played for the first time in front of people other than my immediate family at a holiday concert my aunt, a hobby concert pianist, does every year. Of course it was a duet - I wasn't going to get up there by myself! I'm still optimistic, though, and keep telling myself that it will get better. So, I'm thinking piano teacher is more up my alley, but how can I teach how to perform, if I haven't done it myself, right?

Anyways, I'm a mom full-time and a part-time accountant (I'm sure piano had something to do with being good with numbers), and I want to look realistically at what it would take to do something with the piano. How would I start? Would part-time college cut it? Teach kids in the neighborhood? Could you guys give me some pointers? Plus, my need husband needs a good reason for my practicing all the time. Smile

Thanks a bunch, Zoe
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millershull
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Re: Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

Post by Thomandy on Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:19 pm

Wow, 20 years Very Happy You must be good then! Even longer than Andrew on the Piano!! Smile Have you taken grades and these things??
What do you consider your greatest piece that you have played?? Smile

And btw - Welcome to the forum Smile
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Re: Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

Post by Admin Andrew on Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:44 pm

Well some suggestions to get started would be, buy a whole wack load of beginner books first, and learn them very well. Then pick a favorite book and study that very closely for a few weeks you could imagine how you would teach this to a kid. My personal favorite method is called "Step by Step".

Next up, find a senior level teacher, someone that is experienced and also very nice and popular with their students. (You might not be able to find such a nice teacher so if you can't then don't worry about this stage.) anyway ask this teacher to teach you piano pedagogy, and look up some books on piano pedagogy.

Once you've run over the material you could try to teach one or two kids in the neighborhood for a very big discount price. In piano teaching it has a lot to do with physiology than anything else. How can you get the information inside you copied over into the brain of the other student?

Try to present the information in a fun and low pressure way, sort of like how a friend would. Try your very best to truely care about the student, but not how well they do, because otherwise you'll set yourself up to put pressure on them. Just try to bring them joy out of the playing. That should help them motivate themselves to play more.

Anyway, once you teach a few students then you can advertise or expand from there depending on how you are liking it.

One thing you'll notice is that piano teaching is NEVER the same, where as accounting can be the same numbers etc over and over. Now you're dealing with people, with kids, and they will challenge you to think creatively to solve the problems quite often ^_^ anyway, it's a lot of fun and very rewarding. Good luck!

cheers

_________________
"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of other's cannot keep it from themselves."


Take care,

Andrew Furmanczyk :: http://www.howtoplaypiano.ca :: http://ca.youtube.com/user/lypur
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Re: Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

Post by millershull on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:13 pm

Thomandy wrote:Wow, 20 years Very Happy You must be good then! Even longer than Andrew on the Piano!! Smile Have you taken grades and these things??
What do you consider your greatest piece that you have played?? Smile

And btw - Welcome to the forum Smile


Well, remember I haven't had any lessons since I was 17. Smile I don't have any guidelines I have to follow so I'm all over the place playing this and that which means a don't have any pieces anymore that I could say I play really well. I'm the kind of person that thrives with assignments and goals set by someone other than myself. Lately, though, for my aunt and her music group, I've been working on The King's Hunting Jigg by John Bull (using Andrew's memorization techniques for that, it's fun!) and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 11 in F.

'Greatest piece', hmmm, well what immediately comes to mind is Doctor Gradas ad Parnassum by Debussy (learned when 15). I say that because it sets off my best attributes (hope I used that word right) as a pianist. Gracefulness, pearly sound. - It's a great warm-up for practicing. It's fun to see how fast you can play it, too.

I've never taken grades. Actually, I've no idea what those are, but they sound like fun! (I'm a nerd.)

Thanks for the welcome!
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Re: Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

Post by millershull on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:28 pm

Andrew,

Looks like I have a reason to buy more music! Smile Thanks for all the helpful information. You've given me a good place to start. Luckily I have a 3 1/2 year old to test stuff on too. Smile I bought the first books in Alfred's Music for Little Mozarts. So far, he's been capitivated by it, which is good and bad, piano lessons have been lately ending in tantrums because he doesn't want to stop - I can only take so much. But, man, like you mentioned, it is hard to make piano theory simple enough for a three year old and to remember how I learned it or got my head around an idea. I should mention he likes watching your videos too!

Thanks, Zoe
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millershull
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Job/hobbies : one of my hobbies: piano - job: accountant, wish it was piano teacher
Length of time playing piano : taught myself @ 4, wow 20 yrs already?
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Re: Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

Post by Thomandy on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:35 pm

millershull wrote:
Thomandy wrote:Wow, 20 years Very Happy You must be good then! Even longer than Andrew on the Piano!! Smile Have you taken grades and these things??
What do you consider your greatest piece that you have played?? Smile

And btw - Welcome to the forum Smile


Well, remember I haven't had any lessons since I was 17. Smile I don't have any guidelines I have to follow so I'm all over the place playing this and that which means a don't have any pieces anymore that I could say I play really well. I'm the kind of person that thrives with assignments and goals set by someone other than myself. Lately, though, for my aunt and her music group, I've been working on The King's Hunting Jigg by John Bull (using Andrew's memorization techniques for that, it's fun!) and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 11 in F.

'Greatest piece', hmmm, well what immediately comes to mind is Doctor Gradas ad Parnassum by Debussy (learned when 15). I say that because it sets off my best attributes (hope I used that word right) as a pianist. Gracefulness, pearly sound. - It's a great warm-up for practicing. It's fun to see how fast you can play it, too.

I've never taken grades. Actually, I've no idea what those are, but they sound like fun! (I'm a nerd.)

Thanks for the welcome!

Ah, well i havnt taken any lessons either Smile But I might take lessons in the future Smile
t seems like you got everything under controll. Its not a bad thing to be a bit all over the place Smile
Ill be sure to check out that piece on youtube. I might have heard it before, but dont remember the name Smile

Well there are 9 grades I think. I know there is 11 in Canada!! Smile Its a bit different. I might want to try to do those exams sometime. Just to have a grade Smile It might be a good thing if your are going to be a teacher!!! Smile Well I dont know. Im not the most experienced in this field since I started this year Smile
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Re: Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

Post by millershull on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:51 pm

Thomandy wrote:
Ah, well i havnt taken any lessons either Smile But I might take lessons in the future Smile
t seems like you got everything under controll. Its not a bad thing to be a bit all over the place Smile
Ill be sure to check out that piece on youtube. I might have heard it before, but dont remember the name Smile

I checked out the youtube videos of it earlier - warning: only 1 or 2 that I found really did it any kind of justice. Some of the videos the pianists don't have a good touch and/or range of sound to make the piece interesting, sounds kind of blah. But, it is video. I don't mean to be too harsh.
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millershull
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Female Number of posts : 4
Age : 33
Location : Portland, OR
Job/hobbies : one of my hobbies: piano - job: accountant, wish it was piano teacher
Length of time playing piano : taught myself @ 4, wow 20 yrs already?
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Re: Becoming a piano teacher or professional pianist

Post by Thomandy on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:54 pm

millershull wrote:
Thomandy wrote:
Ah, well i havnt taken any lessons either Smile But I might take lessons in the future Smile
t seems like you got everything under controll. Its not a bad thing to be a bit all over the place Smile
Ill be sure to check out that piece on youtube. I might have heard it before, but dont remember the name Smile

I checked out the youtube videos of it earlier - warning: only 1 or 2 that I found really did it any kind of justice. Some of the videos the pianists don't have a good touch and/or range of sound to make the piece interesting, sounds kind of blah. But, it is video. I don't mean to be too harsh.

But its important that the pianist plays it well, or else the whole piece is ruiened Smile Ill look for the one that is good! Very Happy
Or you should record and upload, then you can start a PerformanceThread in the PerformanceTopic here at the forum Wink
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