“You teach the piano? That’s wonderful! What do you do with the rest of your time?”
Many piano teachers hear variations of this. From friends, relatives and even parents of new students, who think piano teaching happens just at class time. They see the joy that a teacher feels when students do well, and don’t seem to see what goes into helping a student get there.
So, for families who are totally new to music education and piano playing, here’s what piano teacher’s do outside of that once-a-week piano class.
- Piano practise
- Studying & reading up on music, piano playing, psychology & teaching techniques
- Preparing exercises and teaching material to suit different learning needs
- Listening to music and attending concerts
- Attending piano workshops teachers meetings conducted by examining boards
- The actual business of running a piano studio – planning lessons, class scheduling, buying books for students, communicating with parents and students, planning repertoire, and a host of other stuff
- Organising opportunities for students to perform and attending rehearsals and student performances at concerts or piano workshops
- Processing examination forms, pre-exam piano trials and accompanying students to piano exams.
Another reason why I ask my piano parents to sit in on class now & then . .
New piano parents often understand what the profession is about only after their child joins piano class. When parents sit in on class now & then see the effort, knowledge and patience that is required, for the piano teacher to teach effectively, and help their child with practise, learning, & discipline issues that crop up from time to time.
Over time, they realise that piano class in general and the teaching method in particular, has had a positive effect on their child’s personality. These same parents have got to know their child’s piano teacher well and then, they have another question.
“Just how do you get the time to fit all the things you do into your busy teaching day ?“