5 Tips for Potential Piano Teachers
Teaching someone how to play the piano and watching their talents mature can be extremely rewarding for piano teachers. Apart from the nice paycheck, you get a sense of satisfaction from watching them advance in skill level and knowing that you are responsible for it.
However, teaching someone to play the piano – or any other musical instrument for that matter – can be a challenge. If you are looking for help and guidance on making your lessons as effective as possible, read this article for the top tips for potential piano teachers.
Keep Lessons Fun and Interesting
Many piano teachers make the mistake of making the lessons tedious and squeezing the fun out of playing the instrument. Once your students start considering their lessons a chore, they lose all interest in playing the instrument and their progress plummets to the ground. No matter how hard you try, they will not be able to learn new things at the same pace.
If your students are having problems with learning, try mixing up your lessons with fun activities. Make up musical games, such as guessing a note, and reward your students if they win. Teach them how to play by ear, or how to improvise playing and add their own flair and personality to their favorite pop song. If your students are having fun during their lessons, they will be able to grasp new information you share with them much more quickly.
Nip Self-doubt in the Bud
If you are just starting out teaching the piano, some doubts may riddle your mind on whether or not you are teaching your students in the best way possible. This is a common occurrence, and many new teachers go through the same phase of self-doubt when they first start giving piano lessons.
The important thing to know here is that this is just a phase. With enough experience in the field, you are able to fine-tune your method and teach your students in the most effective way possible. To accelerate this process, you can carry out your own research on the problems new players’ experience – and the best ways to overcome them.
This would give you ideas on how to improve your technique and make your students learn much faster. As a bonus, you can also use these tools for inspiration on making your lessons more fun and entertaining for your students.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
If you learned how to play the piano a while ago, it can be difficult to fathom why your students are having problems with a seemingly simple task or technique. You should try looking at things from their perspective to understand why they are having a hard time grasping the concept, instead of trying to drill it into their minds.
Go online and check online music forums and music blogs to discover the difficulties novice players face when they first start out playing. The Skoove blog is a good place to start. It contains plenty of articles and advice for people that are new to piano playing. You can put yourself in the shoes of your students and then figure out a way to make the lessons easier to understand.
Use a Mobile Learning App
This one might seem counterintuitive at first. After all, you have to teach your students the piano, not a mobile app. However, a mobile app can be a great tool you can use to accelerate the learning of your students.
Look at it this way – you cannot be physically present every time one of your students sits down in front of the piano to practice. With a mobile app actively listening to your students every time they play the keys and providing valuable feedback, your students can practice even in your absence and master the technique you taught them just in time for your next lesson.
A mobile app can even prove to be useful during the times you have a practice session with your students in which you are physically present. Mobile apps offer plenty of easily accessible resources to help novice players practice. You can find music notations of popular songs on the app and teach your students how to read them.
Many of these apps come with a built-in metronome function, which you can use to keep your students’ performance in time. You always carry your phone when you go out, so you would not have to bring over additional resources and equipment when you go to teach piano lessons.
An excellent option in this regard is Skoove. This is an app for iOS devices, as well as a web app that you can use on any computer. The app listens to your performance through your device’s microphone, and gives you real-time feedback to help improve your skills.
If you have a digital piano or MIDI keyboard, you can plug it directly into your device for an even better experience. Skoove even has lessons on many popular modern songs as well as classics, which you can use to teach your students how to play. With the built-in metronome functionality, you can help your students master the timing of their performance.
Don’t Compartmentalize Too Much
Breaking down and compartmentalizing the different aspects of playing, such as theory, aural, general knowledge, and sight-reading, etc, may seem like a good idea. However, when you look at the limited period you have for each lesson, you begin to understand why compartmentalizing does not work out in your favor. Cramming all the different lessons into one session makes both you, and your students feel rushed. Your students can become overwhelmed and lose their motivation to learn.
Thus, it is a better idea to discuss about these topics when they naturally pop up. Do not put off on telling any relevant information to your students for that specific part of the lesson.
The Final Word
Teaching the piano to students can be particularly nerve-wracking when you first start out. However, as you keep teaching, you slowly get the hang of it and become a better teacher with time. Following the tips in these articles will help you get there much more quickly. Just be confident and believe in your skills, and you will soon be believing in the skills of your apprentices as well.