Have you decided that it’s finally time to share your passion for the piano with the next generation of musicians? Hopefully you’ve thought about the kind of piano teacher you want to be. Every piano teacher has his or her own style; some feel there are a few characteristics that all awesome piano teachers have in common:
The first 5 in previous blog:
6. They know how to motivate their students. We all know that learning an instrument means doing each new thing over and over until we’ve mastered it. Great teachers motivate students by figuring out what they care about – whether it’s games, competitions, rewards, or inspirational stories – and use those insights to inspire students to practice.
7. They’re great communicators. They can convey concepts concisely and clearly, and know that when it comes to explanations, less speaking and more demonstrating usually works best. They usually have a system for keeping everyone in the loop – students, parents, and anyone else who needs to know what’s going on.
8. They pay attention to how their students are feeling. Great teachers notice signs of stress, discomfort or confusion, and adapt their lessons accordingly. They understand that we all have good and bad days. Conversely, they know how to fan the flames of enthusiasm, and try to give students more of what inspires and excites them about learning the piano.
9. They never stop learning. Great piano teachers are lifelong learners in their own right, always working to improve both their performance and their teaching skills. They join professional associations, read magazines, newsletters and blogs about teaching piano, participate in workshops, and are always keen to swap ideas with other teachers. They love finding new things to try in lessons.
10. They love seeing students flourish. They’re fascinated by the challenge of figuring out what works in lessons, and are sincerely delighted when their students show progress. Central to their enjoyment of teaching is not how the lessons reflect on them, but on what their student is getting out of the process. Their students are at the centre of their love of teaching.
If you’re thinking that some of these characteristics take a long time to develop, you’re right. Awesome-teachers-to-be don’t do all this flawlessly in their first lesson. But as they gain experience, they reflect often on their teaching practice, and they never forget what kind of teacher they want to be.
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