If teaching meant only to teach, things would be so much easier!

I am one who hoped never to become a teacher. I had no idea what it meant to teach, but I was sure I didn’t want it. Well…knowing what it means to be a teacher won’t convince you either.

But there’s a thrill to being watched, listened to, observed, even imitated. Attitudes, faces, behaviour, words, body, flaws – everything is on display. And if you’re my kind of teacher, you’re gonna try to be the best you can be every day.

I studied so hard to excel in music, since I wasn’t a very gifted one, so I was expecting fireworks celebrating my awesomeness when I graduated Music Composition with very high praise.

There were no fireworks. Sure, people were impressed, but your employer doesn’t care about the expanded music horizon you want to introduce children to, and how you’re gonna change the core of their being just by teaching them a song about friendship, and how their life is never gonna be the same because they met you. No…some care about performance and popularity and some just don’t care.

I have always had the blessed opportunity to work with people who trust me and my process, and give me freedom to express myself while teaching, even when I was younger and inexperienced.

Right now I’m teaching music and piano to preschool kids.

I know what you’re thinking…”how good of a composer can you be if you end up teaching toddlers?“. Some of you may know by now that life doesn’t necessarily work like that.

But I’m telling you, preschool is the worst. They can’t read, they can’t write, some of them hardly draw, they have a poor vocabulary and understanding, and you have to find 5 million ways of explaining a quarter note just to make sure they remember the name. Any sort of evolution is tiny and hard to obtain, but the rejoicing has to be explosive in order to keep them interested. Try getting excited 8 times a day for discovering that the stave has 5 lines…hashtag every day. I know there are unpleasant sides to teaching music to middle-school and high-school pupils, I’ve been there, but sometimes…you just miss that feeling when you say something and your student understands.

It’s been six years since I started teaching, I’m getting involved – seems like I’ll be doing this for a long time!

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5 thoughts on “If teaching meant only to teach, things would be so much easier!

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  1. Preschool piano teaching is a real challenge. I teach young kids in piano class….patience, faith, knowledge, competence and flexibility are essential, as well as the ability to get the parent working ‘with’ the teacher and supporting learning at home.

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    1. That’s right! Most of my children don’t own a piano at home so I have to make sure they stick to what I teach every time. That’s why I started creating my own piano method and hoping to publish it next year. What method do you use?

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      1. Hello Ioana, I use Alfred’s Premier Piano Course and the John Schaum lesson book, for kids age 5 and above. I use any one or both, depending on the student. And later on add different repertoire books – I just go to the music store and buy what’s available. I’m just starting to teach the WunderKeys course for preschoolers. My actual class content though, and the way I teach each book, is totally different for each and every student. I use a combination of rhythm, singing, games, with the lesson book and teach scales and theory separately. I write theory homework for each child separately, and once they reach grade 1, use a combination of my own homework and the exam syllabus. I’ve got students, with different learning needs, so I often use totally different ways to teach the same thing. Let me know when you publish your piano method. I am actually more interested in repertoire, than method books, but will definitely check your books out. Also, consider pricing pdf downloads of your books, with a studio option for teachers.

        PS : thanks for your interest in my blog and for the follow 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks Eliza! I teach also to 4 year olds, which is hard sometimes, I had to change the order of the elements we learn and minimise the information for them. Also my piano method is all about sight reading and after just one year, kids get really good at it and for me that’s the most important: to develop a fast reflex while reading. And I am definitely considering pdf downloads for teachers, even thought of making it an ebook too, but the iPads are too small. I’ll see you around! 🙂

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