Tag: PianoPedagogy

Calling All Piano Teachers/Music Instrument Teachers Out There!

It has never been easy to promote yourself, especially when you are a private piano teacher.

(or whatever kind of music instruments you teach).

people are like, “teachers shouldn’t have to sell themselves” , “we are not sales!”, “I just don’t know what to do, so I guess I’ll wait for students to discover me and show up at my door one day”.

I get your frustration. I never thought I had to promote myself as a piano teacher either.

So I waited and waited for too long to take actions.

I wanted to start teaching long time ago when I graduated with my master’s degree. I mean, I did start teaching, along with my successful performing career, which I loved and enjoyed. But I always knew inside of me teaching was my true calling. I just wasn’t given the opportunity to use it to the fullest.

But instead of being proactive about teaching, I went to do more study instead. So I thought by going back to school and get more degrees would help.

It didn’t.

I loved studying and learning, but studying and learning something that’s not directly related to what I really wanted to do – which was piano teaching – was basically a waste of time for that matter (I still learnt things but they didn’t contribute to what I wanted to do).

So what did I do? I quit. I quit everything and started to focus on piano teaching.

I started with 5 students. I couldn’t even pay rent with that salary.

People called me for performances, I refused. I guess I was being very radical and stubborn, but I also wanted to show myself there was nothing else I could do now but to really build my piano teaching career because I’d burnt that ship- I was at the point of no return.

It really pushed me to build my piano teaching career quickly. I set a deadline yet I achieved it in a much shorter period of time – because why? I needed it to happen. Of course I was working on it almost 24/7 – ok more like 18/7. I devoted time effort heart and soul into building my music teaching business.

Suffice to say, I made it.

But what I wanted to say is, there’s no glamor in working my bottom off for the career I truly wanted. I had to put A LOT OF EFFORT in building it.

Despite that fact that it was very tough process, lots of heartache, frustration, exhaustion and simply hard work, it was very rewarding and I would always be grateful to have taken that opportunity and run with it. It was my dream to teach in an environment in a way I wanted, to mingle with students I truly enjoyed teaching and making music/playing piano with. Even now when I look back it still puts a smile on my face.

I want you all new music teachers out there, whether you are piano teachers/violin teachers/cello teachers/double bass teachers/singing teachers/windwood teachers/even dance teachers, you can do it too. You just need to have a blueprint, a program, a map to guide you there. Then you would have less headache and frustration like I did.

Contact us directly for a special offer on our successful music teaching course

 

(中文) 學彈琴是否一定要考試?

Sorry, this entry is only available in 中文.

Choices after grade 8 piano (instrumental) exam: Diplomas (ABRSM/TCL)

How to memorise a piece effectively

I get a lot of enquiries about playing by memory. Here are a few useful tips:

1. Mark out the sections and phrases
It’s important to know where a section / a phrase starts and ends – this practice is not only important for memorisation but also in practice and knowing the music more deeply and securely

2. Repeat in small doses
It’s a very useful tool to memorise a piece in small doses first especially if you are new to the practice. Start with one phrase and then two, gradually working up to a whole section. Then work on two sections and more eventually leading up to the whole movement/piece.

For example:
Repeat each phrase 5-10 times. Then two phrases 5-10 times. Then three phrases 5-10 times and so on.

It’s also great to try starting in the middle of a piece – a lot of times when performers have a slip of memory it’s never at the beginning of a piece or not even the beginning of a section/phrase. I encourage my students to start playing /memorising in the middle of the music to see if they can start and continue from there – I call them “safety stops”. It’s like taking a train: it starts and ends at big terminals, but it also travels through and pauses by many small stations / stops in between the whole journey to pick up and drop off passengers. So throughout the whole music journey (the music piece you are playing and memorising), you also need some musical stops to know where you are at currently. It helps you keep track of where you have been, where you are at, and where you are going, until the end.

For me I even memorised from the end back to the beginning just to test my memory of the piece. Most important of all, try to be creative about your memorisation process and think/practice outside of the box – remember, there is no one way to do it right for you, and often, those “weird” ways of doing one thing are THE ways to get you closer and faster towards your goal!

Until next time,

Teresa Wong

(中文) 計劃你的鋼琴練習 (II)

Sorry, this entry is only available in 中文.