...to think that I could actually teach piano?

(41 Posts)
MollyLollyPop Tue 08-Mar-16 14:39:17

I played Piano from around the age of 7 until I was 13, after which I continued to play at high school, in a band and learning new songs for leisure. I still do, but no where near as much as I used to or would like to.

A month ago I started teaching DS what I knew. Just 15 to 20 mins a couple of times a week or when he asks, letting him tinker the rest of the time. He is picking it up quite quickly, including a little terminology (staccato, legato) although what he is learning is basic (from some old "pre-practice" books of mine). He had a couple of friends over and played for them. One of the Mums breezily commented that she would pay me to teach her DD, asked why I wasn't already teaching.

I've thought it through and it is something I would like to explore doing. The only problem is I have no idea where to start or whether there are any courses I need to take. I have the skills and the knowledge but what else do I need to set up as a tutor?

If it makes any difference, I am nearly 30. Is it too late? AIBU thinking that I could do this at all?

NewLife4Me Tue 08-Mar-16 14:45:21

it's never too late. I'm doing it now at nearly 50.

You don't say if you passed any exams.
You don't necessarily need them to teach but parents/ older pupils would want either at least grade 8/ the academic route or a professional background of playing professionally for x amount of years.

I am going the academic route and working towards grade 8, however I played professionally when younger and learning a particular method of teaching from a leader in his field (my dh)

So I will take them to grade 5 or so, using his system and then pass on to him after this.

I'm not sure if it still stands but you used to be able to teach up to grade 5 with a grade 8, to teach to grade 8 you needed Diplomas.

HTH

rollonthesummer Tue 08-Mar-16 14:50:15

I'm a primary school teacher with grade 8 piano and I still don't feel like I could charge people for piano tuition! grin

That's just me though-am a bit rusty now.

Presume you've got grade 8? Could you do the diploma (ABRSM?) to enable you to teach? That's what I'd be looking for as a parent.

TheBalefulGroke Tue 08-Mar-16 14:53:56

Sorry, it's fine teaching your own child the basics, but I wouldn't want you teaching my child unless you've grade8 plus a diploma and teaching qualification from Trinity (or the other one, sorry can't recall name).
I did a bit of maths from 5-16, and use it in a levels, Bsc, MSc, work, but I wouldn't dream of being paid to tutor children!

Monstertrucker Tue 08-Mar-16 14:56:05

I've a grade 8. If my kids wanted lessons to be honest I'd be looking at finding someone with more than just that.

TheBalefulGroke Tue 08-Mar-16 14:57:02

Sorry, re-read, you're asking if you can train now? Sure you can. But what level were you when you stopped playing?
I was grade four, but over twenty years, I've downgraded to around grade two, if that helps.

TheBalefulGroke Tue 08-Mar-16 14:59:58

And what grades theory did you do?
You cannot go past grade five with ABRSM without doing theory, so you need to be able to teach that too.

Finallyonboard Tue 08-Mar-16 15:00:19

What grade are you? I've got a grade 8 (with distinction grin ) but wouldn't be comfortable teaching. Also, do you need to be registered to enter children for exams?

cuckoooo Tue 08-Mar-16 15:02:29

DH teaches DS to play piano and he has Grade 8 and a diploma from Trinity. You do need to understand the pedagogy of music. If you don't know what that is, then you definitely shouldn't teach!!

To teach privately you must have at least Grade 8 and there are plenty of parents who would refuse to teach unless you had a teaching diploma.

It is a legitimate aim, but think of it as a something that will take a couple of years to train in.

Just because you are able to teach your child, doesn't automatically transfer to other people's children.

Of course, if you are going to charge half the price i.e., £10 for half an hour, there would be a few takers/ignorant parents who wouldn't care about your qualifications because you are cheap.

Footle Tue 08-Mar-16 15:17:41

"You are cheap".
From someone who's rude.

whois Tue 08-Mar-16 15:29:45

How is that rude?

leedy Tue 08-Mar-16 15:33:14

I have Grade 8 theory and piano, plus half of a piano teaching diploma smile (I passed the theory, aural, and teaching bits but never ending up sitting the actual playing the piano bit...), but am definitely a lot rustier now, and even when I was more practiced I wouldn't have felt comfortable charging people proper money for lessons. I can see myself teaching my own children a bit, but that's all. YANBU to think you could do this if you did the training/exams and you have a knack for it, YABU to think you could just set up and do it now.

I did teach beginners at a discounted rate for a year while I was preparing for the diploma and put my two students in for exams (which they passed!) before passing them on to a "real" teacher - I enjoyed it but it was pretty hard work, and a lot more pressurized than teaching a friend or family member.

TheBalefulGroke Tue 08-Mar-16 15:38:46

The other thing to consider is the cost of a good/excellent piano- you cannot be teaching others on a £10 Gumtree special!

MollyLollyPop Tue 08-Mar-16 15:41:08

Thank you NewLife - very good advice.

I got up to grade 5 as a pupil and have self taught from there. So what I need to do is train up to grade 8 to teach up to grade 5?

I will check out the Diploma and see what I need to do, but as far as I have found out so far you need to already teach music to take it.

MadamDeathstare Tue 08-Mar-16 15:41:22

Have you thought about posting in the 'Staff Room' section as there are probably music teachers who could advise you as to what qualifications you need?

I would look at local colleges and universities to see if they offer courses that are relevant.

I think you would need a diploma in piano to really be comfortable teaching it. I would be worried that if I didn't know the ins and outs I could miss important things like the correct hand position, fingering, and use of pedals and end up with students who have bad habits engrained in them that hold them back if they turned out to be very adept.

30 is definitely not too old to consider a new career.

Lasaraleen Tue 08-Mar-16 15:47:10

I think if you want to do it seriously ad a profession and/or get paid the going rate you will need a lot more in the way of qualifications.

I had lessons all the way through school to 18 and still play (at 37). I have taught my dc a little bit but no way could I charge to teach other people's dc, at least not past the very beginner stage. It's not just about your ability - you need to be able to teach it, and I think you'd need to train in that side of it.

Additionally many parents will want their children to take exams, which means you need to be able to teach to the exam (you don't sat whether you did grades yourself).

treaclesoda Tue 08-Mar-16 15:49:26

You don't have to already be teaching to sit your diploma. smile

But you would probably be better going back to lessons yourself and working your way up through the grades. I have my grade 8, A level music and grade 6 theory, and play regularly, and like others posters I wouldn't feel confident that I know enough to teach someone else.

But I'm not saying that to put you down, or put you off, I think if you want to do it you should go for it. But if you want to make it a career, I think you need to study for the relevant qualifications, not just look on it as 'I'm pretty good at music, I can teach it'.

MollyLollyPop Tue 08-Mar-16 15:51:23

I just want to put it out there that I wouldn't even consider setting up as I am now. This is something I would want to do after getting up to grade 8 and taking any qualifications needed to teach competently.

Also, I play once or twice a week and have done for years and up until about 5 years ago I was performing publicly. It's not a case of not having played since I was 13 and suddenly thinking I could teach after regressing.

Lasaraleen Tue 08-Mar-16 15:51:35

Sorry cross posted. Without meaning to be rude or defeatist, I would not be happy with a teacher (for me or my children, on any instrument) who had grade 5 and no teaching qualifications.

30 is definitely not too old to switch career and if it's something you would love to do I think it's a great idea, you will just need to put some more work into it first!

treaclesoda Tue 08-Mar-16 15:52:54

Go for it. Even if you get to the end of your grade 8 and decide against going any further, you'll still have the satisfaction of having progressed smile

NewLife4Me Tue 08-Mar-16 15:55:37

There are lots of responses that aren't true here.
You do not have to teach theory at all, as long as you make your pupils aware of this.
I know very good teachers who never took a grade in their life, nor have they paid out to train with ABRSM or any other board of examiners.
They are courses anyone can take, it doesn't make you a good teacher, on the contrary it makes you a prescriptive teacher.

OP, if you have the patience to teach and you are prepared to work in your case up to grade 8 you will be fine.
Yes, you may be restricted by what level you can teach up to and may need to send pupils elsewhere for theory, but many people are happy learning theory through the pieces they are playing.
As you would be likely to start with pupils up to grade 5, the theory wouldn't be a problem as long as you'd be willing to let the pupil go to somebody else for the later grades.

MollyLollyPop Tue 08-Mar-16 16:15:08

Thank you for all of you for your responses and advice.

Lasaraleen I would just like to reiterate to you and a few others that at this stage, having only achieved grade 5 and touching lightly on theory, I wouldn't dream of setting up as a tutor on the back of an offhand comment. Hence asking what I can do to improve my credibility and practices in order to be able to teach.

I'd also like to point out that this isn't a case of me having a go on a keyboard and being told I should give teaching a shot, either!

treaclesoda Thank you for your encouragement. You are right, if I get to grade 8 and it isn't quite for me, then I can say at the very least I tried!

NewLife4Me Thank you for your advice so far. If it is OK, I might PM you to discuss a couple of things further without getting bogged down in the thread too much?

MrsSteptoe Tue 08-Mar-16 16:40:09

hallo OP - have you read the syllabus from either ABRSM or Trinity? Both institutions offer Teachers Diplomas, and they are very clear about what you need in order to pass.

You are right, in fact, that you do need to have pupils in order to sit the Diploma with Trinity (and I'm sure it's the same with ABRSM). One of the Units is based on your teaching practice.

From the syllabus:
"This qualification comprises two units, both of which must be passed for successful completion of the award:
· Unit 1: Teaching experience (submitted materials — 4,000 words)
· Unit 2: Practical applications (presentation, initiative test and viva voce) — duration 40 minutes
To achieve a pass overall, candidates must achieve a pass in both units."

If you look on the Trinity College and ABRSM websites, have a look at the Teachers Diplomas in both cases. You will find all the information you need there.

Not sure about posting links, but let's have a go: www.trinitycollege.com/site/?id=1588

MrsSteptoe Tue 08-Mar-16 16:47:49

flushed with success, here's another link
gb.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/diplomas/instrumentalvocal-teaching/

Good luck. If you want to do it, there's no reason on God's earth for you not to be able to do this!

NewLife4Me Tue 08-Mar-16 16:54:27

Ah, that's fine OP, any time.

FWIW, I think many on here have lessons for their children in order for them to collect certificates, it's telling from the responses tbh.

We found the best teachers weren't qualified teachers, we didn't want teachers we wanted musicians that could teach.
Anybody can qualify to become a teacher or take a course it doesn't mean they are any good.

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