Piano teaching dilemma

(13 Posts)
springchickennolonger Sun 20-Apr-14 12:32:03

Hi. I've been a sahm, pretty much, for ages, picking up work here and there, to fit around kids. I've taken up piano as a hobby and I've sort of fallen into teaching piano to adult beginner friends. I've got a PGCE and a good deal of teaching/lecturing/ tutoring experience and I've recently embarked on a music teaching diploma which, for a variety of reasons, isn't going well.

My question is: do I need a diploma in teaching as well as a PGCE or should I cut my losses on the teaching diploma and invest in performance instead? I'm grade 8 level at the moment but happy to do what it takes.

I'd like to think I could develop into a piano teacher eventually.

HolidayCriminal Sun 20-Apr-14 17:42:47

do you want to teach at home or within another institution (like a school)?

springchickennolonger Sun 20-Apr-14 19:17:37

I really don't mind. I'm unlikely to go back into the classroom, I think, because I'm too old. I quite fancy a further ed environment, though, as I have lots of experience of this. Or private teaching, but probably only to supplement other work. I've only been considering using music as a way to earn money recently. I've also gradually learned that, depressingly, my opportunities for earning decent money are dwindling away as my CV gets riskier. Like I said, I'd like to become a piano teacher of some sort but I have limited time and resources.

Phineyj Sun 20-Apr-14 19:27:14

I think it would be a good idea to do the diploma if you can - if you're going to teach on a casual basis you may not need it, but it does help in some situations to show you have the industry standard qualification (just like teachers with/without QTS). From the experience of a friend who did the diploma, it is quite hard isn't it - but if you've already invested in it, I think you should try to see it through. You should probably ring round FE colleges and ask their policy, too.

springchickennolonger Sun 20-Apr-14 20:10:14

phineyj this is what I'm wondering about. I'm not even sure what the music industry standard is, tbh. Most private music teachers I know have degrees but no teaching qualifications as such, at least to begin with. My dilemma is that the diploma, if I complete it, will need to add sufficient value to my existing PGCE to make doing it worthwhile. And I'm not happy with the way it's working out at the moment: I don't have much confidence in the provider.

titchy Sun 20-Apr-14 20:31:33

What exactly do you mean by Diploma? The DipABRSM? I'd have thought your PGCE would be sufficient as far as pedagogy goes, whilst doing the performance track of the ABRSM Diploma would just about be enough to demonstrate your subject expertise. You might find it difficult to find peripatetic work if you're not significantly beyond G8 though as you'd be expected to teach to this level if not higher.

springchickennolonger Sun 20-Apr-14 20:54:30

titchy yes. In my case, abrsm is not the awarding body, but I'm talking about the teaching and performance diploma of another Board. I'm thinking of ditching the teaching diploma in favour of a performance diploma if I can satisfy any potential employers/ clients that I have sufficient teaching skills based on my PGCE. In an ideal world I'd do both, of course.

I don't know of any private teachers with a PGCE as they are invariably teaching in schools.

I take your point about peripatetic work too.

MrsSteptoe Sun 20-Apr-14 21:02:17

I've had this dilemma for a while - I'm Grade 8 and have tossed around the idea of doing the Teachers DipABRSM or the Perf DipABRSM. I've actually abandoned both in favour of a completely different idea!, but for what it's worth:
I came to the conclusion that there's an awful lot of piano teachers out there who don't really play all that well, and I didn't want to be one of them. Therefore, if I'd taught, I would want the confidence behind me of knowing that I had at least managed to reach the standard of the Performers DipABRSM. If you are like me and tend to want to know that you can walk the walk, then you may find it better to take the Performers Dip.

Teachers Dip, from what I saw, didn't look like it would do much to improve my technical ability, which at Grade 8, to be honest, isn't all that brilliant. Everything's relative, of course - despite having got a Distinction at Grade 8, I can't choose freely from syllabuses that are theoretically within my range because some pieces are too brisk, or require too many leaps in my left hand, or demand some other technical challenge that I can't meet.

You may be much better than me, in which case all of this is probably a bit irrelevant, but that's my view on the thing...!

titchy Sun 20-Apr-14 21:09:40

I'd go for the performance diploma then tbh. You don't NEED the teaching Diploma to demonstrate you can teach - your PGCE does that.

Dd's piano teacher has a PGCE btw - she does both peripatetic and private work.smile

Shallishanti Sun 20-Apr-14 21:13:46

If you're thinking of FE I have heard of colleges who didn't consider a PGCE appropriate for teaching adults (if it was primary/secondary)
my experience of hiring instrument tutors is that word of mouth is far more important than qualifications but I would expect current CRB

springchickennolonger Mon 21-Apr-14 09:16:35

mrssteptoe I agree with you about walking the walk. I've looked at various syllabi and all the pieces look so much harder than grade 8. I may not be capable of a diploma, but a year ago I wouldn't have deemed it possible to have a grade 8 either.

Thanks all for your input.

MrsSteptoe Mon 21-Apr-14 09:31:53

FWIW, again, my teacher is adamant that a Performers Dip is within the grasp of anyone (certainly anyone who's already passed G8) who works hard enough. So capability wasn't the issue for me, and I doubt it would be the issue for you either. But the will definitely was. I just haven't got the passion to drive pieces that extra 20% or whatever it is to get them to Perf Dip standard. If you've passed Grade 8, you could definitely put together a Diploma programme. Before I abandoned ship, I did the Haydn E flat, a Bach prelude & fugue, the Debussy Sarabande and a pair of Shostakovich preludes.

You might want to have a look at the ABRSM's own DVD about the diploma - it has a few videos from live ABRSM exams and then discusses the marks the candidates were awarded. The standard of the young lady who got a clear pass looked reasonably achievable. Costs about a tenner.

springchickennolonger Mon 21-Apr-14 14:22:26

Gee, thanks. I'll take a look at that DVD, definitely. I think as adults, we are far too ready sometimes to do ourselves down. And we don't have people constantly telling us how good (or bad) we are, either. So I suppose it's up to us to gauge our own ability, or lack thereof!

Thanks again.

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