Piano Teacher: Excel at YOU
In my younger days, I remember hearing about what other piano teachers were doing and I would feel this weird, inner panic that said something like: I. Must. Do. That. Now. Feeling that rapid heartbeat, I would look at this methodology or that game or that piano party or that whatever, and feel like I needed to immediately implement that with my students, OR ELSE.
Truthfully, I'm not sure what that "or else" was, but, in any case, I had to get or do or be whatever I saw the other teachers getting or having or being. Because then, yes then, I would be awesome.
I would be a great teacher. I would be a popular studio owner. I would have clients pounding down my door hoping for a spot on my piano bench.
You see, I was operating under the misguided idea that I had to copy other teachers. As I get older I realize that it is actually a very bad idea to copy another teacher.
Learn from, yes. Copy, no.
Piano Teacher Friend, you have a unique personality, a specific methodology, and a way that YOU approach piano teaching and relating to your clients. Figure out who you are and be good at YOU.
Don't feel the pressure to be like the teacher you heard about from your friend's cousin. Be YOU.
Here is why that is important: when you get distracted by other teachers, methodologies, programs, etc. you start to become just that: distracted.
One week, you're trying idea #1 in your studio, and then the next week you try idea #2. Then it becomes idea #3 and idea #4. Before you know it you are on idea #2,859 and your piano students don't know what on earth is going on.
With your good intentions of improving your studio and your teaching, you keep pulling them from one good idea to the next and, instead of it improving anything or anyone, it just makes everything feel more scattered and tense.
And, trust me, your piano students don't want you scattered and tense.
But they do want YOU. Right? Then chose you as their teacher, right? Think about it: Your client families chose you to teach their children. You adult students chose you to walk them through a course of study.
So, figure out who you are and do YOU really well.
Do you lean toward fun games and silliness? Then rock it with the games!
Are you a music theory genius, who breathes it like air? Then go for it with music theory!
Are you a technique wizard? Then hit the ball out of the park with technique.
Are you the creative type who loves to compose and interpret? Then create away!
Learn from other teacher, methodologies, and ideas, but more importantly, do YOU really well. Your students will thrive and you will feel more much more centered and sane as a piano teacher.
Excel at YOU. You'll be glad you did.