When I'm not coaching piano teachers (or giving piano lessons themselves), I work for an online ESL company as an interviewer. For several hours a week, I meet with a prospective teacher in an online classroom and interview him or her to see if they would make a good candidate for our company. Believe me when I say that it is a lot of work, but a ton of fun as well!
As part of the interview, I have to ask the candidate several questions to determine their suitability as an online ESL teacher. Those questions include prior teaching experience and various qualifications including special certifications and credentials.
Many of the candidates that I interview have no prior online teaching experience. And they sheepishly admit that when I ask them.
Not Bev. (Totally not her real name, so don't even try to guess!). From the first moment of our interview, Bev struck me as very nervous, but fairly prepared for the interview. We exchanged greetings and I got some preliminary information from her. Then the questions began.
When I ask her "Have you ever taught online before?" Her answer was awesome: "Not yet. This is new for me, but I'm excited to learn how to do it well."
Then I asked her, "Have you ever worked in an ESL classroom?" Her answer? Same tune, slightly different lyrics: "Not yet. This is new for me, but I know I will enjoy learning how to do this the best way possible."
Several questions later, and with each answer being along that similar vein, I'm pretty sure I was convinced Bev would do well in this job no matter what. I mean, what a great attitude! She may have been trying to give a savvy answer to me, but the spirit behind what she was saying was impressive.
It immediately got me thinking about piano teaching and piano teachers. Well, any business for that matter.
I face things all the time that range from slightly scary to totally terrifying. And a lot of the time, I will procrastinate (sometimes for years!) on a project because it is out of my comfort zone.
But, what if I were to adopt Bev's attitude? How would that change my piano teaching and my piano teaching business?
Thinking about doing a summer camp this year in your studio? "This is new for me, but I know I will enjoy learning how to do it well."
Thinking about starting a YouTube channel or giving lessons online? "This is new for me, but I can't wait to learn how to do it!"
Thinking about changing your billing or a crucial policy but are worried about how to pull that off? "This is new for me, but I know I will figure it out."
Piano teacher, what are you waiting to do? Where do you need more bravery?
Well, forget bravery. Do it anyway. Admit to others and to yourself that [fill in the blank] is new for you and try it anyway.
Go ahead. Say it aloud:
This is new for me, but I'm excited to learn how to do it.
Keep saying that and do the thing you've been contemplating.
Trust me, you'll be glad you did.