Piano teachers teaching singing, why?
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Piano teachers teaching singing, why?
Apr 23 2012, 02:03 PM
Joined: 23-January 12
Member No.: 393437
Before I start, I should point out that I mean piano teachers who have not studied singing, but think that after accompanying so many singers, they are fit to teacher singing.
I have only recently started teaching and I was wondering if any other singing teachers struggle with it? My old singing teacher said that she spends half her life correcting the mistakes taught by piano teachers teaching singing. In my own experience, I've been on here before talking about one of my young students, a 10yr old singer. She turned up to the first session, and sang exactly as I would expect a beginner to sing, her voice was completely raw. After the lesson, the mother told me that the girl had been taking singing lessons for a year and she had sung through the whole grade 2 book, could I please pick the songs for grade 2 and enter her for June. I was horrified that someone could have a year of lessons, yet sound so raw. There was no way I was putting her in for grade 2! With a bit of diplomacy I talked her out of it. At the next lesson, I quizzed the pupil and found out that it was her piano teacher who taught her and they had just sung four songs from the grade 1 book and then moved onto the grade 2 book. I'm so angry that this teacher led both mother and daughter to be believe that she was grade 2 standard when in fact she isn't even grade 1 standard! What a waste of a year's worth of lessons, thankfully the teacher did no damage, but she didn't do anything at all! What a waste of money. And I seriously worry about the teacher's methods in general when her only focus in the exams. The mother isn't musical and so she seems to have been led to believe that exams are all that music is about. It's such a shame for a girl of only 10. She's currently studying for grade 5 theory and her grade 6 piano.
Apr 23 2012, 03:49 PM
Joined: 18-July 10
From: Bucks is in the distance...
Member No.: 114670
I'm a piano teacher who teaches singing, but then again, I'm a singing teacher who teaches piano (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif) At the end of the day, I'm more interested in whether they can do a good job rather than what combination of things they teach. I can't say I've come across many piano teachers teaching singing 'on the side' but no doubt it happens. Most of the trouble I've had has come from singing teachers (or in one case, a violin teacher who taught singing).
Sadly, there are many 'rogue' teachers out there and there's little we can do about it except make sure we do a good job ourselves. Certainly I've inherited plenty of pupils from supposedly well-qualified teachers who've learnt nothing. The same old debate about qualifications continues...
As teachers, we will always inherit pupils who've had a not-so-good teacher in the past - it's part of the job. What's important is that whilst not ignoring what they've already done, we do move on. Some of these situations might make me angry, but I wouldn't say anything directly to the pupil or parents because partly it's none of my business, and partly I know I only hear part of the story. Whatever you think personally, be positive and move on.
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