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Teaching diploma - should I start on it?


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#1 pianoviolinmum

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 21:04

Is anyone teaching the ABRSM (piano) teaching diploma and able to comment on my suitability for this at this stage please?

 

I passed grade 8 piano last summer (after a long gap, but got back into lessons after starting to teach my own children, eldest now doing grade 5). I have a few other musical qualifications, including grade 8 violin and grade 8 theory, from my youth! Lots of orchestral experience, so I feel a reasonable grounding in music, although very aware I'm not the usual instrumental teacher.

 

I love teaching, and have 11 regular pupils in addition to my own 2 children.  (Apart from my two, all others are around grade 1 standard or less.) I would like to be able to teach up to grade 5, ideally.

 

My grade 8 theory is pre-1989 (so likely I'll need to re-sit to get it accepted as a pre-requisite...Any experience of that?)

 

What would you do next, if you were me?  Improve playing first, or begin work on teaching diploma, given that I'm already teaching and feel I'd like to have that ASAP? My teacher didn't feel able to teach teaching diploma, so I'd need to find someone else.

 

Thanks


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#2 pianoviolinmum

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 21:06

I should add - I'm reading around the teaching topic - lots of Paul Harris, following Curious Piano Teachers, although not yet joined... All very interesting and stimulating.


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#3 Cyrilla

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 23:07

Do look into other CPD courses that look deeply into the whole issue of music educaiton - Kodály, Dalcroze, Orff, Suzuki - each have their own particular emphasis and all are quite different from (though complementary to) the 'traditional' ABRSM exam route of instrumental teaching.

 

If you're ever within striking distance of London on a term-time Saturday, you would be most welcome to come and observe both Kodály and Dalcroze classes with 4-11 year olds at a Junior Department.   I think you could find these observations stimulating and interesting (Sally Cathcart, of CPT, is K-trained and Paul Harris's Simultaneous Learning is very much a K way of doing things).

 

:)


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#4 BadStrad

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 01:36

I wouldn't bother with the diploma and would spend the time/money/effort on a teacher who can really develop you technique wise as a player.

Being a learner really reminds you what it feels like to not be able to do something when you struggle with a new exercise, piece, or have to rebuild your technique. That is invaluable as a teacher.

A more advanced teacher might spot weaknesses in your technique and repair those, the benefit of which you then get to pass on to your pupils. Not meant as an insult to your teacher, but just based on the logic that not all teachers are highly skilled.

You actually sound like many music teachers, so I don't know why you think you aren't. Many of them don't have a teaching diplomas. If you already have pupils any more you get will probably be through word of mouth rather than someone checking you have a teaching diploma. Save on the diploma and take lessons or take dedicated courses/lessons that round out your approach, such as Kodaly or singing lessons to contribute to sight singing/reading or aural work, or whatever. Not *one* of the music teachers I know has ever been asked for their qualifications. They all started out, got known, got on with it.

So I suppose my question is, why? What do you think the diploma will give you? I love collecting qualifications, so totally get it if that's where you are coming from, but if it isn't I really think there are better things you could invest in.
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#5 pianoviolinmum

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 06:02

Thank you for your comments.  The thought came when my teacher recommended it, but I suppose I do like collecting qualifications...and I do feel a need for some training in teaching. And it would make me feel more authentic.  But I do need to develop as a player as well.

 

Having read "If I can teach piano, so can you" - Piano Jan's e-book - a couple of years ago, I realised I'd done what she did, in teaching my own children, but before any idea of teaching others came along.  They seem to have worked as guinea pigs, although I'm conscious that you treat your own children very differently and are there 24/7 for any practice queries/ nudging needed. Teaching others who have different learning styles is a challenge, although stimulating!

 

I have limited time slots for teaching, as my own children are school age, so most teaching is done Sat mornings, with a couple of other slots where the family can accomodate it.  I tried a while ago to get into teaching in a local school. (Piano Jan seemed to find it easy, but my town seems to be different. Children were queuing up to learn at our local primary, yet the local music service wanted someone who was qualified to teach, and could run ensembles as well. I just want to teach piano.) Approaching local schools directly didn't seem to work either. Most had all they needed. Or at least said so.

 

So a DipABRSM might lend more weight to my efforts to get this kind of work that I can do during the school day.


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#6 HelenVJ

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 06:48

I really don't think a DipABRSM would help you to get work in schools, which is becoming increasingly difficult in many areas, and has its own downsides. For me , the lack of regulat parental contact was a big problem with Primary pupils. Teaching adult students might be a better way of getting work during the day.
Take a look at the EPTA website , which lists a mass of good reading materials and is well worth joining. The magazine and Piano Journal are excellent, and the EPTA PTC ( Piano Teachers Course) now leads to a qualification. Doing this course gives you the added advantage of working with a group, so would be more interesting and stimulating than working for the Diploma on your own, as well as the mutual support of your fellow course members.
Continuing lessons with an advanced  'technical' teacher, as BadStrad suggests, would also be a good investment. Collecting qualifications can be addictive, and also expensive.


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#7 Latin pianist

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 07:26

Do you teach violin too? I know the prep school I work at was looking for a violin teacher for quite a while before they found one. When I started work there, I was asked about my qualifications.I would say that if you would enjoy working for a diploma, go for it. I took the LTCL teaching diploma and gaining it did boost my confidence. I don't think it made me a better teacher, that comes with experience, but I felt better about teaching.
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#8 Fazioligirl

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 07:51

You’d be much better off doing the Piano Teachers Course which is an off-shoot of EPTA rather than the diploma. I’ve done the DipABRSM and the PTC and you’ll get far more out of the course than the diploma . It’s hands on and covers all aspects from teaching the early stages through to advanced. Unfortunately you’ve missed the deadline for this year. As for your grade 8 theory that won’t be a problem - I took mine in the ‘70s and had lost my Certificate but they were able to track it down.
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#9 Fazioligirl

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 08:00

And as for it being a qualification to get you into peri work all I can say is it hasn’t worked for me! I’ve got three teaching qualifications and have been teaching privately now for nearly thirty years and always have a waiting list but the local music hub completely ignores my applications on the rare occasion that they have been advertised!
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#10 bevpiano

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 12:47

The PTC course is no longer associated with EPTA and is now independent and still excellent. EPTA are starting their own piano teaching course in Manchester from January.
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#11 margaret

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 15:45

Hello

 

I have helped lots of teachers gain their DipABRSM and LRSM.  My experience is that people who are already teaching only need a little support. Generally they just need to understand what the diploma is like and what sort of standard they need to attain. I think most are after a little reassurance that they are on the right lines. The LRSM is a lot more involved and most teachers find they require more help and support. I have found that schools in the know certainly value the LRSM and FRSM teaching diplomas.

Please feel free to PM me if you would like to chat about things a little.  

 

My website is     http://pianoteachingdiploma.com


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#12 pianoviolinmum

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 18:36

Thanks for all the comments. So helpful to be part of a forum like this.

I am now considering joining EPTA (as an associatemember if I remember correctly) and getting back into piano lessons without necessarily having a teaching diploma as my immediate aim. I would still quite like to do it one day, but perhaps I will think about the PTC afresh, once I am back into lessons.

Helpful to hear views that a teaching diploma won't necessarily help with school work. I do love having weekly contact with parents at the moment (most are friends or school parents who heard by word of mouth). I teach one adult who comes for a lesson in her lunch hour, passed on to me by my own piano teacher who had no space. Might have to advertise to find more adult pupils, which is when I wish I had the teaching diploma!
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#13 pianoviolinmum

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 18:51

Latin pianist - I tried teaching my daughter violin, but she now learns with a peri at school, which is much better. I m still teaching her piano, but there's so much to adjust and watch over with violin that I can't say I enjoy teaching it..
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#14 Latin pianist

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 19:02

I understand. I learn cello and have passed grade 7 but there's no way I could teach it. I'm just not on top of technique at all like I am with piano which is second nature to me.
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#15 BadStrad

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 20:34

Might have to advertise to find more adult pupils, which is when I wish I had the teaching diploma!

I very much doubt they will care about a diploma. They will more likely be interested in your playing. One friend specialises in teaching adults (piano). They never ask about qualifications. They just go on word of mouth recommendations, seeing performances and general reputation.

If you want to advertise do your research first. Better to get to know your local music shop staff who could recommend you rather than fork out for advertising services. Ask on here who got what results using online teacher networks. Do some performances if you can. Let your reputation speak for you, not an expensive piece of paper that probably won't.
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