Goonellabah, New South Wales, Australia
ach teacher will have an individual style and approach that "works for
them." However, I think there are some qualities that all good teachers
possess, in addition to unlimited patience. This Top Ten list gives those for the benefit of students, teachers
and parents. If I've missed some you think are
important, let me know!
- Approachable. A happy person who
demonstrates a sense of humour along with an empathetic sense of
humanity is capable of putting people at ease, and, in return, can
create an atmosphere where mutual communication can flow.
- Organised. This projects a sense of
professionalism when a prospective student (or parent) is given clear
options of lesson times. It helps create confidence in your service.
Your answering machine message should also reflect a person ‘in
control’ of their business. Remember to include the name of your studio
on your message, even if you use the same line for personal calls. Keep
your teaching tools in the same place all the time, so you know where
they are. Work closely with a calendar so you can plan events in a
calm, ‘no rush’ manner.
- Motivating. Psychology is useful in any
profession when dealing so directly with people. Understanding the
different ways people learn, reason and communicate is vital when
helping them reach their fullest potential. Positive reinforcement is a
much stronger motivator than negative condemnation. A diligent piano
teacher will have an array of strategies for motivating their students
to practise, listen, express, and create.
- Inventive. Games, illustrations,
analogies, exercises, and demonstrations all need some consideration for
individual students. An active mind not only learns better, but
information is stored in the brain systematically, which makes retrieval
easier! Emotion impacts much more strongly than cold facts. An
inventive piano teacher is able to evoke an emotional response from a
cold fact, which will then impact greatly on the student and can add to
their growing knowledge.
- Knowledgeable. It is unreasonable to
expect any human being to know everything about a subject—even if they
make a living out of it. However, it is impossible to teach something
one does not ‘know’. As well as accumulated knowledge, a researched
teacher will know how to access information, as well as communicate it.
- Honest. Generally, people, especially
adults, seek out a piano teacher for genuine help, guidance, and advice
- not flattery. Honesty however, does not mean being rude. A teacher
needs to employ some aspect of diplomacy, as people deserve respect.
It may be true that a child does not have a musical bone in her body.
A diligent teacher will find a way to express this concern without
causing undue offense.
- Devoted. A dedicated teacher is one
who thinks personally about each member in their studio and feels
committed to finding and developing each student’s abilities, talents,
- Responsible. An effective
teacher/student relationship is based on trust; a diligent piano teacher
must demonstrate at all times their worthiness of this trust.
Punctuality, dependability, concern for physical safety and personal
growth are qualities all piano teachers must strive for.
- Communicating. One may be a brilliant
performer with a huge amount of personal talent or accumulated
knowledge, and be of no benefit at all to a student if they cannot
convey concepts in a manner students can use. Adapting presentations to
each individual student is an invaluable skill when teaching. A piano
teacher must be able to convey thoughts and concepts to young children,
teenagers, adults, males, females, people of fortune and people of
- Loving. There is nothing more contagious
than a person’s warm enthusiasm. A diligent and effective teacher is one
who openly has and demonstrates an infectious love for music, a love for
the piano, and can share that because they have a love for people.