Primarily, a piano teacher teaches piano. Expertise in Piano skills, current trends, repertoires are fundamentally required. Over the years, the instrument-piano itself- is improving because of the new development of engineering and materials. Also, piano teachers are developing better techniques constantly. In addition, the new music repertories are written. Therefore, a piano teacher needs to keep it up with new trends.
We need to know how to teach effectively. Over the ten years of my teaching experiences, this skill got improved significantly. However, I realized every student is different so that I wanted learn more about the teaching methods by enrolling in the post graduate course in the college of education. Also, memorization is a big part of piano performance. There are more effective ways of memorization. I studied neuroscience to understand better way of long term potentiation and motor memory. As I explain the neuroscientifical knowledge of memorization and anxiety, it helped students.
In Chinese, the literal meaning of teacher is “a person who is born earlier”. It modestly infers that the teacher is a person who was born earlier and accumulated more experiences and eager to share the experiences for other people. As a piano teacher, I have experienced more of piano than my students. I have practiced and enjoyed piano for twenty-five years and taught it for ten years. Although it is not the same, I had similar experiences as my students are confronting. That is why I can take a leader’s role to my students. In addition, that is why I do not hesitate to take a role of counselor or mentor to my students when they need me.
To give joy to students as they learn would be one of the most important tasks to me as a teacher. Performing piano requires self-discipline because practice is the only way to improve the piano skills and the self-discipline is the motivation and the energy for the practices. Those necessary practices are often not that interesting especially technical studies. However, by teaching music theories and histories, I help students understand more. By guiding the proper techniques, I minimize the un-necessary repetitions. Most of all, by revealing the wonderful music to them and show them how exciting it is to play and enjoy the music, students seem to experience the music from their heart. Opening the students’ new horizon in piano music is my primary teaching goal.