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#32654 - 09/23/03 06:41 PM New to Teaching
PianoMan86 Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 1
Loc: Las Vegas
I'm new to this teaching thing and my first student is older then I am. Is this good or bad or should this not make a difference? Should I be starting with an older age student? When I think about it, I think that it actually might be harder to teach her then a little kid, because kids are easily motivated, while adults have to almost do it of there free will. I don't know if it's a smart move. Oh and how much should I charge? thanks for all your replies. :p
-The Piano Man

#32655 - 09/23/03 09:19 PM Re: New to Teaching
CR Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 03/18/01
Posts: 289
Loc: Idaho
Welcome to the boards, PianoMan. And welcome to the wonderful world of teaching piano. \:\)

In regards to your questions:

It needn't make any difference whether your student is older or younger than you. I have an adult student and though I thought it might have been some sort of *issue* - being that she's older than I am - I was a little hesitant to take her as a student. But so long as I put that matter out of the way and approached it as I did with my young students (mind set of getting them started on the musical journey and exploration of an interest), it was no real problem. She just wanted to learn to play the piano and make music, and since she obviously had no problem with me being younger than her, why should I have a problem with her being older than me? Teachers deal with all ages of students. True, most often it's people younger than them, but a lot of times students will be older than the teacher her/himself. \:\)

It is a little bit more of an insightful challenge to teach adults, but it can still be enjoyable for both you, as the teacher, and the student. I'm certainly no expert on instructing adults, so I'll leave that area up to the experts on this board. I can say, though, that adults do have motivation to play. ... I would expound on that, but it's late and I can't process thoughts too well at this time of night. :rolleyes: :p But hopefully some of this helps, and certainly the other teachers will have more to say. Good luck with your instructing!
It goes without saying that technical proficiency should be the first acquisition of a student who would be a fine pianist.

#32656 - 09/23/03 09:47 PM Re: New to Teaching
unreal Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 945
Loc: CA
Just some quick random thoughts--adults do learn things differently from children, but it's a positive thing because they have a frame of reference which children have not yet developed. They take piano lessons because they want to learn, not because mom said they must. They benefit from a partnership with the teacher, and a helpful attitude. I frequently recommend articles from this website to teachers, and here it is for you, since Martha Beth has thoughtful and thought-provoking ideas and phrases things better than I do:
This section specifially addresses teaching adult students.

#32657 - 09/23/03 10:28 PM Re: New to Teaching
pianojazzgirl Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 847
Loc: Montreal
I have taught alot of adult students who are older than me. I never had a problem with any of them who were beginners but sometimes those who came to me for jazz lessons would question my authority on the subject. Very frustrating. But, like I said, usually adults who come to you as beginners are just keen to learn and willing to listen to what you have to say.

As to how much to charge, I think you should call up some other piano teachers (and/or the Music Teacher's Association) in your area to see what the going rates are. Since you're not so experienced you probably won't be able to charge at the high end of the scale but don't short-change yourself either. I forget what thread it was on but someone here posted a list of guidelines to go by when you set your rates. (Maybe you'll have better luck finding it than I did) \:\)

[ 09-23-2003: Message edited by: pianojazzgirl ]

#32658 - 09/27/03 10:04 AM Re: New to Teaching
sy-snootles2000 Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 8
Loc: Maryland
Hey There,

As far as teaching the adult student, I actually find it easier than teaching children. Adults are not forced into lessons, so, they truly want to learn. They look up to you, even if you are younger then them, because they admire the knowledge that you already posess.
As far as charging lessons, I know that the average piano lesson in this area is $15. I only charge $12.50 because I'm still a student. The rate varies between regions, so, try to find other piano teachers in your area and see how much they charge. Or call a music store and see what they recommend.

#32659 - 10/24/03 05:04 AM Re: New to Teaching
Martin Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 403
I love teaching adults that are older than myself!
My a source of knowledge they are for ME!
We exchange so much - they want to learn what you know and yet these wonderful people have so much to offer you....whether that is planned or not.
I have developed many friendships through my adult students...sometimes we go for coffee or lunch or Bible study.
Occasionally I get a "know it all" student that just wants to brush up on their playing.
I once had a gentleman that was determined to learn about 5 years of theoretical concepts in 4 lessons! What a quick fix for him. I understand why he had so much trouble with his "other" teachers. (he told me had been through 3 within a year)
I finally told this dear that if he wanted strictly a theory lesson then we would schedule just ONE and then an extra lesson the same week to cover the repertoire he wanted to "brush up" on.
There was absolutely no time to play with all of his questions!!!!!!!!!!
He was trying his best to run the lesson! he he
anyway he is still with me after 9 mths. and we have 2 lessons weekly still with no
problems thereof.
There are some adults of children I teach. They come prior to picking up their children from school and practice before their lesson to be "fresh". They are some of my best students. It seems to help them encourage their children to do well also.
Don't worry about age. Just do what you do best and remember you have the knowledge that is what they are paying you for to obtain the expertise to perform and knowledge of how to do it! Good luck!!!! ;\) ;\)


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