Do you have a piano teaching curriculum? Have you laid out what you want your students to learn and when?
I believe all teachers should have a curriculum of some sort to guide them. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does require some thought.
A piano teaching curriculum is not a set of lesson plans. It’s not a prescription of exactly what you should do at each stage of a student’s education.
It’s not an exam syllabus, nor is it a method book.
Your piano teaching curriculum should be unique to you and your students. It should reflect your goals for your students and the type of teacher you want to be.
Why You Need a Piano Teaching Curriculum
As I see it, a good piano teaching curriculum can provide a framework for what you teach and when you teach it. It doesn’t stop you taking detours, but it does give you some direction.
A Roadtrip Analogy
Imagine you want to take a roadtrip. First, you decide on a destination, let’s say the Rock of Cashel, for example.
Good choice! The journey from Dublin will only be about 2 hours. Perfect for a day out. 🙂
Next, you plug “Rock of Cashel” into Google Maps or look it up in an actual paper map, and off you go.
When you’re on the road, you see a sign for Castletown House and think: “Hey, that might be worth a look too!” so you head off on some side roads to find it.
Once you visited the 18th-century mansion, you get back in the car and head in the direction of the Rock of Cashel stopping a few times along the way to absorb the views.
A Not-So-Great Roadtrip
Ok, so maybe you’re the type not to plan your roadtrip. You prefer to just set sail and go where the wind takes you.
That’s fine, but I’m afraid your Ireland roadtrip will now simply be a tour of some green fields.
Nothing wrong with seeing all 50 shades of green (and it is a good representation of this little island) but you can do better.
A little planning goes a long way.
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Back to Your Piano Teaching Curriculum
Have you been following my analogy and how it relates to your piano teaching curriculum? Let me lay it out for you.
Not planning your curriculum is like setting off on a roadtrip without any kind of destination in mind.
You might see some interesting stuff, you might not. You could end up at a cool castle in Cork, or you might just go around in circles and have to stop and ask some (probably very friendly!) strangers for directions.
Don’t you think your students deserve more than that?
They’re getting in the car with you. They trust that you have a plan.
The destination of your student’s musical journey might change. They might decide they want to be in a rock band or write film music and you’ll have to be able to adapt to that.
But I think sometimes us piano teachers can use that as an excuse to not make a plan at all.
Setting a piano teaching curriculum for your studio doesn’t mean you’re locked into it. It simply provides a framework to explore music and develop wonderful musicians who can go wherever they want because they have the skills to do so.
Do you think you need a piano teaching curriculum?
Have I convinced you that this is something you should set for your studio? Let me know in the comments, and stick around for next week’s article where I’ll help you design your curriculum.