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mbsmith

Have questions about becoming a pedagogue

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This question is mainly for members with a degree or at least some study in the field of piano pedagogy. I'm very interested in going for a double major in Music Theory and Piano Pedagogy. I've always had a deep love for music. My question and probably my problem is that I started taking piano lessons when I was 17 and was only able to afford to take them for a month. In that month I learned the Fur Elise and the Moonlight Sonata (full versions not watered down). Since that time I've taught myself a lot of other music but I have to learn 1 to 2 measures at a time, memorize, then rinse and repeat. I cannot sight read, no matter what definition you use. I can pick up a piece of music and tell quickly what every note is. Finally to my question, am I advanced enough to start a major in Piano Pedagogy and if not what skills do I need to improve on and what goals should I set before I try?  Thank you in advance for any replies.

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I'd email a piano professor at your local music college, and ask to play & talk to them.

 

Don't despair though, I know a guy who started a violin performance degree in his early 40s, and has his DMA now, teaches violin quite successfully now.  Also, sightreading is just a skill.  Not magic.  It gets better with practice.

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You might consider entering a college to earn an undergraduate degree in music education, with your principal instrument being the piano.

 

There is a very broad range of music schools and music departments out there, from the very finest performance schools -- eg, Juilliard, Eastman, Cleveland Institute, Indiana University -- to schools whose graduates will never perform professionally and will be content to teach music (band, orchestra, choir) in the elementary or secondary public school systems and perhaps offer private lessons (possibly piano) on the side.

 

The rather modest goal of getting a bachelor of music education degree at a school which is not highly competitive or selective is very attainable.  There are lots of music programs at less competitive and selective colleges and universities which would be delighted to have another tuition paying student.  It's a matter of looking.

 

Whether more ambitious career goals lie within your means, only you and qualified educators who know your abilities and commitment first hand can decide.  But a bachelor of music education degree is well within one's reach if that someone qualifies for college at all.

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mbsmith:  I do not meet the definition of what you want as a person to attempt to answer your question.  But I will give you an answer that you can disregard.

 

I started the piano at the age of 12.  Studied "playint" for less than 5 years.  My teacher was an excellent performer, his teacher was

Xzver Scharwenka who was considered the eqivalent of Paderewski.  He taught me nothing about music.  Played along with me for the hourly lesson, for which my father paid him.

 

At the age of about 17 I started to teach piano.  Had 15 students (got 50 cents from each) so I had my spending money, did not have to ask my father for spending money.

 

After I became a New York Attorney and Certified Public Accountant I started to study music.  Harmony, counterpoint, music composition.

When I was past 80 years of age I started to play the violin, without a teacher.  When a professional violinist evaluated my playing and told me that I was not holding either hand correctly I got a teacher.  Studied with her for 4 years.

 

Have written a few songs, a novellette and am working on a novel.  I am 94.6 years of age.  Not a great player of piano or violin.  But I love music.  Go to my web site:  http://benjaminpodgor.com/music.html  You will find lots of sheet music that is in the public domain, an explanation of what each instrument in the orchestra does.

 

Ben Podgor

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