Many people regard piano teaching as a vocation rather than a profession, including some who are active practitioners, and I have encountered many people outside the profession of piano teaching who regard the role as some kind of superannuated “hobby”: on one occasion the parent of one of my (former) students actually said to me: “You’re so lucky to be able to do your hobby as a job”, thus totally overlooking the fact that I take my job as a piano teacher very seriously, and regard myself as a professional within the sphere of piano teaching.
But how to define “professional” with regard to piano teaching? Sally Cathcart, a musician, educator, researcher and director of the Oxford Piano Group, has been exploring the issue of professionalism and piano teaching in a series of posts on her blog The Curious Piano Teacher, and she poses some interesting questions about the definition of a professional:
- Do you consider yourself a ‘professional’ piano teacher? What, in your view, makes you a professional?
- How is your piano teaching validated ? By reference to others’ expectations or by continuous questioning of fitness for purpose?
- Do you adhere to a set of professional standards or teaching principles, either your own or others?
- Do you think that being a member of a group that represents professional musicians and teachers (e.g. EPTA UK, ISM, MU) is relevant to your work as a piano teacher?
Do visit Sally’s blog to read her articles on this subject. and to respond to these questions, or contact me via my Contact page and I will pass on responses to Sally. This is an area which is of great interest to myself and many of my piano teaching colleagues, and I would be most interested to hear people’s responses.
Read the full text of Sally Cathcart’s article here
Links to Sally’s previous articles: