The first section in my Studio Policy addresses my teaching philosophy. Most teachers have some basic philosophy or set of goals behind their teaching styles. Some teachers believe that ear training is preferable to an emphasis on sight-reading music. Other teachers believe that introducing progressively more difficult material and concepts is the best approach, while others concentrate more on making lessons "fun".
Of course, the best teachers tailor their teaching to the needs of their students, but it is useful to have specific goals as a basis for how you approach each lesson. A teaching philosophy will also help you and prospective parents/students determine if your goals are compatible with one another. Some parents may be looking for a teacher who will put their child on the competitive path, while others may be looking for a more casual approach. It is important that goals and priorities are established at the beginning so that teacher, parent, and student will have something to measure their achievements against.
Below is the text in my policy regarding my philosophy and goals. You are welcome to use any part of it if it matches your own goals.
I strive to make the study of piano and playing music engaging, fulfilling, and fun. While there may be times of discouragement and frustration, which is a normal part of learning a new instrument, I try to be sensitive to these feelings and teach students how to work through them so they can fully appreciate the joy that follows hard work.
I use the Bastien Piano Method for students in Primer to Level Four. I prefer this method because technique and theory are introduced in a manner that builds and progresses naturally from concept to concept. I also assign “fun” songs that reinforce the Bastien material. For students in Level Five and above, I work with them to find suitable material that is tailored more to their individual tastes.
I teach on Yamaha grand and use my violin and cello to play along with students learning how to accompany. I also have a standard church organ in my home for those students learning basic organ skills.
In a nutshell, I’m letting parents/students know that I take the more practical approach to teaching. I prepare my students for all aspects of piano playing, not just solo work. I’m not the right teacher for someone looking to enter their child in piano competitions. While I see the value of competing, I prefer not to have that kind of stress in my studio. While it states that I like to have fun, it also emphasizes that hard work is just as important.
This section of my policy also addresses the method I use as well as the instruments I teach with. If you are unsure about which teaching method you want to use, you can find a good comparison article here.
What is your teaching philosophy? What are your studio goals? I’d love to hear what you plan to incorporate into your policy. Leave a comment!