Etudes for Piano Teachers

Front Cover

Etudes for Piano Teachers

Reflections on the Teacher’s Art

Stewart Gordon

My recent reading.
For teachers ourselves, we are both teaching and learning. A teacher should never stop learning and thinking. This book inspires me to reflect more on what teaching is. Music education is all about psychology : how to motivate students; how to solve their problems; what to do if students have stage fright, etc. When teachers nowadays nearly neglect the importance of psychological conditioning, I have to form my own philosophy. Reading this book,  I start to realise that the role of teachers is not just to produce individuals who are capable to play something technically and musically but also grow them into all-rounded human being.  My goal next year is to nurture next generation to be good psychologists and have positive mindset.

“Making music has the potential to help our children utilize, develop, and strengthen several aspects of intelligence. Through studying an instrument, listening to music, and singing, they can tune up their minds and get excited about learning. This is likely to translate into getting better grades in subjects as diverse as language arts and mathematics.” (Turner, 2004)










到老師教室上課,學生有責任把所有用品帶齊和準時到達老師的教室,在孩子的成長過程中培養責任感,守時觀念是百利而無一害。 這種能力無疑是在現實世界中非常重要的。


Eight Reasons why Students should Take Piano Lessons at Teacher’s Place

Recently, I receive a lot of calls and emails asking me to provide home-visiting lessons. It is  understandable because some parents are busy working nowadays and they feel uncomfortable to transport the child to teacher’s place. However, the teaching quality is much more difference with such so-called “convenience”. In fact, this is not my practice and this article is for me to explain why it’s better to have piano lesson at Teacher’s Place.

1. Teachers cannot control the quality and maintenance on the instrument at student’s home.
In most cases, the instrument at teacher’s place is much more pleasant. Like an example,
my teaching place includes a well-maintained(including humanity control)  and frequently-tuned(four times annually) grand piano and an upright piano.

2. Large quantity of teaching materials cannot be transported.
Students sometimes need additional materials to enhance their learning. All these can only happen at teacher’s place while these materials cannot be transported from time to time to student’s home. For my place, there is a music library that students can borrow books from, professional recording devices, CDs for demonstration, etc.

3. Teaching environment can be controlled in teacher’s place.
At student’s home, teachers takes no control of the teaching environment. I heard from my friends (luckily I didn’t have such experiences before) that some parents play mahjong and siblings watch TV during lesson time. All the distractions will be eliminated at teacher’s place.

4. Children tend to focus more at teacher’s place.
Attention span is the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted. Children pay less attention when the teaching environment is so familiar and controllable. They can go anywhere and do a different kind of activity without your consent so the attention span is actually shortened. A person may restore attention by taking a rest and this is actually reducing lesson time (and of course wasting money).

5. Better Teaching Quality.
Without travel time, the teacher can have more time to think about and plan for the upcoming lesson which leads to obvious difference in teaching quality.

6. Easier to arrange ensemble playing.
Ensemble playing is a beneficial learning process which enhancing one’s musically, rhythm and pulse. Ensemble playing lessons can be arranged at teacher’s place.

7. Fostering students’ responsibility towards management.
Since students are responsible to bring all lesson materials and arrive on time for lesson, this management ability is undoubtedly very important in the real world. Nurturing a sense of responsibility is more than advantageous in children’s growth process.

8. Lessons can be scheduled more easily according to the teacher’s schedule.
Without the time travelling from home to home, the teaching schedule can be more efficient. And there will be more slots for students to choose from.