The Piano Teacher Has a Spiritual Responsibility To Each Student

Playing The Piano With Feeling

Teach your piano student to trust himself as he plays, connecting to his own emotions.  This inspires him to play "with feeling" and avoid sounding dry and boring.  He becomes "the music."
Teach your piano student to trust himself as he plays, connecting to his own emotions. This inspires him to play "with feeling" and avoid sounding dry and boring. He becomes "the music." | Source
Where much is expected...much is give as long as you give out plenty of praise and avoid harshness.
Where much is expected...much is give as long as you give out plenty of praise and avoid harshness. | Source

Getting Started With Your Piano Student

In order to fulfill your responsibility as an inspiring piano teacher:


  • The most important factor for any piano teacher is to first, build a trust between you the teacher and the student. If you can't do that - you have no business being in the teaching profession in the first place.


  • You are working with all types of people with different personalities, issues, some talented and some not. You may be the best pianist in the universe. You may hold the highest of degrees in music. You may have the most expensive Steinway Grand Piano money can buy. You may know it all and have it all, but if you lack a love and compassion for others, you will be unable to teach your student the greatest lesson of all - to love himself through learning the piano as another part of himself.


  • Your student will actually "become the music" as he begins his lessons. This happens through creating sounds and moods as each piano key is struck and played. The very heart that beats within the student, ignites with the beat and rhythm of the music itself and becomes one.


  • It is not just the fingers making music, but the body, mind and spirit. The same sensitivity that breathes through the human heart, breathes through the music as he plays the piano.


  • Teaching the student to connect to his own emotions as he plays must be introduced at the very first lesson. He cannot do this unless he trusts his teacher.

My Favorite Quote For Teaching

" Love is a better teacher than duty." - Albert Einstein

First Piano Lesson For Beginning Student

How to Begin - From the minute the teacher greets a new student, the lesson begins. The more warmth and kindess, mixed with a professional touch from the teacher, the more confidence the student begins to feel both in himself and in his instructor.

The teacher must take the necessary time to build a "trust" which is vital to the progression of the student. Most students are eager to begin playing the piano. Take just a minute and first give a brief history of the piano in an interesting, short storie form, adapting it to the age of the student.

Then immediately allow the student to make music on the piano, before giving the first lesson from the lesson book, by allowing him to play only the black keys, in any order using both hands, separatley and together. Confine the black keys to the middle to high part of the keyboard and you, the teacher apply the damper pedal as he plays. It is helpful to him, if you also play at the same time because you can control both the rythym and dynamics as well as patterns.

This is a good way to teach as you are doing so without words. The child is so smart. He will imitate what you do to the best of his ability because he will want to sound like his teacher. If you keep musical patterns simple enough, the music that lies hidden within the child will soon be free and his confidence increased at the beginning of his very first lesson.

This Young Man is Amazing Playing Chopin

Final Thoughts For Teachers

Teaching others is a spiritual calling of love and devotion. I would advise any teacher who is short tempered, impatient or critical to go into another profession.

As a teacher and mentor, you do not have the right to break a child's spirit. If you are in a bad mood or are ill, cancel the lesson until you can give the love and respect your student deserves.

In closing, I will mention a rather "sticky" situation which is how to handle and educate the parent. I meet with parents one on one without the child and talk to them about how they can be supportive to the child and what their role is during lessons and at home. I rarely allow parents or siblings to sit in on a lesson.

The student's attention needs to be directed to the lesson and not distracted by family who may be sitting in on a lesson. Recitals are for families and friends and give the young pianist the opportunity to display his progress.

When a student tells me he feels better after his lesson then when before the lesson, I know I've done my job.

Know How to Style Your Piano Playing?

My Favorite Quotes on Teaching


A teacher is never too smart to learn from his pupils. But while runners differ, basic principles never change. So it's a matter of fitting your current practices to fit the event and the individual. See, what's good for you might not be worth a darn for the next guy. by Bill Bower

A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience's attention, then he can teach his lesson. by John Henrik Clarke

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. by Kahlil Gibran

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. by Brad Henry

The teacher is the one who gets the most out of the lessons, and the true teacher is the learner. by Elbert Hubbard

The teacher who would be true to his mission and accomplish the most good, must give prominence to moral as well as intellectual instruction. by Sheldon Jackson

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward. by Vernon Law

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself. by Robert Bulwer-Lytton

Additional Musical Quotes

Children Learn What They Live

How Was Your First Experience Taking Piano Lessons?

  • I loved it. Had a great teacher.
  • Not so good. Teacher was okay but didn't want to practice
  • I hated my piano lessons.
  • I wanted piano lessons but never had the opportunity.
  • I've never really thought about it one way or the other.
See results without voting

© 2010 Audrey Hunt

More by this Author


Comments 38 comments

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I wish I lived near you! I'd try to take lessons from you. But I would wind up with a crush on the teacher. Buttons up my Dear!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

What a brilliant hub. You must be very busy with plenty of pupils I would have thought.

A really warm and caring hub which I'm sure says everything about this teacher.

Take care and God Bless.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I hope you keep your promise to teach me how to play piano. I am glad to read your opinion about teaching attitude. I agree with your method. That's make us enjoy in teaching and then our student will comfort with our method. Very inspiring and useful for us. I really love all the quotes in teaching. This is new for me. Thank you very much. Vote and vote again.

Prasetio


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Eiddwen - I thank you my friend for the beautiful comments from you. I am touched and moved. Blessings to you and yours.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Mick - and how could I concentrate on the business at hand with you at my side? Thanks dear sir!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Your passion shows. Great information and a joy to read...


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

We would all become expert piano players, Audrey, if we could clone you as our piano teacher. What a beautiful spirit you disclose in your writing. :)


amorea13 6 years ago

Oh my goodness Vocalcoach what a fabulous hub - thank you - I could say such a lot in reply to this but what would be the point? You have covered everything about teaching and love!

I so wanted to make music when I was young but honestly (and I am NOT complaining really I'm not) I was told to do 'scales' for hour after hour and not 'make music' so i just stopped - and now? Yes you're right - now I SO want to be able to play really well and MAKE MUSIC!

Your words here just resonate with me - and having been a teacher once I know the truth you speak.

Thank you Vocalcoach - this is such a great hub and so full of love too. Voted up!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This was so nice VC. I remember my own piano teacher with such fond memories. I not only learned to play (a little) but his gentleness, humor and patience taught me many of life's lessons. Thank also for that great list of how Children Learn What They Live.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Green Lotus - You have added a very important point here.

Your beautiful teacher taught you many of life's lessons.

He was a great teacher. Humor is also another marvelous trait of a good teacher. I am sure you do him proud! Thank you Green Lotus.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

A fantastic hub and you are such a great teacher to realize all these points. Thank you for a great read.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Thank you hello, for reading my hub. Your comments are so very kind and I thank you very much. Blessings to you, my friend.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Honestly I could not decide between these two :

Love is a better teacher than duty. by Albert Einstein

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. by Kahlil Gibran

I think I relate to Kahlil Gibran better...

I am sure you are a fantastic teacher. I know it...

I wish you could teach me...

For I hear all these music in my head but could not translate them to the outer world, but perhaps it is more than enough that I could appreciate music...almost touch it.

Much love,

Melinda


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Melinda - You are music. Every tiny part of you vibrates the natural sounds of nature. Your beautiful heart beats perfect rhythm, never missing a beat. The music you hear in your head is your own private composition. If I could only spend a few minutes with you, together, we would most assuredly unleash your music and free your sounds. Thank you for such good comments. I too select the Kahlil Gibran quote. Beautiful blessings to you, Melinda


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

amorea13 - It is never to late to make music and create the song within. If you have a piano, sit down, place your hands on just the black keyes and play. Just "let your fingers do the walking" :-) If there is no piano, you have the most beautiful instrument of all - the human voice. Sing the lovely music that rests within your heart and mind. Those sounds are yours. Share them with mother nature. Do not judge them. Every sound is good. Thank you dear sir, for your heartfelt comments.

Peace and love.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

drbj - You do me honor, kind and dear friend. Isn't it strange, that as a child I was starved for love and yet grew up with so much love inside me, it just seems to spill over and always there is more? For that I am grateful. Bless you with Joy and Good Health


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

dallas93444 - You are always here to support me and what I write. I thank you for that. It means so much. Have a wonderful day dallas.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

There are no mistakes, only stepping stones...... What a wonderful way to teach.

This was fabulous, thank you.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Dim - Oh, I am so happy to see you! Thank you for stopping by and taking time to read my hub. I appreciate your kind comments. Blessings to you.


Tkumah profile image

Tkumah 6 years ago

Teachers as good as you are hard to come by. You nailed it over and over again.

Thank you for sharing and inspiring.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Tkumah - You do me great honor and I must thank you. I am eager to read your hubs and shall do so soon.


spdarkstar profile image

spdarkstar 6 years ago from Benijofar, Alicante, Spain

It's a shame that you are about 4 to 5 thousand miles away from where I live. I need a piano teacher. I did have one. He was one of the nicest guys you would ever like to meet. He was 83 at the time, but unfortunately after a couple of dozen lessons he became very ill and his eyesight started to go. and so he had to give up teaching. I'm still looking.

a great hub. I learnt a lot from it.

a couple of weeks ago you commented on one of my hubs.

There were some errors on it which I have now rectified

I mentioned a group " Rare earth" but it was suppose to be "rare Bird" I have now updated the lyrics of the song "Sympathy". I also found it on You Tube.

Carry on with the wonderful way in which you do things


pjdscott profile image

pjdscott 6 years ago from Durham, UK

I thought you captured a difficult subject beautifully - it is always challenging to write about music, and your thoughts and concepts are convincing and engaging.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

pjdscott - Your comments mean so very much to me and I thank you so much. Teaching music is my passion and my life and so are people. I appreciate your remarks.

spdarkstar - I am sorry about your piano teacher. I, too wish we were closer. I would hop right on over and help you with piano lessons.Thanks for the update on the comments I left you. I have noted the changes and will look for your lyrics for "Sympathy" on you tube. You're comments are very kind and I thank you.

Prasetio30 - How are you my friend? I would love to give you lessons on the piano. It would be my honor. You have such passion and goodness in your heart which would elevate the way you play music. May all blessings come to you and may you always feel loved, needed and appreciated. You are a special person Prasetio.


Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 5 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

Teaching with love and respect. I like that. Learning to become one with the instrument. What a beautiful hub!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Silver Poet - Teaching is such an honor. Especially the piano. Combining my love for a child with my love for music - how blessed I am. Thank you for your beautiful comments. Blessings to you, Silver Poet.


Betty Johansen profile image

Betty Johansen 5 years ago

Well, you are a breath of fresh air! I was still having nightmares about my piano teacher many years after I took my last lesson. She taught by terror and it didn't help that I wasn't particularly musical. Your students are blessed!!!


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago

Very excellent hub. I had a wonderful piano teacher myself for many many years when I was young. Great points you make.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Betty - I am so sorry for your terrible experience with your piano teacher. Makes me so darn mad! Urgggggggggg!

Now, if I were in your area, I would hop over to your place and have you playing in no time...and we would be laughing and loving every minute. So glad I have met you and want to read more of your wonderful hubs. Stay close!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

emilybee - Thank you so much!..wonderful to see you here.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I love the Children Live What They Learn addition! That is so wise and so true! I'm sorry vocalcoach - instead of novel reading at night I'm reading the older hubs from some of you. Please don't feel you have to respond to them all:-). I just can't help it - I loved this!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

RealHousewife...my dear friend! You pay me the highest of compliments and it is a joy to respond to you. I welcome any chance to chat with you, as you have come to mean so very much to me. All I can say is, thank you for bringing such a gift as yourself into my life. :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh no I should be thanking you for the example you have set for others!! There are so few people out there with beautiful insides. I am a real house wife - but I have a great life and now that I have met several of you, my life is better. For REAL!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

This is good advice for people who have kids that want to take piano lessons. I will share it on Twitter as well.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

I had to show this one to my wife who is a piano teacher. I love the boy on Ellen's show. Wow!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Sweetie Pie - Thank you so much for sharing my hub. I really appreciate it!

wayne barrett - I didn't know your wife is also a piano teacher. Wonderful! I was just amazed at the 6 yr. old on Ellen's show.

Thank you so much Wayne for your support on this hub. ~ Audrey


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a lovely hub, Audrey! You've described the importance of a good teacher-student relationship very well. The video is interesting, too!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Alicia - Thanks so much for appreciating my hub. I love your comments. Hope all is going well for you. Hugs ~Audrey~

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