September 23, 2017

Teaching Starts

It's the start of the school year, and Tomoko has been teaching piano ever since she was a teenager. What has she learned over the years?

"When I started teaching I used my background as a learner of the piano," Tomoko says. But she also contends, "You don't have to be a professional performer to teach." She realizes that,  not only does the teacher need to have playing playing skills, but must also have a deep understanding of music as well as teaching acumen.

She also learned how to teach by listening to friends. She joined the San Francisco Music Society early on; "It was a good place to socialize." And three times a year there would be a guest lecturer, which informed her teaching.

Yet teaching is not a standardized process. "Every teacher has his own style," Tomoko asserts. For that reason, she advises: It is good to be able to have a choice of teachers." Likewise, Tomoko contends: "Each student is unique."

That student individuality is a core element of teaching; the teacher has to select the music and the activity to match the student's ability, development, and interest. Fortunately, Tomoko's repertoire of compositions is broad and deep -- as is her knowledge of what works for different students. She says modestly, "Over time it becomes easier to diagnose a student's needs."

What keeps Tomoko teaching? Among other things, she asserts: "You are preparing the next generation." That generation is certainly lucky to have her as a teacher.

No comments:

Post a Comment