September 30, 2015
Piano Workshops: Why You Should Attend
As a piano teacher, it can be hard to learn new teaching methods, stay creative in the classroom, or find ways to earn more money–especially when you’re also tasked with finding new students and keeping your current students enrolled in lessons. Sure, you can join teaching organizations, visit message boards, and head to monthly meet-ups, but who has time for all that? If you want to gain valuable knowledge and immerse yourself in the latest and greatest in piano teaching, attend a piano workshop! From gaining specific knowledge to taking advantage of the networking opportunities, here are a few reasons why you should attend Music & Arts’ annual Piano Workshop.
First, What Does a Workshop Look Like?
If you’ve ever attended a conference or a music trade show, a workshop is quite similar in nature–except on a much smaller scale. Instead of heading to a full-blown event that lasts an entire week or weekend, workshops take place on a single day and last anywhere from 2-4 hours. In some cases, workshops can last an entire day, but half a day or less is typically the standard. Piano workshops are led by professional piano teachers who have years, sometimes decades, of teaching experience under their belt. Whether you’re attending a workshop about how to integrate history into your lesson plan or a workshop that focuses on developing effective solutions for common teaching problems, you’ll step away from the piano workshop with a greater understanding of the subject matter.
In many cases, space is limited, so if you find a workshop you’re interested in, don’t delay in signing up.
You’ll Gain Knowledge
Perhaps the biggest advantage of attending a piano workshop is that you’ll leave the workshop a little more informed than you did when you arrived. Depending on the piano workshop you attend, you’ll be exposed to the latest and greatest in classroom tech, some tried-and-true new teaching methods, or some valuable insight from someone who has been doing what you’ve been doing for much, much longer. You may go into a workshop knowing very little about the subject matter at hand, but you’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge you can share with all your friends and colleagues. A piano workshop may seem intimidating at first, but many who head to a workshop for the first time find themselves going back year after year.
It’s a Networking Opportunity
So, you’ll learn a whole lot…but why else should you head to a piano workshop? For the networking opportunities! In what other environment will you be surrounded by like-minded individuals who also teach piano for a living. While attending a piano workshop, take advantage of the networking opportunities afforded to you. Keep track of who you’ve talked to, or who you want to follow up with after the workshop is over. Have you always wanted to start your own studio? Wondering who you can refer excess students to? Who knows, you may meet the right person at a piano workshop. Since workshops are shorter (and less expensive) than trade shows and conventions, they attract a lot of locals–connect with someone, and meet up with them for dinner or coffee throughout the year. As a piano teacher, you can never have too many piano-teaching friends!
There’s Lots of Variety
Last but not least, piano workshops are great because of their variety. One year you can learn about music lesson customization, and the next you can dive head first into strategies for keeping your students motivated. It’s usually a good idea to attend at least one or two piano workshops a year, but some piano teachers find that they benefit from even more. Keep an eye out for a workshop on something you’ve always had an interest in, and ask if you can record the workshop with a video camera or voice recorder. These workshops are usually pretty informative, and if you’re so worried about writing everything down, you could be missing out on some key points. If you have questions about the workshop or want to speak with the presenter, they’re usually available before or after the workshop to answer questions.
If you want to experience piano workshops first hand, attend one of Music & Arts workshops. We partner with reputable publishing houses like Alfred Music and Hal Leonard, the world’s largest print music publisher. Our events are FREE, and are run by seasoned clinicians that specialize in piano pedagogy. Some benefits of attending a workshop include winning prizes, getting amazing discounts on sought-after materials, and meeting the authors of your favorite publications.
It’s a great opportunity to improve your skillset, so RSVP today!
Photo via Devin Hubbard, cc