I am writing to raise parents’ awareness of advantages of taking music lessons from professionally trained teachers.
At present, there are people with no qualifications teaching music, trying to fill the gap left by lack of music education in the public schools. Parents are hiring neighborhood kids with little experience, piano store owners are hiring students at minimum wages in order to make profit. There are countless music “schools”, “conservatories” and “academies” where the music lessons are delivered by teachers without qualification.
As a result, there is a large dropout rate of music students in these substandard schools and studios. Many students quit music lessons feeling frustrated, and some of the more persistent ones often end up in doctors’ offices suffering from physical ailments related to not being taught the proper technique in playing a musical instrument. Why when we come to Hospital, we are expecting to get help from professionals and leaving our Music Education to amateurs? A few music stores, such as the Mirriam School of Music in Mississauga, Ontario, have realized the need for professionally trained staff and have initiated their own music teachers training courses.
I used to teach the applied Piano Pedagogy course in Minsk (Belarus) at University for music teachers. It was a university course for licensed teachers to upgrade their knowledge of the newest methods available. All licensed music teachers had to attend a one-month training course and pass exams in order to maintain their license to teach every five years.
Recently, School of the Arts approved the Piano Pedagogy Course through the Centre for Continuing Education at McMaster University. The course is designed for music teachers willing to learn the newest methodology.
By improving the quality of teaching of existing unqualified music teachers, the quality of instruction in all small institutions will improve.
My goal is to promote higher standards of private music teaching.
The need to improve this situation is urgent. It is long-overdue.
MFA., B.Mus., RMT.