37% piano teachers struggle to find right professional development

37% piano teachers struggle to find right professional development

A recent survey of 389 piano teachers across the UK has found that 37% piano teachers don’t currently undertake any formal continuing professional development.

However, more than a quarter of those surveyed cited the poor provision of teaching resources for piano teachers as a reason for not attending a course, with nine out of ten saying that they were, in principle, interested in attending some form of course.

Motivation, practice and rhythm key challenges for teachers

Key areas of interest for piano teachers aiming to further develop their skills included techniques for better motivating their students (cited by 94% of survey participants) and methods of instilling effective practice techniques in their students, with more than nine out of ten teachers considering this of particular interest. 89% of teachers surveyed found that teaching students to play rhythmically was a key challenge.

Memorisation and improvisation were the hottest topics amongst piano teachers when it came to areas for their own personal improvement, with more than half saying that these were areas they would like to further develop.

ABRSM still dominates as an exam board

When it came to helping their students prepare for exams, teaching sight reading and aural skills were the areas where teachers were most interested in developing their skills, with 90% of teachers find these to be interesting topics.

When it came to the choice of exam boards, the ABRSM still dominates, with 67% of teachers entering their students for these exams. Trinity College London came second with just over 10% of candidates with the London College of Music attracting just 5% of participants.

Majority of piano teachers do so on a part-time basis

Most teachers who took part in this survey teach between 10 and 20 students on a weekly basis, but a group of 9% reported teaching more than 50 pupils per week. Only 2% teachers specialised in teaching adults, with 23% exclusively engaged in piano lessons for children.

Finchcocks launches courses for piano teachers

For teachers keen to tackle some of these topics, Finchcocks, which recently relaunched as a piano school, is launching the first of its one-day workshops designed specifically for piano teachers on Thursday 25 October. A week long residential course for teachers in also scheduled in the summer holidays next year with Graham Fitch and Penelope Roskell.

The first of these one day workshops coincides with the release of the new ABRSM piano syllabus, and is titled “Helping your students achieve their full potential in exams”.

It will examine in detail the new repertoire at the grade 5 and grade 8 levels and explore methods to motivate pupils and help them practice. It will also provide guidance on how best to teach aural and sight-reading skills, and be followed by a session on how examiners assess students – which includes the chance for all teachers to make their own assessment of a real candidate in a mock ABRSM exam led by a former examiner.

Cost of the tickets is £60 which includes lunch, coffee and cake and can be reserved using the form below.