Did you know that many piano teachers pursue different types of professional development each year? It could online or in-person workshops throughout the year or multi-day conferences. Part of a being a master teacher is understanding this, “We never really stop learning.”
Why Professional Development?
When teachers learn they can:
- Increase expertise in various topics and concepts.
- Keep up with current research into how we learn.
- Learn how to keep students playing in a healthy way throughout their lives.
- Put themselves in their students’ place … learning can be challenging.
- Be inspired to make piano lessons a truly wonderful experience for your child.
How Does This Affect Scheduling?
Perhaps the more important question for some clients is “How does this affect student’s piano lessons?”
Each teacher will choose to handle their professional development differently. It all depends on their specific situation and what works best in their studio.
Some teachers choose flex weeks that they can cancel piano lessons when something comes up. Others book those weeks as vacation weeks.
In our Must Love Music online piano studio, students have group lesson weeks throughout the year. At least two of those group lesson weeks are so I can attend and/or present at conferences!
The type of professional development also makes a difference. A workshop might be scheduled at non-peak teaching hours so it may have no effect. Whereas a conference may be multiple days and require more scheduling changes.
Advantages Of Having A Group Lesson Week
Group lesson week is a win-win situation in our studio for everyone.
This set up works for our studio families because:
- Students don’t miss out on lessons, just change the format and time.
- Students love the social aspect of group lessons where we create community.
- Parents love that their kids are excited about attending, while they get a 60-minute break.
This set up ensures I can:
- Focus 100% on what is being taught.
- Take notes on how I will bring the ideas back to the studio.
- Find the perfect way to reach each student through the professional development I attend.
Sometimes a session will remind me of a student’s music goal. So I send a quick message to a student or parent letting them know I was thinking of them and that I have something special for them next lesson.
Regardless of whether your piano teacher chooses group lesson week or a different format, they will let you know what to expect.
Why Great Piano Teachers Value Professional Development
While it is easy to read articles online and professional publications, as well as listen to podcasts or watch videos (all of which I do), there is something to be said for learning directly from experts in live sessions.
Over the years, the professional development topics I’ve focused on have changed. This is true for master teachers. As we learn, we see other areas we can become more knowledgeable. And, you get the reap the benefits of this!
What questions do you have about why piano teachers value professional development so much … or how that has an impact on piano lessons?
Let me know in the comments below!
If you like the idea of working with a piano teacher that values professional development and continually getting better for their students, click to set up an interview to join our online piano studio!