Do you have a Bucket List? I do. In fact, people find mine annoying because I add to it constantly… like every day. I plan on living a long life, so I figure why not! I recently checked one major thing off my bucket list while boating on the weekend… we found ourselves in the middle of a pod of killer whales and I had a true “life moment”.
But this post is all about YOU and the 7 things you’ve just simply have to add to your “Piano Teaching Bucket List”:
1. Learn to Sing
There is such joy in being able to accompany yourself on the piano while singing. Grab a microphone and let it rip… but first take a few singing lessons. You’ll find that your mastery of phrasing will improve ten fold with this new slant on musical knowledge. Singers have the best phrasing out of necessity… they need to breathe!
2. Do a Duo
Find a fellow piano teaching friend and spend a chunk of time mastering a really fantastic piano duet. Sure you may still practice your own repertoire, but having a duet partner who is counting on you will give you that extra oomph to brush up on your skills. Plus it’s just plain fun!
3. Play a Steinway
A steinway to a piano teacher is like a Ferrari to a car buff. There’s just something about them that makes us salivate. But most of us can’t afford the price tag! Find a piano store that will let you spend some time drooling over the best of the best. Bring your favourite sheet music and spend 30 minutes just enjoying the sound of a Steinway.
4. Take Piano Lessons
This is a hard one, but it’s one of the most valuable things you can do as a piano teacher. Not only is it good for you to be on the opposite end of the lesson situation, but you’ll also find yourself refreshed by the new perspectives of a different teacher. Visit your local college and get a list of the profs who also teach privately. Put yourself out there and give it a shot!
5. Go to Europe
Piano teachers need to go to Europe. Actually, everyone needs to go to Europe. If we could, Trevor and I would move there in a flash! There is something about being surrounded by history that gives you a fresh take on the music you have played for years. You need to know what it feels like to be in a huge stone cathedral… or in a gold-plated castle ballroom to truly understand where this music that we teach every day comes from. And if you want any pointers on where to visit, email us… we love to talk travel!
6. Watch Dueling Pianos
For a really fun take on what this instrument we all love can do to a fun-seeking crowd, check out a duelling piano bar. The atmosphere just can’t be beat and (depending on the bar you choose) there is some amazing talent that can improvise any requested tune at the drop of a hat (or the drop of some cash into their jar!). They may not be the best singers (or the most technical pianists) but they sure know how to make a crowd beg for piano music! Billy Kraus at the Paris hotel in Vegas is a master. In my next life I would love to make a living doing this! 🙂
7. Teach a Family Member
There is nothing more gratifying than teaching a loved one to play the piano. Pass on more than just your genes and give the gift of piano to someone you hold dear. It doesn’t need to be formal… and they don’t need to be your star student… but spending some bonding time on the bench just can’t be beat!
What’s on your Piano Teaching Bucket List? Comment below to share your absolute “must-do’s”.