I’ve always been interested in the concept of motivation. What actually motivates us to do what we do and in particular, what motivations are there to continually improve our teaching?
Do you participate in professional development? Do you spend some of your precious free time reading blogs, participating in facebook groups or listening to podcasts like this one? What motivates you to continue your own education?
Personally, I think that trying out new ideas and continuing to learn as we teach is what makes our profession exciting. When we are trying out fresh approaches to teaching (even if they don’t always work out!), it makes us better teachers.
Apart from lessons being more interesting for students because of the greater variety in their lessons; lessons become more stimulating for students because we’re excited. When you’re enthusiastic as a teacher, your students are much more likely to feel that enthusiasm too.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- Why I think teachers should always be learning
- How to implement new ideas in a way that isn’t overwhelming
- Some different opportunities for professional development
- How to not become complacent in your piano teaching
Items mentioned in this podcast:
- Teaching Pop Piano Course
- What is the legal minimum requirement for piano teachers’ professional development?
- 5 Steps to Avoiding a Piano Teaching Rut
- The Blessing of Professional Development “Tithing”
- Think about why you listen to this podcast and what you want to get out of it
- Take one idea from any recent podcast and try it out with one student this week
Thank You for Tuning In!
There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine.
Being a full-time teacher myself, I know how busy teachers are and how much time, effort and passion we put into our students. Sometimes, the last thing we want to do in our time off is listen to more piano teaching stuff! So, well done for using this time for self-improvement.
Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run. Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons.
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So, what motivates you?
What drives you to move forward? Is it trying to stay ahead of the competition? Or a love of learning? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
I started this podcast thinking, Oh man, I don’t need any of this advice. I go to professional development meetings as a presenter nearly constantly. But then it got me thinking of how I could pay more attention to speakers and writer those areas of teaching that are outside of my usual comfort zone. Thanks for the kick in the pants Tim.
Hey Brad – thanks for sharing your thoughts. I get LOTS out of non-musical podcasts, so glad to hear your picked that up. Let us know if you find anything you’d like to recommend 🙂
Wow Tim great podcast. I was pleased it was 25mins in length, I was able to work my 5km run to exactly 5min kms. Motivation is hard to describe everyone has different motivating factors. When teaching children as teachers we need to provide some motivation for students to “practice” and keep playing. I recently read on a parenting website: “The only way to motivate is to stop trying to motivate. Instead, work towards inspiring your child. How do you do that? Be an inspiring person.” I really liked that concept.
Perhaps as teachers we could share what we’re learning when we do our own self development. This year I have been to the US, participated in a music & theatre improvisation work in New York, attended the Music Teacher’s Association of California Conference and explored NAMM (North American Musical Merchants Association) in Nashville. Throughout all these experiences I was able to take something back to my own teaching and explore with my students. I really believe this has encouraged motivation in my students.
I teach around 120 students a week in about 12 hours all in class lessons. I find the group piano experience to be an amazing way to keep kids motivated. From the first lesson I encourage practice and have motivational rewards. It’s amazing how much kids love coming to lessons when they’ve practiced.
My next PD experience will be in Hobart at the National Orff-Schulwerk Conference in January 2016 – that I can’t wait for it’s going to be lots of fun!!!
Cheers Paul – great to hear it. Even if readers can do one of those great conferences, that would be great. As you say, it’s just about getting out there and exploring ideas, networking and sharing, sharing, sharing. It’s how I’ve gone about everything that I do. The music and theatre improv course would’ve been interesting – have you been able to relate that back to music teaching?
The strongest motivation: turn the process of self-learning into personal researches. I recognized in my pedagogical biography 3 stages: 1. gathering of facts, 2. gathering of ideas,3. generation own ideas. Each of the stages has a starting point, but no end. The third stage increases self-esteem in the eyes of the teacher; and is not the strongest motivation?
I agree, Jazzman but I guess not everyone is confident to do that at the beginning but it’s one of the reasons that I’m working to build a community here where people can share their ideas freely and in a supportive environment. There are so many great things going on in piano studios around the world and I would love for this place to be the conduit for it 🙂