FAQs & the Five "W's" Part 3: Why Do You Teach?
FAQs & the Five "W's"
Today, I'm continuing my new series of posts based around the Five "W" questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why). The specific questions are:
Every one of the above questions is important because they form not only the basis of my personal teaching philosophy, but they connect to some of the most frequently asked questions I get from both current and potential students. If you are a music teacher, asking yourself these questions can be a great starting point for developing your own philosophy and business model. If you're a music student seeking a new teacher, the Five W's are EXTREMELY important questions that you should ask every teacher you interview. You will learn more about that teacher's personality and vision than you could ever get from a list of accomplishments or a resume or even another student referral (although all of those things are great as well). So without further ado, on to Part Three: Why Do You Teach?...
MY GUIDING PURPOSE
Why Do You Teach?
This is probably the most important question that a student could ask any potential teacher. The problem is that many musicians would never tell you that they'd rather be strictly a performer or artist, even if that is actually the case. So, the best thing to do is to ask this question and see how they respond.
As for myself, I teach full time. I consider music education to be my both profession and my calling, not some side-gig that I will do until I "hit the big-time" or "become a star." I am committed to my students 100% and while I do pursue other facets of my musicianship (like producing, recording, and performing), my experiences as such are a personal form of self-expression, and they will always be a support to my actual profession - which is teaching.
The short answer to the question, "Why do I teach?" is that I LOVE it. I love seeing students succeed. I love helping them. And I'm quite good at being a musical coach. I also see teaching as a form of collaboration, which is one the most enjoyable forms of making music. Creating music and even individual piano practice can be quite isolating, and that's alright. It's part of the deal; but making music with other people has a compounding affect to the results I achieve, and it balances out the more isolating part of recording and producing. It's the same reason why I encourage my students to participate in shared lessons and start their own collaborations.