For me, teaching the Harp has always been an essential part of my career. I have always said that if I could not play the Harp for any reason I would then become a teacher.
When I was at Music College, I had the opportunity to gain an LTCL, which is a qualification for individual teaching. This allowed me to start teaching straight away and I gained a lot of experience in just two years. I observed other teachers, wider opportunities classes, workshops at an SEN School and lots more. I was also teaching a good friend of mine.
Less than a year after graduating I got a job with Hertfordshire Music Service, teaching the Harp at Watford School of Music. I am still teaching there now, 7 years later. I am also teaching at a couple of different schools in Hemel Hempstead and privately, which involves teaching from home and in people’s houses in the surrounding areas. I have taught at a number of other schools; Bedford School, Tring Park Performing Arts School, St. George’s Windsor Castle, etc.
I teach people of all ages, my students range from six to eighty years old. No two students are the same, in how they want to learn, how they are best taught, and what repertoire they choose. Some students are shy, some most certainly not. I also really enjoy getting to know my students individually, I think it’s important to talk about other hobbies that they might have. For example, I teach a 10 year old boy who enjoys gaming and a 63 year old woman who enjoys archery and pilates.
Teaching is incredibly rewarding, but can also be hard work. Emotionally and mentally, especially. When my students come to their lessons prepared, when you notice improvement in their playing every single week, it is very encouraging. This is not always the case however, lives get busy, exams are looming, holidays happen. But I am very understanding in these cases, especially if I know how much that particular student LOVES to play the Harp.
I would really like to go into my teaching techniques, but this subject deserves a blog post of its own, so look out for it in the future!
Thanks for reading and see you next time!