Anxiety About Teaching
Does anyone get nervous or anxious giving a piano lesson? If so, has it been worse or better online vs in-person?
Leeanne I., Australia
I definitely get nervous playing for people at the FIS. Sometimes I do when teaching something that I haven’t taught before. I think I am less nervous online than I am in person.
The more you teach the less nervous you will become. Neil says to just trust the content of the program. You will be fine 🙂
Joanne D., Australia
I have taught SM for nearly 10yrs and my anxieties have come and gone over this time when playing in front of families and in
other situations including church. For me it is more to do with me being hard on myself and expecting perfection (impossible I know!) and the funny thing is I give out the advice often to students to be kind to themselves but often don’t listen to my own advice. As I am learning to accept myself more and be ok with not getting it all perfect, I am gradually relaxing more when demonstrating, enjoying the music more, and can laugh out loud when I get it wrong. I am a work in progress and it is a lifelong endeavour. In saying all that I find online lessons more relaxing but I do most of my lessons in person 😊
Senya B., California
I was when I first started teaching, However… then I started noticing my students feelings. So maybe this will help… Ask yourself this:
What do your students want from you? Are you providing that? Take the pressure off of yourself, and look to the student for guidance. We as teachers are students also. Take the approach that you want to learn from them, get to know them a little better. Although we have the most amazing, strategic, methodical piano lessons in the world ❤️😀. We are humans and your students will have unique fears and also unique goals in mind. take time to find out what those are in each person. ❤️. It will help you to understand them and will give you clarity on what to provide to them individually within the piano method, and on a personal level as well! They all need a big smile right now, and we are all in this together! Don’t be afraid to share your feelings. They need to know you are human too!
It is common for us to be so worried about providing a perfect lesson that we forget that the student is nervous a lot of the time. I have noticed students might be holding their breath or hands are shaking or whatever it might be, so once I started shifting the focus I was better able to relate and identify with each student. I don’t have nervous students anymore either, when I relaxed they also relaxed. Neil has provided an amazing program so lean on that as a teacher 🙂 and give your students you as a coach. You will be amazing! Just the fact that you were willing to share this in itself will be a big turning point for you 🙂
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
Honestly I think that when a teacher makes a mistake it eases student anxieties a bit. They realize something….you are human!
We can also choose to view it as an opportunity to model for students how to handle mistakes, i.e. pick it right back up wherever you can and keep going. If you stop and start all over and make faces and give apologies, a student might get the message that it’s not ok, or even bad, to make mistakes. If you keep going (this in itself is a skill!) then you communicate, ‘No big whoop, just little hiccup, I’ll just keep on going”.
Original discussion started May 1, 2020