Prospective Teachers Observing Lessons
A piano teacher in my city has contacted me because he’s interested in teaching this method. He first called me a few weeks ago to ask about my experience as a teacher which is quite common but he called last week wanting to sit in on a class to see how the method is taught. Any thoughts on this? Should I let him sit in on a class? Since I have children, I could do a mock class for him. Is this advisable?
Robin Keehn, Washington
Have him call me first so I can give him a clear picture and as much information as possible before he watches you teach. I think it is great for prospective teachers to have as much information as possible before they make their decision. Call me if you want to discuss this at all.
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
I was initially thinking, “why not?”, but after reading Robin’s response I thought more about it. So many people have a picture in their minds of what to expect and will automatically doubt the validity of the program when it doesn’t match up at all with their expectations. My husband recently encountered someone he didn’t know who happened to mention she was a piano teacher, so he started a conversation about Simply Music. She said (apparently with some disgust), “Oh, that’s where they use tricks and pictures”. Someone unfamiliar with the bigger picture may look at one aspect they don’t understand, and make big assumptions based on their very limited exposure. So, I would make sure that before someone observed a class, they had that conversation with Robin, or with you if you are comfortable with the big SM picture, about what the first phase in the curriculum is all about and where it is headed later on.
Ethel S., Arizona
I did have a music teacher (one that I considered a potential SM recruit) contact me after hearing one of our students play. She wanted to observe a class because she thought that she might have a student to refer to us. After talking to her about the SM program and sending her to a website, we let her observe a workshop class. She came to 2 or 3 weeks of the workshop with her student (who paid and attended the entire 6 wk workshop) and just loved everything that SM has to offer. She hasn’t signed up as a SM teacher yet, but she did read my copy of Bernie’s book and she is very interested in teaching SM in the future. I think that she would sign up now, but her family is having some financial difficulties.
Terah W., Kansas
My mentor into SM was the one who called me every 2-3 weeks after my first exposure to SM at a Homeschool Conference and would ask if I had any questions, had I looked at the Website etc. I couldn’t see what was in it for him…but I couldn’t get past his genuine care and enthusiasm. Already I was seeing the family-appeal of SM, the open sharing of the music which has been my heart forever….
Then he invited me to see a class. I was pretty informed by then. I knew about the parent being in class, the fact that kids were playing with both hands in the first few lessons (did I believe it? I’m not sure!!) I knew this teacher wasn’t worried about competing for students with anyone. SM was already proving itself to folks and he just wanted everyone to know.
So, I went to the lesson. And when that tiny little 9-yr old girl crawled up on the bench and play Jackson and Fur Elise, I just about fell over. All thru the lesson, this teacher would turn and share teacher stuff whilst teaching his students. It was all like…”oh, and look at this…it just makes so much sense”. Slow, steady, open, friendly–not secretive at all. He probably knew I was ‘goin’ down’ before I did:) I kind of look back on that as my own personal Teacher/FIS–I was on an Info hunt and being kindly led and given time to think about the info as I gathered it.
All this being said, I really like the calling Robin idea. That’s just plain smart.) Under the auspices (and truly) of feeding accurate info to an interested teacher, prep him well and then show him the magic. Obviously, he is honestly interested in engaging in conversation and seeing the whole thing up close. I thought his was a pretty good template…Oh, and btw! My teacher-mentor was Ray Nelson! Simply Music—and this teacher body– really is Just Great Stuff!