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Teacher's Lounge Pedagogy - the art or profession of teaching

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Old 02-14-2020, 09:41 AM   #11
EquusRacer
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Default Re: How do you know that you ready to teach?

Now it's my turn to echo what Andrew said! (He beat me to it). I agree somewhat where Calum was going, but would rephrase it to good fundamental instruction. My original instructor was an OK piper; he perhaps could have placed in what is now called Grade 3...maybe. However, he was meticulous in teaching me the fundamentals, played carefully and properly.

When I eventually stretched beyond his skill and went to another instructor (with his blessing), the first thing the new instructor said was, "You've been taught good fundamentals." That's not to say, however, that I haven't gotten sloppy, at times!
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:45 PM   #12
Pip01
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Default Re: How do you know that you ready to teach?







Greetings to All,

I have never put myself forward (and never shall) as
a piping instructor... but there have been a few times...
when someone has come up and asked me... to show
them... how they... can learn to play.

And at those times... I have taken them on... because
that's the way I learned... and I can think of no better
manner of paying forward on my debt... to those who
have helped me... than helping them to get a good start.

And depending on how it goes... I sense the time when
it is proper... to send them along to others... so that they
can be the more fully prepared for their journey.

Now please allow me to offer this following and personal
observation.

Having previously taught in other settings (military, medical,
maritime and educational), I have learned... that The Old
Saying... is True!... "You never know a subject half so well
until you've taught it."

And I have found that equally true... with helping people in
their... getting started... on the pipes.

And I must confess... it is a lovely thing... to see others that
one has helped... as they continue on... and continue upward...
with our Great Beast... and in our Great Waltz-About... :)

Regards to All,

Pip01








__________________
My friends all know,
With what a brave carouse...

Last edited by Pip01; 02-14-2020 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:09 AM   #13
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: How do you know that you ready to teach?

Some very valid points and good responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post

But since we're after a simple test, here's one proposal: if you can teach yourself to play a march, strathspey, reel, hornpipe, jig and piobaireachd from the dots and play it correctly and idiomatically on a well tuned instrument, then you should be able to teach.
That's a fair test. I suppose its how your proficiency is gauged. Most could people could get their way through the tunes but how effectively? And if its only your opinion of your playing then its not a very accurate test. I've hear lots of people able to tune a pipe but not be able to play competently and visa versa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EquusRacer View Post

There's a concept in therapy, called "Responsivity." It has to do with tailoring an approach that conceptually works for the client. If the client is not responding, it's the clinicians responsibility to adjust to find an approach that works. Same with teaching, to my mind.
I've heard Bob Worrall talk about this, there is a good video on piper persuasion with him touching on this topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
One the topic of "knowing limits" - I actually see it the other way round. I think expert instruction is most important at the beginning. I was lucky that I was always around good players and leaders but what made it easy for me was that my first teacher had given me technique that, broadly, I have never needed to change. All I had to do thereafter was shut up and listen.
Exactly.

I do believe that you don't have to be a gold medalist to teach, And as previously said sometimes the best players don't make the best teachers. BUT you should be competent.

Now how do people get to the point of feeling ready to teach?

Peoples perceptions of their own ability is often at different levels to say, that of a proper test or qualification. A quick search of 'bagpipe masters' on the choob will show you that.

So, should there be a standard qualification for teachers (maybe there already is?).

Would potential learners care? Should we as players care about competent instruction for learners?? Too many questions, my head hurts

I ask this for the betterment of the instrument and it's image as a whole.

Last edited by Mac an t-Sealgair; 02-15-2020 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:57 AM   #14
CalumII
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Default Re: How do you know that you ready to teach?

As far as the quality of teaching goes, I think we're better off than we've ever been - the Conservatoire is churning out fantastic players, and paid teaching positions are more and more being filled from the ranks of those with degree level qualifications. The teaching at places like the Conservatoire is incredibly well-informed and that carries over into the teaching their students do - it's really quite fascinating for those of who grew up on the Pipe-Major's certificate school of teaching to see these students at work and what they look for and try to draw out.



One thing I would like to see is more "masterclass" teaching, where we can observe top-flight teachers teaching students of all levels. Maybe some sort of project to film such lessons might be interesting.



Quote:
So, should there be a standard qualification for teachers (maybe there already is?).

Would potential learners care? Should we as players care about competent instruction for learners??

I think as a teacher your responsibility is a professional one, in the same way that a doctor or pharmacist has a duty not just to the person in front of them but to the wider community. Clearly the consequences of bad teaching are slightly less severe, but a bad teacher serves the piping community badly when they do a poor job of turning out a piper.



Learners themselves have of course no real idea what they're getting into, so they've no particular incentive to seek out the best instruction. Some happen to get good advice but it's down to luck and what their local scene looks like, in large part.



As far as qualifications go, I've said before I'm not a fan of the PDQB teaching qualification. It's better than nowt, but there's no pedagogical content or reflective practice, and the standard of piping required is not all that high.



Quote:
Most could people could get their way through the tunes but how effectively? And if its only your opinion of your playing then its not a very accurate test.

Absolutely, unless you're playing at a very high level in bands or solo competition you can't judge your own playing, but the thrust of my test is, essentially, do you actually know what idiomatic playing is, or do you rely on listening or instruction to work out how to play tunes correctly? And I think possessing a grasp of the idiom is really the key thing any prospective teacher needs: you need to know when your student is right or wrong. Figuring out *what's* wrong can be tricky, but if you can't tell you're in trouble already.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:50 AM   #15
EquusRacer
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Default Re: How do you know that you ready to teach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post

One thing I would like to see is more "masterclass" teaching, where we can observe top-flight teachers teaching students of all levels. Maybe some sort of project to film such lessons might be interesting.
That's an interesting idea, CalumII. Pretty much anyone who's been in grad school for anything related to psychology, especially therapy, watched many tapes (plus many of us were filmed and had to show them). One of the most famous was the "Gloria" tapes (I'm sure there was a more formal title). It was done in the 50s or 60s, I believe (her dress and chain-smoking was a good clue! ); but it was a client, named Gloria, taped in sessions with perhaps the most famous psychologists of that time (e.g., Rogers, Ellis, etc.). We watched how each--all very different in style--worked with Gloria over the same presentation (i.e., issues she was having).

As Calum is suggesting, a series of tapes of instructors, perhaps with the same student, showing their approach. Perhaps there are those out there, and I'm simply ignorant of their existence.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:55 PM   #16
johnsog
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Default Re: How do you know that you ready to teach?

I think a consideration for some is, what does the student expect to achieve? This may be the rare situation but I have worked with a couple of adults in the past who wanted to learn to play the pipes just for their own pleasure with no desire to join a band or perform in public, let alone compete. I did agree to work with them on that basis since I felt confident I would be able to give them the basics, then determine whether or not they were serious about taking up the pipes. Both worked on chanters for a while and eventually decided they didn't with to put in the time required to pursue piping further. I feel I am a moderately competent piper and am a teacher by profession but agree that anyone serious should seek a better instructor. That is tough to do in areas where there are no instructors around more many hours of driving.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:26 PM   #17
CalumII
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Default Re: How do you know that you ready to teach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsog View Post
a couple of adults in the past who wanted to learn to play the pipes just for their own pleasure with no desire to join a band or perform in public

In my experience that's a pretty typical description of the average adult learner - with piping culture being pretty non-visible to folks outside our world, what else would they want to do? I find it's important to make sure that you're not just teaching the instrument, but also the culture and encouraging them to seek out recordings, texts, etc so they start to feel part of the tradition and not just an operator of chanters.
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:30 PM   #18
EquusRacer
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Default Re: How do you know that you ready to teach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
In my experience that's a pretty typical description of the average adult learner - with piping culture being pretty non-visible to folks outside our world, what else would they want to do? I find it's important to make sure that you're not just teaching the instrument, but also the culture and encouraging them to seek out recordings, texts, etc so they start to feel part of the tradition and not just an operator of chanters.
I agree. While I feel the pipes (or at least chanter) is easy to learn, it's more difficult to master. Most of the adults we've had in lessons come to that realization; and that's where many of them throw in the towel (or chanter!). At least our band gets a few sets donated from those who were too hasty and bought pipes before ever taking their first lesson (something we certainly discourage).
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