[1.III.16.1] Types of Teachers

Teaching piano is a difficult profession because practically everything you try to do contradicts something else that should be done. If you teach reading, the student may end up unable to memorize. If you teach slow, accurate play, the student may not acquire sufficient technique in any reasonable amount of time. If you push them too fast, they may forget all about relaxation. If you concentrate on technique, the student might lose track of musical playing. You need to devise a system that successfully navigates through all these types of contradictory requirements and still satisfies the individual wishes and needs of each student. There was no standard text book until this book was written, and starting teachers had to invent their own teaching systems with very little guidance. Teaching piano is a Herculean task that is not for the faint of heart.

Historically, teachers generally fell into at least three categories: teachers for beginners, intermediate students, and advanced students. The most successful approach involved a group of teachers composed of all three categories; the teachers were coordinated in such a way that their teachings were mutually compatible, and the appropriate students were passed on to the appropriate teachers. Without such coordination, many teachers of advanced students often refused to take students from certain teachers because the latter "do not teach the proper fundamentals". This should not happen if the fundamentals are standardized. The last thing an advanced teacher wanted was a student who was initially taught all the "wrong" methods. Thus, standardization using a textbook, such as this one, will solve such problems.