‘Back to School’

With schools going back and teaching beginning again in full force, we’re excitedly preparing for the first day with our new 2019-20 students at the end of September.

Find out what we have asked them to prepare before embarking on the PTC!

I’m so looking forward to going back to the PTC. It’s like Musical Disneyland. Everyone goes around with smiles on their faces because they love the piano so much.

– Former PTC Student returning in 2019-20 for the PTC Teaching DipABRSM Course

Over the course of the year, we focus on the two main aspects of teaching the piano: the teaching itself, and developing our skills as pianists and performers. This might seem a daunting prospect to anyone for whom the last time they performed was doing their Grade 8 exam 20 years ago, but take a leaf from William Westney’s book, ‘The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to trust your musical self‘, and mistakes won’t seem so bad.

This is on the essential reading list. The other book PTC students must read is Paul Harris’s ‘Improve your Teaching: An Essential Handbook for Instrumental and Singing Teachers‘. This book offers practical strategies and valuable advice, helping teachers to implement and achieve Paul’s ‘Simultaneous Learning’ strategy with their pupils.

To brush up on their theory, we ask students to complete a Grade 5 theory paper, which they will bring along to the induction day on 28th September and have the opportunity to ask questions about.

Finally, perhaps the most important element of the pre-course preparation is the playing: we ask students to review keys, chords and cadences, and how they relate to one another. This work will become almost immediately useful when attending course days, as each morning begins with a ‘Sing, then Play’ session where an understanding of these elements will come in very handy and allow you build on your knowledge, and to take the teaching away with you and try it out in your own lessons!

Read about a PTC 2017-18 student’s lasting benefits of these sessions and opportunity to put her skills into action…

I wanted to convey my thanks for the invaluable input last year on the PTC… I have decided to have a go at playing some music at a birthday lunch on Sunday… a first for me!!

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling significantly nervous. But if it wasn’t for the PTC I probably wouldn’t even have contemplated it. Some tunes I’ll be playing by ear, and the Course really helped in working out chord progressions, improvising, etc… a mixture of classical (with music!), some show songs (Les Mis, etc) and 30s/40s songs will be on the agenda!

– PTC 2017-18 Student

PTC 2019-20

Places are still available if you would like to join our thriving community of piano teachers at the PTC UK this month! The induction day will be held on Saturday 28th September at the Purcell School of Music, and the course runs until June 2020. More information

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