It’s been said that those who can’t do, teach. When it comes to music, I could not imagine a larger crock of crap. Teaching music requires that one can perform the skill at hand in demonstration, but also the ability to then articulate the salient points of technique and diagnose specific failures and a course of correction for each student.* Not all music teachers have this ability: in fact, there is another scandalous anecdote about great players not being great teachers. Perhaps the same genius who came up with the “those who can’t do” slogan penned that one, as well. I suppose my main frustration is with the way teachers are looked at in the scope of things. If we did not provide an essential service in the field of music, then we would never be employed. Yet, when we are called upon to teach, it is as if good string teachers are everywhere! Lurking behind shrubs, selling incense at Venice beach, loitering in front of that scary 7-11 on Cahuenga near Franklin. (I was not loitering. I was looking for my keys.) People constantly nickel and dime even established pedagogues, with the implication that their services could not possibly warrant the expense. Can you imagine trying to bargain with a heart surgeon? Would you go under the knife of someone who charges $2,000 O.B.O? Of course not. It’s life and death stuff, and you want it done well. Teaching music is not life and death. In fact, it is a luxury of sorts: but you want it done well. Ours is a boutique occupation; few people do it, and fewer still do it well. But those of us who are devoted to our students are owed the respect of any expert craftsman. We are in the business of honing minds and crafting art. In teaching, we are doing. So those who can teach, also do.
check out this take on teachers:
*if you are unable to demonstrate the techniques at hand, you have no business teaching music, and are only proving “those who can’t do, teach” right and stealing money from students. For shame.