Do you ever feel like you’re not a “real” piano teacher? Like somehow you’re an imposter? Are you lacking in confidence in your teaching and your business?
This is certainly how I felt for the first 10 or so years of my teaching. I mean, who was I to teach this stuff? It hadn’t come naturally to me and I was far from an amazing performer.
Turns out I now see this as one of my superpowers. Yes, a lack of natural ability is a superpower – because I can actually understand what my students are going through when they’re struggling.
You might feel imposter syndrome for a complete different set of reasons. But there are a few things that are important to know if you’re going to overcome it, not matter where it stems from.
Know that You’re not Alone
I hear from piano teachers with some version of imposter syndrome ALL. THE. TIME.
I think there are several reasons why this is so prevalent in our profession:
- It is often not considered by the others in the community as a profession.
- Many piano teachers came to this career from a mixed background, not necessarily from a specific piano pedagogy degree.
- Part of learning an instrument involves constantly pushing for better and (let’s face it) being hard on ourselves. We’re never good enough – so how can we feel good enough to teach others?
Another big factor is our isolation. People in many professions actually feel this way starting out, but they get into the industry, they work with colleagues and they come to realise that they fit right in.
Most piano teachers exist in their own little insecure bubbles.
They don’t know how many teachers are just like them. How many also have no degree, or always struggled with their own technique, or are still terrified of sight-reading/playing by ear/***insert skill here***.
I wouldn’t have known this either if I hadn’t started blogging and connecting with so many teachers online.
The first time you reach out can be scary. If you already feel like an imposter, it can be really hard to make that move.
But I truly promise it will be worth it.
If you’ve never connected with any other teachers, I highly encourage you to go post in my Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook right now. We’re the kindest most supportive bunch around so let us know what’s troubling you and we’ll help you out.
If you already connect online, then I want you to take the next step and attend an in-person event.
Yes, yes, even scarier. I know.
Despite how intimidating it can feel to walk into a room full of “pros” when you feel like a fake, I 100% assure you that at least one other person in that room feels just like you do.
Instead of worrying about being found out yourself, just focus on learning and listening.
(And if anyone is rude to you then let me know and I’ll fly over there and have a chat with them. 😉 )
There’s a balance to be struck here. What I don’t want is for you to feel like you haven’t learnt enough and you’re not a good enough teacher/pianist/person yet.
But part of becoming a really confident piano teacher is continuing to learn new things, no matter where you’re at or how long you’ve been teaching.
We need to see this as part of our profession – we should all be lifelong learners.
When you see continued learning as part of what makes you a great teacher, all that stuff you don’t know yet becomes exhilarating, not intimidating.
We’re all about lifelong learning and inspiration in the Vibrant Music Teaching community. Find out more here and see if membership might be right for you.
Are you a confident piano teacher?
Are you secure in your abilities or do you feel like an imposter?
Share your experiences in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers on Facebook or in the comments below.