Guest post by Rhiana Henderson
There are many courses, workshops, conferences and other events available of varying lengths and on a whole range of different topics for piano teachers. Afterwards though, how are we able to demonstrate to potential students and employers that we have invested valuable time and money into our own continuing professional development (CPD)? This is an extremely important consideration, and was highlighted to us by the first-hand experience of a Piano Teachers’ Course graduate:
I recently applied for a piano post in a school and they told me that they only shortlisted candidates with recent professional development. My time on the PTC definitely counted. It’s great to see that the PTC are now offering Continuing Professional Development in this competitive job market!
DG, PTC UK Student 2017-18
Keeping a Professional Portfolio is one of the most effective ways of utilising your collective CPD attendance and qualifications and keeping them all easily accessible if you need to demonstrate evidence of CPD. It can feature anything from formal qualifications (degrees, diplomas, certificates) to single-day workshops. Some employers will want to know how it has contributed to your professional development, and may ask for this so it’s useful to keep a record of everything you’ve done, perhaps with a short write-up afterwards of your experience, including something you already knew, something that was completely new to you, and something you plan to implement in your teaching right away. We all know how easy it can be to attend a workshop, feel inspired, then quickly lapse back into day-to-day life which is already hectic enough without considering additional planning or changes, but taking control of your professional development in this way can be extremely satisfying and rewarding! Not only is it useful to have a record of it, it can make your attendance at a particular CPD activity more worthwhile and the effects more long-lasting if you are able to see at a glance and remind yourself how you intend to incorporate new ideas, methods or resources into your teaching.
This is why, at the PTC UK, we strongly encourage students to take responsibility for their learning and development right from the beginning: before the course begins at the end of September, we send out pre-course preparation which includes some reading, playing, and theory revision. This means that, once our new students arrive, they are able to fully immerse themselves into the teaching and learning that takes place and already have (hopefully) already been able to align themselves to the ethos of the PTC, based on our four Guiding Principles! And did you know, your CertPTC, DipPTC or PTC Certificate of Professional Development is a fantastic addition to your professional portfolio? This shows employers that you are dedicated to advancing your knowledge and professional network, and gives you a whole host of practical skills to boot! The topic of Professional Portfolios is one close to our hearts, and PTC students are required to put together and present their own as an assignment submission during the year. The benefit is that, if they already had one, it is reviewed with expert advice and updated, and if they didn’t, it is now ready to go when needed!
Piano Teachers’ Course UK 2019-20
It’s not too late to get your Cert PTC in June 2020. A few spaces are left for enrolment this September – visit www.pianoteacherscourse.org for more information.
The Piano Teachers’ Course UK is now offering a series of online modules, full of invaluable teaching tips from the PTC Principal Tutors. You can also apply for a Certificate of Completion –which can be included in your Portfolio.
BRAND NEW for 2020
We will be offering a Teaching LRSM Coaching Course. Keep an eye out for updates and contact Lucinda (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rhiana (email@example.com) if you’d like to know more.
The Piano Teachers’ Course UK is specifically for pianists and piano teachers who wish to enhance their professional teaching skills, come together for inspiration and become part of a motivated, supportive and co-creative musical network. It is also the ideal pathway to boosting your new career as a piano teacher, equipping you with the skills and confidence to start growing your teaching practice immediately. Focused around the main course dates, the PTCUK offers a range of additional workshops and sessions for both PTC Alumni and any interested pianists, piano teachers and students. Tutored by Course Director Lucinda Mackworth-Young and her dynamic team of tutors at the top of their game, the PTCUK provides excellent preparation for all Piano Teaching Diplomas through exposure to the latest in piano teaching pedagogy.
Rhiana Henderson is Administrator of the Piano Teachers’ Course UK and a private piano teacher based in north London.