Festival of Entrepreneurship

I am really excited to have been invited to speak at the Festival of Entrepreneurship, alongside two former UoE alumni, to be held on Thursday 16 September at the Innovation Centre.

The topic of the session that I will be involved explores the question “Could I be an entrepreneur?”, with the session itself being called a “Fireside chat with some of our entrepreneurial alumni.” Areas we will explore are as follows: what does it take to become an entrepreneur? How do you turn an idea a viable business? What advice do they have for those of you considering an entrepreneurial path? What lessons have they learnt along the way? More information about the event can be found here.

On the music teaching business front, in recent weeks we have seen a upsurge in the numbers of enquiries coming in – likely due to the easing of lockdown restrictions and the growing confidence of the population that things are returning to somewhat of a new normal. We have seen significant numbers of new teachers joining the platform, both here in the UK where Emili Segulja has joined the Piano Lessons Edinburgh teaching team and abroad where Amanda Pang has join the Violin Lessons Redmond teaching hub based in Washington state, USA.

I spoke with Amanda to find out what inspired to her to start teaching music, as I always find it so interesting to hear what called students to teach. Amanda explained that “My teaching journey began almost as early as when I started. During elementary school orchestra, I was asked by teachers to help tune instruments and lead sectionals. It was also during this time that I ended up picking up the violin quickly as well, despite the clef change. I found fulfillment in helping my peers, and soon enough by middle school, I had my first student and first TA orchestra position.” I can certainly relate to that, often people just start asking you to do a role – helping out someone and then people become to know you for being that person that can help with that thing. All of which leads to it becoming a job role in itself.

Even so, each profession has its challenges – I asked Amanda what she had found challenging as a music teacher. She shared with me that “one of the hardest challenges I’ve found is teaching unwilling students, particularly children who were forced to play an instrument. In most of these cases, I’ve learned that it helps to dedicate a lesson to communicate with the student on what they would really like to do, or what they think would be helpful to take from our lessons.” Motivation is such a key element of any aspect of learning. Interestingly, when I put the same question to Emili she highlighted quite a different aspect of music teaching that has been a challenge: “I would say the most challenging thing is to find the best way to explain different concepts to every student while keeping the lessons interesting. We are all different and learn in different ways and at a different pace. It can be difficult to find what works for every individual student but it is exactly that which, when discovered, makes the lessons successful.” It is always so interesting to hear the thoughts of the teachers on aspects of their teaching like this, as well as continue to develop and grow as teachers.

Posted under Music Teachers

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on September 12, 2021

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