Online Diploma preparation – 10 FAQ

Lots of you have been in touch with some really good questions about our online diploma course that will help you to prepare for the ATCL or DipABRSM in piano teaching.

piano teaching diploma course

Here are 10 Frequently Asked Questions – and if you have other questions you’d like to ask us, just drop us an email at

In case you’ve missed them, there are 2 more blog posts that relate to our online piano teaching diploma course. Click the links below to read more.

Blog post: Are you ready to prepare for a piano teaching diploma? click here to read more

Blog post: Is it worth getting a piano teaching diploma? click here to read more


How many hours of study each week?
Our current students reckon on putting aside at least 4-5 hours each week, allowing more time when assignments are due. Before applying think carefully whether you can find this amount of time in your life! Our advice is to schedule your study time into your timetable for the week/month/year. What gets scheduled usually gets done!


Do I have to choose between DipABRSM and ATCL before I start?
Whilst we recommend deciding before you start it’s not essential. The first four modules are common to both diplomas and prepare you equally as well. Our advice however is to make the decision ASAP, preferably before starting the course.


Do I have to have Grade 8 practical and Grade 6 theory (for the DipABRSM) before starting the course?
Yes! To be teaching at the required standard for both diplomas you really need to playing confidently at a post-Grade 8 level. To be tackling either a practical exam or the theory requirement alongside coursework is an additional pressure both on your time and your emotions and family life. Our advice is to have some lessons and develop your playing skills if you haven’t yet acheived the required level. There’s always next year!


Why do I have to have at least 3 pupils?
This is not a course for someone who is completely new to teaching and starting from scratch. You already need to have at least a year’s teaching experience and several pupils. The more pupils you have, the wider the diversity and the range of teaching skills you will have explored.


Can I do the diplomas if I don’t live in UK?
Yes, both the DipABRSM and ATCL can be taken across the world anywhere that hosts diploma exams. This year one of our pilot students is based in Australia. You will be responsible for entering yourself for the actual diploma exam and our advice is to research where your closest centre is.


Is the cost of the diploma included in the course cost?
No, you will be making and submitting the actual diploma entry. This will include paying the relevant fee.


Will I get access to the other online materials provided by The Curious Piano Teachers?
Yes, for the duration of the course you will be a member of The Community, our online membership site. This means you will have access to all the curiosity boxes and be invited to be in the vibrant and supportive Curiosity Lounge. Our advice is to take full advantage of the fabulous teaching questions and discussions that happen in the Curiosity Lounge.


Help! I can’t make the webinar, which allows me to find out lots more about this online course, because of prior commitments.
That’s not a problem. All you have to do is click here to register for the webinar next week and then you will be sent a recording of the replay that you can watch at your leisure. Our advice is to click on this link to register straight away.


Do you accept everyone on the course?
No, not necessarily. We want to make sure that the diploma preparation course is right for you at this time. Recording a lesson and submitting a short piece of written work will give us the ability to do this. Our advice is to get your application in as soon as possible – especially if you are interested in the Guided Study option.


Will you be running the course again next year or offering other diplomas such as the LLCM, LTCL or LRSM?
We will certainly be running the DipABRSM and ATCL course again starting in September 2018. Applications for it will be open from May 2018. We are considering piloting Licentiate level preparation courses. Our advice is that if you are interested  please email us at


Register for the webinar (scheduled for Friday 2 June at 11am BST) where we will give you a detailed overview of the Online Piano Teaching Diploma Course.


This blog post was written by Dr Sally Cathcart | Co-Founder of The Curious Piano Teachers

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