May 17th 2020 finds The Curious Piano Teachers celebrating their fifth birthday. In part 1, we followed Sally and Sharon as they developed their idea; in part 2, we look back over the past five years of Curiousness.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
By early spring 2015, we were ready to start building an awareness of The Curious Piano Teachers onto the world! Although the website was still under construction, we took a small stand at the Music Education Expo at the Barbican. It was an exciting couple of days with lots of interest from piano teachers, many of whom signed up to our mailing list.
Behind the scenes, we both worked feverishly – there was much to learn about the software and applications needed! Sometimes it felt as though days would go past where we just went round in circles trying to figure something out. Still, little by little, step by step we inched forward and eventually we were ready.
BUILDING THE COMMUNITY
Opening the doors to members for the first time was both a thrilling and nerve-wracking time! Would the systems all work? What if nobody joined? How were we going to manage everything? What happened if we couldn’t deliver on our promises?
Our worries though were ill-founded and as soon as we opened our virtual doors, teachers started to join. Before long we had a growing community of teachers we knew and teachers we didn’t (yet), all rather curious about their teaching and what new thinking The Curious Piano Teachers could offer them.
It soon became apparent that people were joining because they were interested in the content, but staying because of the growing sense of community, friendship and support found in the Curiosity Lounge.
During 2015 The Community numbers multiplied, and by the end of the year, there were nearly two hundred Founding members, of which two-thirds are still members five years later.
Looking back over the last five years, there have been many high points, along with a couple of not-so-great moments.
We both loved Curious Live in February 2018. Two days spent in the company of Samantha Coates, Dr Christopher Fisher, Katherine Fisher and Dr Julie Knerr-Hague was huge fun as was meeting so many of our wonderful members in person. Curious Live was a training day for piano teachers like no other!
Sharon and I are never happier when we are throwing ideas around together and creating new courses or Curiosity Boxes. The Curious Online Diploma course is one example of the collaboration that goes on behind the scenes. Launched in 2017, it has helped piano teachers who want to improve their teaching gain an official qualification.
Identifying the Four Pillars of Piano Teaching helped us to create the 90-Day Teaching Challenge which was completed by over 30 piano teachers.
So, five years on, what does it mean to be a Curious Piano Teacher? They are:
Curious Piano Teachers learn as much as we teach.
THE CURIOUS PIANO TEACHERS – LOOKING AHEAD
Visualising next five years isn’t quite such a stretch of the imagination as it was in 2015. Piano teaching will continue, and The Community will still exist to support all those teachers who don’t want to work in isolation.
We hope you’ll continue to join us on our exploration and adventure!
Membership of The Community is still free for the first month. CLICK HERE to find out more.
This blog post was written by Dr Sally Cathcart, co-founder and Director of The Curious Piano Teachers.