Choosing the right music teacher for you or your child is an integral part of successful music lessons. It can be difficult to know what to look for and expect when finding a teacher, especially if you’ve never taken music lessons before. We've put together some tips to help new students find the right music teacher.
What teaching style best fits you?
Each teacher has a unique teaching style that incorporates their own techniques and personality. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to gauge what kind of teacher is right for you:
What personal qualities are important to me and does the teacher have them? (For example, energetic, positive, demanding, open, etc.)
Can I talk comfortably with this person and do I feel able to ask questions?
Does this person seem to be open to and accommodating of how I learn?
Does this person move at a pace that works for me and/or are they willing to adjust if necessary?
Does this person seem passionate and enthusiastic about what they are teaching?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
If you can’t tell right away how you (or your child) mesh with a teacher, don’t be afraid to ask them questions to help you asses the situation. Teachers should be willing to explain their techniques and objectives. Here are some examples of questions you can ask:
What is your professional and educational experience in music?
What is your teaching experience?
What age groups do you teach?
What instructional materials do you use?
How would you describe your teaching curriculum?
How much practice time do you require per day/week?
What do you generally expect of your students? Their parents?
Do you regularly evaluate student progress?
Do you encourage or expect students to perform in the school recitals?
Communication is one of the key elements to making a student/teacher relationship work. Teachers often welcome questions and feedback on both lessons and how practice time is going at home. Discussing these factors can make the difference between simply attending lessons and getting the most out of your lesson and practice time.