Are you considering private music lessons and want to find the best music teacher for your child or yourself? Or maybe you have already begun the private music lessons experience and are wondering how to ensure that this is a positive experience. This is an important consideration since the study of music requires a considerable commitment of your time and your financial resources.
This article is one in a series which offers workable guidelines to help to make your music lessons a positive and rewarding experience. Here, we learn how to find the best music teacher for you or your child.
Questions to Ask a Music Teacher
Before you speak with a prospective teacher, compile a list of questions that you would like to ask. These questions might address such things as the teacher’s experience, education, and teaching philosophy. A good teacher will be willing to take time with you to answer any questions that you may have.
Pay particular attention not only to the answers provided by the teacher, but also to the attitude and personality displayed by a teacher in answering your questions. Do you sense an attitude of patience, a sense of humor, a certain gentleness and self-confidence? These are all important attributes of a good teacher.
Of course the subject of payment must be addressed. Please remember that when choosing a teacher, you are not necessarily looking for the least expensive option. You often “get what you pay for”. Neither should you over pay. In general, look for a lesson price that will fit comfortably into your budget but avoid the “bargain”.
You also need to find out how the teacher wants to be paid—monthly, by the lesson, or some other arrangement. You should also ask whether a teacher requires signing a contract for a specified period of time. If a teacher requires the signing of a contract, you may want to request a “trial period” before making a long-term commitment. A reasonable teacher will agree to this request.
Meet The Teacher
You (and your child) should meet with the teacher before making your decision. Ask for a “sample” (not free) lesson. A good teacher will provide such a lesson with the understanding that there are no further obligations on either side.
If you are looking for a teacher for a child, you should remain with your child during this lesson. Take note of the interaction between your child and the teacher. You know your child better than anyone else. Is she (he) having a positive learning experience? Do the personalities seem to mesh?
This is also a good time to ask about the teacher’s policy about parental presence during lessons. Although (except for very young children) you need not be present at EVERY lesson, it is important that you have that option. You have the right to see what you are paying fo
Making Your Decision
Making your decision should be done in the privacy of your home with parents and the student taking part in the discussion. Carefully review all of the information that you have collected. This is an important decision and should be made in a relaxed atmosphere. Once you have made your decision, inform the teacher and set up a scheduled lesson time that you will be able to keep on a regular basis.
If you follow these guidelines, you will be greatly enhancing your music lessons experience by starting off with the best music teacher for you. Please look for the rest of the articles in this series.(Coming Soon) These articles will offer help with concerns such as choosing an instrument, maintaining an instrument, practicing, and lesson preparation.
When you find the best music teacher for you, remember to treat your teacher with respect. This includes practicing, paying on time and coming to your lessons with a cheerful cooperative attitude.