Congratulations! You've Made a Decision to take Music Lessons
Your Guide of Choosing the Best Piano Teacher
Congratulations! You've made a decision to take music lessons. Maybe you still have some hesitation, but if you are on this page, you already went quite far. The next step is to choose a good source of learning - to choose your teacher. That could be a really difficult decision, if you don't have friends or family members who can give you a good advice.
So, here you are in the ocean of thousands of advertisements, who are describing themselves as being the best, caring about students, talking about the quality of their lessons, etc. etc. How to choose the one that will serve your needs.
If you are a beginner it doesn't mean that you need to hire somebody who will be "couple books ahead" of you, lives around the corner, because it is more affordable and convenient. You want to learn correctly from the beginning, so you will not need to relearn in the future, which is a lot harder. If you are intermediate or advanced - no questions, that you need a professional teacher.
So, the first two questions that will normally come are - how much and how far. Though those two things are important, but they are not crucial. A lot more important is what you'll be able to learn from that particular teacher, and how to check if all of those wonderful things that describes the teacher are really true.
Honestly, it is not that easy, but it is possible to do.
1. Always ask about the Teacher's Degree - need be at least Bachelor. Certificates, awards, memberships and other kind of nominates are wonderful,but do not substitute formal education. Don't be confused by that.
2. The Degree should be in Performance and Pedagogy of the particular instrument that you choose to play. There are a lot of different types of Music Degrees, that are really good, but they serve different purposes. Teachers who are holding those degrees can not provide the service that you are looking for.
3. Ask about number of years of teaching experience. You want at least 5 years or more.
4. Don't choose the one that is the closest to you. It doesn't mean that you need to spend hours of driving, but use the famous advise, "Don't go to a dentist around the corner - go to a good one".
5. If you already have an instrument - wonderful. If not - do not buy it right a way, though many sites advise you to buy it first. There is a trick - if you've spent definite amount of money they expect you start taking lessons. Do it completely the opposite. Wait at least 4 to 6 weeks after starting lessons, make sure that you like them, you are going to continue, then go ahead and get you instrument. You will be learning maybe slower in the beginning, but you will not make an unnecessary investment which will be only taking space in your house.
6. If you are looking to buy an instrument ask your teacher advice.
7. Ask about performance activities that your teacher might provide for her/his students. You don't want to learn without an opportunity to perform publicly, even though you think, that you will never will.
8. If you are calling for the first time and asking those simple questions, you should be getting short and clear answers. If you feel that you are being held on the phone for too long, that they are trying to convince to come to them - be alarmed - it is the wrong place. Knowledgeable and experienced teachers will not do anything like that. They will simply answer your questions and let you make a decision.
9. Meet your teacher. Some teachers offers one free, no obligation lesson, some - several lesson with lower than regular fee. Take those opportunities - it will help you with the decision. Personal relationship is very important. You should be very comfortable with your teacher, then the learning process will be pleasant and productive.
I hope those advices will help you to make right decision, and you will start to enjoy playing your chosen instrument.
P.S. The very last thing: a high fee for lessons will not automatically mean high quality for the lessons.