Music Lessons- How to find a great teacher!

Music Lessons- How to find a great teacher!

 

It’s that time of year.  Music lessons for many students will begin in September.

Are you new to the world of  music lessons?  If you are then you will need to look carefully at how to find your music teacher.

It’s important that there is a “good fit” for the student, the parent,  and the teacher- especially since frequently the music lessons are one-on-one.  How can you make sure you’re making the right decision for your child?  There are many areas for you to research and to ask the perspective teacher. Music Lessons

1.  What are the teachers  qualifications?  In Canada you want to ensure they are a Registered Music Teacher and hold a diploma or degree in the instrument you are interested in learning – here is a link to the Ontario Registered Music Teachers website – http://www.ormta.org   In the US ask if the teacher is a Certified MTNA member.  The MTNA website offers great information for parents – http://www.mtna.org/parent-and-student-resources   You do not want to start lessons with someone who does not have these qualifications – I’ve seen far too often students that began their lessons with an unqualified, inexperienced teacher were we had many “mistakes” to correct at a more advanced level.  This could have easily been avoided by beginning with the right teacher and the right technique.  Reputable teachers welcome questions about their education and experience!

2.  Does the teacher submit students for evaluations and / or examinations?  This is extremely important because these evaluations / examinations are necessary for your child to assess how they are progressing.  It’s also important to know that the teacher is teaching to standards that are universally or at a minimum nationally recognized.

3.  Does the teacher have recitals?  Reputable teachers provide recitals as part of the musical growth of their students.

4.  Does the teacher take advantage of local music festivals?  This is also an excellent venue for student performances and again will give you more insight in to the teachers musical year.

5.  By asking questions and chatting with the teacher you will discover a bit about their personality and whether you and your child can work with the teacher.  This is so important!

6.  The teacher should encourage you and your child to meet him or her at their studio.  This is such an important step and should not be overlooked.  While you can learn a lot about the teacher over the phone, by physically meeting at the studio you will be able to see and learn a bit more about the teacher.  Does the studio have a nice piano?  Is it child friendly?  Does the teacher seem to have lots of material in the studio?  Is this a comfortable fit?

7.  Teachers that you talk to should be able to provide you with their policies and an outline of the musical year.  This is important because you want to have a clear understanding of what the teacher expects – everything from payment of tuition to parking to practicing expectations.

8.  Are you invited to the lessons?  Some parents like to be included in the learning process.  Some teachers will include the parent in the lesson, some prefer not having the parent attend.  You will want to confirm prior to beginning lessons what the studio policy is.

9.  Does your teacher use technology during the lesson?  Is the lesson at a studio or “online”?  There are amazing advances in technology over the last few years that can take the lessons so much further than you can imagine!

This is a large commitment for your child, you, and the teacher.  It’s crucial that you have a realistic view of what the commitment you and your child are making entails, and commit to include a daily practice schedule which is necessary to progress and learn any instrument.  Practice is the “biggie” and before lessons begin a time must be set aside daily to ensure success.

This will be a fantastic journey for you and your child and that little bit of research to find the “right teacher” will make this journey a success.

 

Happy learning!  Music lessons rock!

 

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