So your child (or yourself) is thinking about taking up a musical instrument. How do you find a teacher? Or, more important, how do you find one who is going to best meet your child’s needs and learning style? Our family used a couple of different ways to find music teachers. Some ways are better than others, as we soon found out. I hope that in this article you will find out that the best way to find a teacher is NOT to pick up the phone, call the nearest music store, and take the first teacher on their list. Actually, we HAVE done that, and it worked out just fine. But, in my opinion, it’s still not the best way to find a teacher.
What makes me an expert on choosing a music teacher? Our family has played a variety of musical instruments over the past 30 years. We found out that all 3 of our children are considered musically gifted and have either taught others or played on a professional basis. That means we have utilized many teachers over the years. From our experiences and talking to other musicians I have found out that it’s very important to take great care and thought when choosing a teacher, especially for a beginning musician. Choosing a suitable teacher can make the difference between taking a few lessons, becoming discouraged, quitting and leaving you stuck with an expensive instrument; or playing an instrument for a lifetime.
Many people choose a teacher the way they would pick up a loaf of bread from the store-grab the first one they see that happens to be reasonably priced. Others treat choosing a teacher the way they would buy a big ticket item, and boy in my case did music lessons turn out to be big ticket! I would first go to local music stores and ask for names and numbers of teachers of whatever instrument your child has chosen. Contacting local high school and college music departments is also a good way to find a music teacher. Also, start putting the word out to everyone you know that you are looking for someone qualified who gives music lessons on your child’s chosen instrument. Ask them why they felt they were qualified, and were they pleased with the teacher. Usually, people will give you lots of feedback about a particular teacher.
In Part II of Choosing a Music Teacher for Your Child, I will discuss some of the questions to ask teachers and get into what makes a good music teacher/student match. Stay tuned!
Source: Personal Experience