Finding The Right Music Teacher For You
Finding the right music teacher for yourself is very important. Here's why:
- You are going to pay them!
- You are going to learn from them most of your music skills
- You are going to spend time with them every week
Here are some things you should look at when considering a music teacher:
Do they have a music degree? Do they have some formal training?
Teachers that took the time, discipline, and hard work to complete a music degree are more likely to be a better help for you. This does not mean that teachers without a music degree are of poor quality, but it is preferable that they do have a music degree or at least some formal training.
2. MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES
Can they read music? Can they play almost any song you name?
If you are just starting out, it will be difficult to evaluate your own teacher :) The least you can do is figure out if they can read music. To find out, just open your book to a song towards the back, one of the harder songs, and ask them to play it for you. Also, you can ask them to play songs for your from more advanced books.
You can also name 2-3 songs that are not in the book, songs you've heard and like. Can they play them for you?
3. MUSICAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Has the teacher played with a band/ensemble before? Has the teacher won some music competition? Have they won some music award?
4. OTHER STUDENTS
Try to meet some of the other students of this teacher.
Have any of them studied with this teacher for longer than 2-3 years? How about 4-5 years?
What ages are these students? Are there at least a few students your age?
Are they any good? What pieces are they playing? Are they excited about music lessons?
5. PEOPLE SKILLS
Does this teacher have good people skills? Do they have patience? Are they able to teach people of different ages? Can they deal with different learning styles? Are they friendly, yet firm?
How much do they charge for lessons? This is very important!
If the teacher charges too little, you probably want to stay away from them. You'll think you got a great deal, but will probably end up studying with a teacher that no one is hiring at their studio, so they charge less just to get enough students. It would be better for you to be self-taught than to study with a teacher that charges $5 an hour. The average rate in the US is around $15 per half hour. Half hour lessons are enough when you start out - do not sign up for hour-lessons.
Best of luck to you,