How To Find A Good Music Teacher – 5 Key Tips
Arguably the most important factor to consider when signing your child up for music lessons is ensuring that you choose the correct teacher, but how do you find a good music teacher and what are the signs of a GREAT music teacher?
In our search to find a good music teacher that keeps our children (or ourselves) interested, engaged and passionate about an instrument, finding the right music teacher can seem a little frustrating sometimes, and we don’t always find the right fit, first time.
However, as the difference between finding a good music teacher and a less attentive one can mean the difference between your child wanting to quit after a month and them eventually going on to be a professional at their chosen instrument, I think we can all agree that it’s a frustration worth working through!
So where do we start? How do we find a good music teacher? What questions should we be asking and what makes a great music teacher?
How To Find A Good Music Teacher – 5 Key Factors You Want To Look For
It is worth remembering that the music tutor you choose isn’t just somebody who will be dictating what your child should/shouldn’t be learning or how they should/shouldn’t be playing, they are going to be largely responsible for your child’s entrance into their lifelong musical journey.
A good music teacher is somebody who will be able to connect with your child on a personal level, someone who both you and your child will trust and be inspired by, to make the most out of your child’s musical learning experience.
There are a number of methods by which you can find the correct teacher for you and your child. Here we will look at some of the most common ways.
1. Word Of Mouth
Whilst searching through databases of local music teachers online, like MusicTeacher.com is always a great start, there is nothing quite like anecdotal evidence of a teacher’s achievements from somebody you know.
We recommend that you begin by asking your neighbours, friends, schoolteachers, and even family members if they have any recommendations for you.
You can follow these recommendations up with a quick web search, as many top teachers will have their own websites and social media presence, with videos and reviews to help you with your decision.
Once you have collated a shortlist of names, you can then contact the candidates for a chat, verify their credentials, or even attend local recitals/performances that they host to gain a feel for their preferred musical direction.
2. Ask About Introductory Lessons
Music lessons can be an expensive commitment, and nobody knows this more than the teachers themselves. However, it’s worth noting that experienced teachers will often offer an introductory lesson that won’t cost you a penny.
These introductory lessons are a great way of narrowing down your list of candidates, as they can help both your child and the teacher to gauge how well they interact with one another.
A good music teacher is not going to try and lock you in to a long term contract straight away!
3. Don’t Forget To Ask Questions
It’s almost as important for a teacher to ensure that the student is right for them, as it is for the student to pick the correct teacher.
To make sure that the situation is beneficial for all involved, we recommend that you consider using the introductory lesson to ask questions, no matter how insignificant you feel they may be.
With the right kind of questions, you will be able to gauge how the teacher will interact with your child, what their teaching ability is like, and even how enthusiastic they are about teaching.
Examples of what you could ask them could include:
- How long have you been teaching for?
- Do you provide regular progress reviews for your students?
- How frequently would you recommend a student to practice?
- Are students required to perform throughout the year?
- Do you teach any other instruments?
- What age range do you usually teach?
- What grades/levels do they teach?
- What do they expect of their students?
- What do they expect of parents?
- Do you provide group or private lessons?
Each of these questions can be used as an ice-breaker if nothing else, and will give you some insight into the teacher’s personality and overall experience levels.
But be Prepared To Answer Questions In Return!
A sign of a good music teacher and a great sign that the candidate in question is serious about teaching will be the kind of questions that they may ask you or even your child when you meet with them.
Amongst these questions you should expect to hear the following:
- How interested in music is your child?
- What type of music does your child like?
- How does your child perform in school?
- Do you have any immediate relatives with a musical background?
- Does your child have access to an appropriate instrument at home with which they can practice?
- Are you willing to invest the time and energy to help your child practice on a daily basis?
- Can your child focus on a subject for at least 20 minutes at a time?
And, finally, the following will usually be asked if your child isn’t an absolute beginner, and has had lessons previously:
- May I hear your child play their instrument?
Each of these questions are designed to give the tutor an idea of just how to approach teaching your child in the most effective way possible, and will allow them to tailor your child’s first lessons accordingly.
An attentive teacher is going to be a better option, everytime!
4. Do They Teach Any Other Instrument?
As mentioned above, one of the key “interview” questions you should always ask when meeting a potential music teacher for your child is whether or not they can and do teach any other instruments.
It is quite common for music students – especially children – to develop a love for learning to play music, but to realise that their chosen instrument isn’t the correct one for them.
When this happens, having an alternative option from a teacher that they are familiar and comfortable with may be the best choice going forward.
Switching in this way is more common than you may think, with many of the world’s biggest musical names beginning their musical journey one way, only to change their main instrument for whatever reason.
A key example of this would be Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who is widely regarded as one of the most prominent rock and funk bass players of the past four decades, but the bass wasn’t his first love.
Flea – real name Michael Peter Balzary – loved Jazz music from an early age and began learning to play the trumpet at the age of 11, but took up the bass guitar when in a band some years later.
Some teachers may be able to play multiple instruments, which is a great opportunity for your child to learn different musical instruments.
5. Are they Available And Within Your Budget?
You are now better prepared to select the correct music teacher for your child, but don’t forget to keep some other key factors in mind when trying to find a good music teacher. Of course, some other key factors may come into play when choosing the right tutor for your child including:
- The teacher’s availability
- Where the teacher is located
- How much much the lessons cost
Never forget that choosing the correct music teacher could have a positive effect on your child and their development for years to come, so be sure to do so wisely.
If you’re curious about prices, we’ve put together an article on how much music lessons cost – great to get an idea of the cost of private and group music lessons.
Match With Music Teachers Near You
By using MusicTeacher.com you have access to thousands of music teachers worldwide. This is an easy to navigate database that students and parents can use to find a music tutor by their location, almost anywhere in the world!
Students or parents simply search by location and instrument and they are presented with an array of different music tutors close to their location.
Over 54,000 music student inquiries and counting!
Are you a music teacher looking to gain more music students? MusicTeacher.com has generated over 54,000 student inquiries for music teachers since 2012.
This is one of the easiest ways to find the right music teacher for you.
If you’re a music teacher, it’s an incredible way to be seen by thousands of potential music students!
So sign up today and start reaching more music students!