When it comes to finding a music teacher, we simply look for convenient factors such as the cost of the lessons and the distance we need to travel. We are all busy, under a budget and it makes complete sense to consider these options. However, there are three huge mistakes to avoid when choosing a music teacher. Being smart with this will either turn your time and money investment into a lifelong skill or into a frustrating pile of learned bad habits.
1. NOT CHECKING YOUR POTENTIAL TEACHER’S QUALIFICATIONS
We don’t go to a doctor who doesn’t have a diploma, then why go to a teacher without a diploma? You may think the two are not comparable since their vitality is at a different scale. However, think of music as your soul’s medicine and the music teacher as your soul’s doctor. That may make you see things a bit differently. Consider asking your teacher’s background before your first private lesson.
2. NOT TALKING WITH YOUR POTENTIAL TEACHER’S STUDENTS
Besides the diploma, the teacher’s success with his/her students are also something to consider looking at. This will show how dedicated or successful he/she may potentially be with you. If you can, ask your potential teacher if you could observe a couple lessons. You may also chat with the student after the lesson and ask questions about the personality of the teacher, how he/she plans the year, what approach he/she is taking, if there are student recitals involved, if the students have won any awards etc.
3. NOT TESTING FOR GOOD CHEMISTRY WITH THE TEACHER
Do people who speak too slow tick you off? Do you hate getting lessons from someone who takes too long to get to the point? Are there other pet peeves you can’t stand in a person? Then you may want to ask your teacher for either one paid trial lesson or a set of maybe 4 lessons to try out to see if you like to continue having music lessons. Be kind if you decide not to continue with the teacher as you don’t want to hurt their feelings. If the chemistry doesn’t match, it is not the fault of the teacher; it is just that you two don’t hit it off well. You may say something such as “I am not willing to commit at the moment due to this reason (…)”.
Whether you are searching for a teacher for yourself or your child, carefully considering these steps will be an important key in your progress during your music lessons. Don’t give up on finding the right teacher for yourself. Music is your soul’s medicine after all!