Are you looking for a music teacher for your child and don’t know where to start? Of perhaps you are moving and you need to find a new music teacher for your child at a new place?
Here are some tips that may guide you in the process
- If your child is currently in lessons, always start with your current teacher. Have your current teacher help you and give feedback in the search process.
- The best way to find out about a prospective teacher is to observe a lesson. Actions speak louder than words. Ask if the teacher allows new parents to observe their studio.
- As anything else, word of mouth is always best. See if you may find somebody to recommend a teacher for your child.
Questions to Ask Prospective Music Teachers
- How many students are you currently teaching?
- What age group do you feel most comfortable with?
- I there anything specific we need to know about your teaching or expectations?
- Are your students participating in recitals, group classes, or in youth symphonies?
- At what age they start beginning students (it will give you a clue on the student age they are used to working with)
- What methods do you use?
- Share concerns and struggles you have had up to this point ( reading, practicing, motivation, etc) Ask what the teacher’s take on it is and if they have ideas about it.
Try to talk to the perspective teachers in person/on the phone. As the conversation develops you will be given enough clues on how the dynamics between the two is be working. Sometimes a good match is simply a matter of a personal connection between a parent, teacher and student. A great teacher for a certain student may not be so good for others. Seeing a person or talking on the phone will give you a better feel on that teacher as opposed to communicating through email.
Interview the Teacher
If you have already been taking lesson for awhile then you already have an idea of how you would like your lessons to look like. You know what has worked best for your child in the past. You also know what things you may want to see different in order to help your child better. At this point you would be in a position to interview different teachers and see which one will fit your child’s needs best. Don’t settle for less!
You on the Spot
It is better to wait longer and find a good match rather than jump into a negative situation. Your child will do better if they skip lessons for a few weeks. It will be much more stressful for them to switch teachers multiple times.
Look for hesitation in the answers. Answers such as…
Well…I kinda do Suzuki method but I also do a bit of other methods
I teach different things, etc… may be be indicating a teacher who is not quite experienced
Look for hesitation in the teaching schedule.
“I do lessons but when I am busy with finals I need to stop”. I travel most of the time…..
Be afraid of no rules or expectations
Experienced teachers will have set price lists, make up policies and/or practice expectations. Many may give you a parent contract or a studio policy to read before starting lessons. Be careful if the teacher seems to be “fine with anything”.
You are your child’s primary teacher with everything you model for them. Enjoy your time together and they will too with whatever choices you make!