Parent Tip: Choosing a Piano Teacher
Learning to play the piano offers many undeniable benefits. And if you want your child to have a learning experience that is both fun and exciting, you need to find a good teacher. Besides, instructors can have different techniques, communication styles and preferred genres – all very personal to the them. So how do you know which piano teacher is best for your child?
1. Define your expectations.
Before you go out and search for a piano instructor, first determine what you’re looking for in one. What do you and your child hope to achieve by taking lessons? What qualifications and level of teaching experience are going to help you accomplish such goals? Will there be any additional qualifications that could help you further? What is your budget? What kind of scheduling flexibility do you need?
2. Ask for personal recommendations.
The parents of piano students can surely provide a lot of insight. Talk to your friends or relatives or coworkers – anyone who may want to share their experience. On top of that, you can also approach local music stores and schools, which can usually provide expert recommendations. Just remember though that while word-of-mouth can give you some good prospects, children have different ways of learning, so a teacher who’s good for one isn’t automatically good for everyone.
3. Do a bit of homework.
After finding a good prospect, take time out to see him at work. Attend his students’ recital and focus on how he interacts with them. A piano teacher should provide encouragement to learners. Pay attention to the teacher’s interactions with the parents too. If you can’t go to a recital, at least talk to a few of the instructor’s students or their parents.
4. Interview prospects.
A personal interview with a prospective teacher is necessary, if only to see whether he is a good fit for your child. During this interview, make sure to ask about his approach to teaching, his qualifications, methods and expectations from students. Your child’s presence during this meeting is crucial as this will be your chance to see if they get along. If they don’t connect in a good way, learning can be an issue. Worse, your child may even lose his drive to learn music.
5. Compare teachers.
Lastly, don’t think you’re obliged to commit to a teacher simply because you’ve interviewed him. In fact, it’s good to talk to two or three prospects and then compare them before choosing the best. Even if your child has actually started lessons with someone, don’t hesitate to switch to another teacher as long as you give proper notice. A professional instructor will be professional enough to understand.
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