How to choose a piano teacher

Finding a piano teacher should be done with great care, so that you or your child can have the best experience possible. Here are some great steps to get you started in finding the right teacher.

1. Take a look at what the teacher charges compared to other teachers in the area. if it is substantially less, there is usually a reason for this. With piano lessons, you often get what you pay for. A teacher charges what she/he thinks his/her skill level reflects. Choose a confident teacher with a fair fee. You are more likely to get a committed teacher that way.

2. Set up at least three interviews with different piano teachers. Any teacher who cares about giving your child a good education will want to meet with you prior to committing to lessons.

3. Ask questions. Some great questions to ask are:

a. What is your philosophy of teaching? The teacher’s philosophy should match or closely parallel what your expectations are for lessons.

b. What age do you think is best to start lessons, and what ages are you most comfortable teaching?

This is important, because many teachers specialize in teaching older students, or might not quite understand how to teach a young child. If the teacher says they are more comfortable starting children around age 8, don’t start your six-year-old with them.

c. What method do you use? The teacher’s response to this question can help you determine their flexibility in adapting to different learning styles.

d. What are your policies regarding payment, practicing, and lesson attendance?

e. What are your qualifications?

f. Can I hear you play? I am amazed that I have never had a student ask me this. It is important, I think, to have a teacher who can play well and who is willing to demonstrate his/her abilities. I often play at recitals so that my students can hear me play.

g. How long do you plan on teaching piano?

After you meet with a few different teachers, you should have a better idea of what you want and need. If you don’t feel great about  any of the teachers you have interviewed, continue to interview teachers until you find the right one for you and your family.

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