It’s undeniable that learning to play the piano offers plenty of benefits. And if you want your child’s learning experience to be exciting as well as effective, you have to look for a good piano teacher. After all, different instructors have different communication styles, learning techniques and genre preferences, all highly personal to them. So how can you tell which piano teacher is right for your little one?
1. Define your expectations.
Before you start looking for a piano instructor, first know exactly what you want in one. What do you want your child to attain through these lessons? What teacher qualifications and experience will be useful in accomplishing these goals? What additional qualifications may be helpful? What is your budget? How much scheduling flexibility do you need?
2. Ask for personal recommendations.
The parents of piano students can surely provide a lot of insight. Talk to friends, relatives, colleagues – anyone who may have an experience to share. On top of that, you can also approach local music stores and schools, which can usually provide expert recommendations. Just remember that while word-of-mouth can provide some quality prospects, kids learn in varied ways, so what works for one child may not necessarily work for another.
3. Do your homework.
After finding a good prospect, take time out to see him at work. Attending a recital of his students is a good idea because then, you see how he interacts with them. A piano teacher should provide encouragement to learners. Also pay attention to how the teacher deals with the parents. If you can’t go to a recital, at least talk to a few of the instructor’s students or their parents.
4. Interview your prospects.
You have to personally interview a prospective teacher so you can better decide whether he is a good fit for your child. During this meeting, ask him about his overall teaching philosophy, qualifications, teaching methods and expectations. Very importantly, make sure your child is present during this meeting so you can see how the two may get along. If there is no positive connection, learning can be extremely difficult. Worse, your child may give up on music altogether.
5. Compare prospective teachers.
Finally, don’t feel obliged to commit to a teacher just because you’ve used his time during the interview. In fact, it’s wise to interview at least two or three prospects, compare them and then pick the one you feel is best for your child. Even if your child has started taken lessons from someone, you can still decide to switch to another teacher, provided you do it with proper notice. A professional instructor will always understand.