Perhaps the most important factor leading to success and enjoyment with music is finding the right music teacher. While some teachers accept students of all ages and skill levels, others specialize in teaching either beginners or advanced students. Some focus on specific musical styles, and still others specialize in “niche” musical instruments like the banjo or ukulele.
Here are three easy steps to help you find the perfect music teacher:
- What are my goals in learning to play music? Do I want to perform, audition for shows, play at an open mic night, play for family, or just explore music for myself?
- What kind of music (style, songs, genre, artists, instruments) do I love the most?
- What is my budget? Most quality music teachers charge between $20 and $35 for a 30-minute private lesson.
- How much time can I spend practicing? An hour daily? A couple of hours weekly?
- Use the internet (Google, Yahoo, Bing!) to search for music teachers. Search phrases like “online music lessons”, “find music teacher,” “music instructors”, “private music lessons”, or “private music tutor” yield a wealth of information and relevant results. Substitute your instrument of choice for “music” in these phrases to get more focused results.
- Post questions to your social media network— this is a great way to ask friends and family for recommendations based on their experiences.
- Look for online forums or listings that allow you to pose questions to teachers. Many useful forums function like online 'communities' that allow contributors and posters to rate responses, provide feedback and start discussion threads. Teachers with high ratings and good reviews from would most likely be good choices!
- Find teachers who offer free trial lessons. Most online teachers offer trial lessons to help students get a preview of their teaching style and also to familiarize themselves with prospective students.
- Take a trial lesson from 2 or 3 teachers with varying styles.
After each trial lesson, ask yourself:
- Was I energized and excited about music and learning?
- Does the teacher know and love the same music as me?
- Did the teacher listen to me and understand my goals and objectives?
- Did the teacher clearly communicate to me his/her expectations?
Great teachers guide and inspire, and using a structured process to find the right teacher will help get you off to a great start. Know your goals, search online and read blogs, forums, listings and articles, and finally, take trial lessons with at least 2 or 3 teachers.
Have you found a great teacher? We'd love to hear your story. We might even feature it on this blog!
Share your experiences in the comments section below.