There’s no question about the benefits of learning to play the piano. And if you want your child to have a learning experience that is both fun and exciting, you need to find a good teacher. After all, instructors can use varying approaches and communication styles not to mention different genre preferences, all of which are very 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 and your child hope to achieve by taking lessons? What qualifications and level of teaching experience will help you reach these goals? What additional qualifications may be helpful? How much are you comfortable spending for the lessons? What kind of scheduling flexibility do you need?
2. Ask for 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. Besides that, local music stores and schools can also be willing to give you their expert recommendations. But keep in mind that while word-of-mouth is great for making initial contacts, children learn in different ways, so a good teacher for one isn’t necessarily a good teacher for all.
3. Do a little homework.
As soon as you’ve found a promising prospect, take time to see him in action. Go to a recital of his students and observe their interactions. A good piano teacher is encouraging to learners. Also take note of the way the teacher deals with parents. If its not possible for you to go to a recital, at least speak to some of the instructor’s students or their parents.
4. Interview prospective teachers.
It’s important to personally interview a prospective teacher to help you decide if he is the right one for your child. At your meeting, inquire about his teaching philosophy, qualifications, teaching style and expectations from students. Very importantly, make sure your child is present during this meeting so you can see how the two may get along. If they don’t connect in a good way, learning can be an issue. Worse, your child may even lose interest in learning music.
5. Compare teachers.
Finally, don’t think you under obligation to hire a teacher just because you’ve interviewed him. 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 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.