Thoughts on Finding a Music Teacher
In a survey of adolescent students the qualities of a piano teacher that they considered most important were patience, understanding and caring about the student, having a good sense of humor, being kind and encouraging, and knowledge of the subject.
It is important to interview a prospective teacher to find the right match. Getting references is a good idea and, if possible, attend a studio recital. Doing that allows you to see first hand whether the teacher has a variety of students (ages and levels). Some of the things to evaluate would be:
Education and experience: this includes any degrees the teacher has, how long he/she has been teaching, how many students he/she has. You might also want to know if the teacher performs but keep in mind that the best performers are not always the best teachers. Teaching is a separate art from performing.
Personality: look for a positive attitude, warmth, someone who genuinely likes children.
Philosophy of Teaching: this would include the styles of music taught, performance opportunities and requirements, and participation in auditions and competitions. You want to find a teacher whose philosophy matches your needs and desires. You should also find out how much practice time the teacher requires.
"The teacher should have a clear studio policy regarding payment of fees, cancellation of lessons, etc." — Katharine Ciarelli
"It is important to remember that the teacher must enjoy the youthful spirit of young people—hoping to instill in them the love and joy of music. Sprinkled with patience and understanding, it's a win-win situation." — Gelene Lewis
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