Part 1 – Choosing the right teacher
Your child has come home from school and said ‘I want to learn the piano’. Fantastic!
Now it’s time to start looking for a teacher.
Learning the piano is enjoyable, challenging and rewarding. The right teacher will set up your child for years of learning as they develop skill, technique and confidence. But how do you find the right teacher? There are a few things you can do.
Have a chat with your prospective teacher about their qualifications and experience. Do you need a piano teacher who has 30+ years of experience? Would a university student who is a piano major suit your budget a little better? Consider ‘real world’ experiences. A teacher with a wealth of experience performing, touring and recording can be a great source of inspiration and motivation.
Get a feel for their personality. Personality may be the number one thing your child walks out of their lesson remembering. In a pedagogy class I took during my university studies, the lecturer asked the class ‘What do you remember about your first ever music lesson?’. The answers ranged from how the room was set up, to how the teacher scolded them (yikes!). Interestingly, everyone had clear memories of their first experience all related to the teacher’s manner and the environment, but not one person one remembered what they learned.
Consider your budget and lifestyle. Would you prefer the teacher to come to your home and teach on your piano? Do you want the lessons to happen on the weekend? Is there the option to pay weekly? Or can you purchase a multi lesson pack?
Ask the teacher about their teaching methods. It’s also worth asking if they hold recitals, how many students they are teaching, what books and other resources they use to teach.
Ask your local music store. Here at The Australian Piano Warehouse, our experienced piano staff can guide you to a number of excellent music teachers and schools in your area. We’ve all been through the process of formal music training so we understand how important it is to find the right teacher.
A common concern:
I don’t know whether they are going to lose interest after a few months.
Imagine as an adult that you decide to try something new. Perhaps you decided to get Personal Training sessions. You haven’t spent any time at the gym before, but summer is around the corner and you want to get in shape.
You get to the PT session pumped and ready. Instead, the trainer doesn’t smile much, you’re not sure why the exercises are relevant, and it wasn’t fun at all.
Little by little, you dread seeing that PT! Your motivation to jog in between sessions fades, and you care less and less about getting into shape.
Now let’s imagine you go to a different PT. This time, they are really friendly and passionate about exercise, they push and encourage you, and you always learn a little something extra.
You feel excited to see them every week as you get closer and closer to your fitness goals.
It’s EXACTLY the same with learning piano, the teacher can make or break the learning experience which is why it’s so important to find the right fit for your needs.
Now that you’ve found a great teacher, it’s time to find the right instrument. Stay tuned for the next part of this blog series.