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Parent Tip: Choosing a Piano Teacher

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 do you know which piano teacher is best for your child?

1. Set 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 attain by taking lessons? What qualifications and level of teaching experience are going to help you accomplish such goals? What additional qualifications might help you further? How much are you willing to spend for the lessons? What kind of scheduling flexibility do you need?

2. Ask for personal recommendations.

The parents of piano students can surely provide a lot of insight. Talk to your relatives, friends, coworkers, neighbors -anyone who might be happy to tell you about their experience. Besides that, local music stores and schools can also be willing to give you their 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 a bit of homework.

After finding a good prospect, take time out to see him at work. 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 attending a recital is not an option, you can at least have a chat with some of the instructor’s students (or their parents).

4. Interview prospects.

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. Your child’s presence during this meeting is crucial as this will be your chance to see if they get along. If they don’t, learning will be a problem. Worse, your child may even lose his drive to learn music.

5. Compare potential teachers.

Lastly, don’t think you’re obliged to commit to a teacher simply because you’ve interviewed him. In fact, you should interview two or three prospects and compare them before making a choice. 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 understand your desire to give your child what you think is best for him.

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