Choosing the Right Music Teacher for Your Lessons

The best way to learn an instrument is to find a music teacher. In fact the best way to learn anything in life is to find a tutor of your chosen subject and to take on the task head on - to learn from actually doing.

People say that you learn from your mistakes - partly true due to the fact you end up knowing what NOT to do. But I believe there is a key point missed here - at least you are actually DOING something.

A teacher is someone to show you the path, the 'light at the end of the tunnel'. At the end of the day they know what they are doing and talking about - you probably don't - and it's because of this, the fact that you put all of your trust into your teacher, that you should be very careful about ensuring the one you choose is up for the job.

Here is some advice on choosing your teacher and what to look out for.

Advice 1 - Previous Experience.

It is essential that your teacher has experience in two specific areas - performing music and teaching music. It is important that your music teacher is actually a musician - the best example I can give is this - imagine that instead of learning an instrument you want to learn how to scuba dive. Would you let yourself be taught by someone who has studied diving from a book but who has never actually been under the water?

If your teacher shows that he has performed music it gives you some guarantee that they are of a high enough standard musically - chances are they wouldn't have been hired if they couldn't play their instrument.

The second is teaching experience. After discussing how it is important for your teacher to have actually been, or still is involved in music it is also important that the have experience in teaching music. Teaching is a completely different art to performing. Most musicians tell me that they learn more through teaching than they do from any other source - when you teach you instantly reveal your own weak points.

The opposite of this is true as well actually - how many times have you heard someone who recently passed their driving test say you don't learn how to drive until your out on the road on your own - after your lessons and test (This carries over to a future article - Why performing is critical to your progress as a musician. )

So - make sure your teacher is both a musician and a teacher.

Advice 2 - Attitude and Personality.

It is fairly common for people to ask for character references - estate agents, employers - most people looking to hire someone - this is also true for finding a music teacher as at the end of the day you are hiring them to teach you.

Learning is much easier in a friendly environment - did you ever notice that the teachers at school that had a laugh and were fun often taught you the most each lesson? In human nature it is common to be stubborn and resilient and it is a teacher's personality and character that helps connect with you, therefore making the experience enjoyable and thus increasing the productivity of your lessons.

It is not generally going to be possible to get a character reference from a teacher but try and use your first lesson as a trial - Get to know your teacher a bit and get a general feel for the lesson - if you have fun and enjoyed every minute then you've probably found a teacher with a good teaching attitude rather than if it was drab and boring.

If you can try and talk to some of your prospective teachers regular students. See if they enjoy their lessons and what the overall comments are about the quality and attitude of the teacher.

Advice 3 - Teacher Flexibility

Again this covers more than one topic - flexibility as a musician, and as a teacher.

In the long term you will eventually begin expanding your musicality. For example - woodwind players generally begin learning one instrument, maybe the clarinet or saxophone. Eventually, and if they want to pursue music, they will begin learning other woodwind instruments as it is common for, say for instance a saxophone player, to play clarinet, flute and even through to oboe and bassoon.

Because of this you are going to want a teacher that can provide this in the long term. After months and years of lessons with your teacher you won't want to find that in order to progress further you need to find a new instructor and have to create the bond that you would have developed with your current teacher all over again.

Positive things to look out for are:

o If your teacher still has lessons and practices (even the most professional musicians still have lessons - see the beginning of my article - Practicing music - what to do outside of your private music lessons to see how it is impossible to learn and master every aspect of music)

o If your teacher teaches more than one instrument (however be skeptical of teachers that coach, for example, trumpet and flute. Whilst musicians do finish up playing completely irrelevant instruments they will stick to teaching their primary instrument generally. )

o If your instructor is still a dynamic musician - that is a gray region because where it really is simple to assume that your instructor, no active musician maybe isn't good enough to execute music and for that reason teaches music, it's possible that your instructor prefers teaching than executing. The benefit if they're still a dynamic musician is again they'll be learning constantly and they'll still be a dynamic teacher during this time period.

The other versatility to consider is their organisation when it comes to lessons. It really is positively suggested that regular lessons - or regular anything - is wonderful for you. Regular physical exercise keeps you healthful, regular sleep keeps you regular and alert lessons assist in improving your musical playing.

If your teacher will phone up to re-arrange your lesson constantly, frequently misses lessons or is frequently past due for your lesson it shall have a poor effect on you. Psychologically the reality that you haven't experienced a routine together with your lessons and the actual fact that you retain getting let down can make you much less enthusiastic towards your music lessons.

So look for a teacher that provides many years of tuition than a limited number of months rather, and someone who could keep regular dates and who holds his claims of the times and dates.


Ideally this article will provide you with several food for thought if you opt to look for a music teacher and remember that if you don't are enjoying and learning your instrument - perhaps you need a fresh teacher.

To know more details visit here: Music Teachers

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